Books: Educated

Educated was another book I grabbed off the shelf at my local library when I was there with my kids. I read a few pages right away that evening and was instantly hooked. Tara Westover grew up in rural Idaho. She never attended school and didn’t have a birth certificate.

Despite the odds stacked against her and parents who are adamantly against higher education, established medical care, and any government involvement, Westover obtains a decent score on the ACT and gets into Brigham Young University. Rather than being proud of her, her parents try anything they can to keep her away from her pursuit of higher education.

Westover describes the tragedies that come from her parents’ views against established medicine. She details her father’s paranoia over Y2K and his preparations for the end of days. Her ability to overcome her background is shocking and powerful.


Westover’s story of overcoming great odds to obtain a doctorate from Cambridge is inspiring. Her success is not without sacrifices. She reminds us that sometimes the people we want to love us are the ones who hurt us the most.

I kept going back to the fact that someone who had little to no education up until the age of 17 could not only write a book, but could write a book as amazing as this. Westover’s writing is, at times, so painfully honest and thought-provoking. This is one of the best books I have read this year. It would make a great book club read.






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