Review: Educated by Tara Westover

Educated by Tara Westover immediately grabbed my attention by its summary. When I googled it a bit more, I saw that the reviews of this book were all very positive.  I was curious, so not long after I learned about its book existence I read it. Was I as positive as those other reviews? Find out below!

Book cover of Educated

“Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.”

My first impression

My association with kids who don’t get an education is not directly linked with the United States, but there it is! It is such a strange, unsafe environment she grew up in. It’s so weird to think that in the Western world it is somehow still possible to fly under the radar. She didn’t even have a birth certificate for years and yeas. It is a baffling and very interesting read.

The story

This book is a memoir of Tara Westover who grew up in a Mormon, survivalist home in rural Idaho. That means that her parents (mostly her father) believed that the world was coming to an end. Boy, was he disappointed when the world still existed after 12 o ‘clock on December 31st 1999.

Her parents don’t believe in the school system, in hospitals, in doctors, dentists and anything that is of the government. Therefore, Tara was kept home and she had to work in her father’s junkyard. Her mother, a herbalist and reluctant midwife, would homeschool her, but besides from giving a few books she never really did.

Tara Westover grows up believing all sorts of strange things and the extent of the extremity during her upbringing is uncovered more and more during the book. She was 17 when she first set foot in a classroom. She was shocked to learn about the world, she hadn’t known about the Holocaust for example. However, as she continued her studies she even ended up studying at Cambridge University and Harvard University. She even pursued her PhD at the Cambridge University. She got educated.

My opinion

This is an extraordinary book of an extraordinary person. She must be extremely smart to be able to go from no education to college and even a PhD later on. Despite her violent brother, insane father and spinless mother, she is very mild about them towards the end of the book though, I guess it is hard to stop loving your family.

Conclusion of Educated

This is such a good book! I could keep writing about it, but I don’t want to accidentally write a spoiler. It’s just so weird to realize that there are children who grow up like this. Tara Westover’s story is bizarre but also empowering, she achieved what not even people under the best circumstances are guaranteed to achieve. I highly recommend this book.



Written by Roos Bergers