Educated – Tara Westover

Educated by [Westover, Tara]


Mental disorder (bipolar?) + Religious fanaticism + isolation + lack of education = a life well beyond dysfunctional.

Tara Westover’s life story in her book “Educated” proves to be a harrowing read. How the emotional and physical abuse affects Tara, her siblings and her mother is often beyond belief, yet as we read we come to realize that the most insidious abuse of all is the hold her father has over everyone. Tara, despite her brilliance and academic achievements, is continually drawn back seeking support and acknowledgement of the abuse from her parents, and most importantly love and acceptance from her father.

“Educated” is a difficult read, yet a book you just can’t put down.

Note: The blurb does not do the book justice. There is so much more to this story than “going to school.”


Tara Westover was seventeen when she first set foot in a classroom. Instead of traditional lessons, she grew up learning how to stew herbs into medicine, scavenging in the family scrap yard and helping her family prepare for the apocalypse. She had no birth certificate and no medical records and had never been enrolled in school.

Westover’s mother proved a marvel at concocting folk remedies for many ailments. As Tara developed her own coping mechanisms, little by little, she started to realize that what her family was offering didn’t have to be her only education. Her first day of university was her first day in school—ever—and she would eventually win an esteemed fellowship from Cambridge and graduate with a PhD in intellectual history and political thought.

2 comments on “Educated – Tara Westover

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