An amazing memoir about a young girl and her struggle to overcome her extremely dysfunction family.  Against all odds, she educates herself enough to gain admission to Bringham Young College.and then goes on to study at both Harvard and Cambridge Univesity.   Educated A Memoir by Tara Westover.  #non-fiction, #reading, #books to read, #books #memoir

Educated

By Tara Westover


PBR Book Review:

A powerful and emotionally charged memoir about a young girl who realizes she wants more from life than the poverty stricken life of her childhood. Her profound success is amazing, especially considering the obstacles she faced. Her father suffers from a mental disease. He consistently exposes Tara and her siblings to extreme danger, refuses to seek much needed medical attention for himself and his family and spends his days ranting about the end of the world.

It defies logic that in this toxic environment, Tara educates herself and eventually ends up studying at Harvard and Cambridge. This coming of age story is beautifully written, poignant and Tara's strength and determination is a true inspiration. Great for book clubs.


Book Club Talking Points:

Tara's father is controlling and fanatical. He suffers from a mental disease, distrusts doctors, refusing medical attention for himself and his family and does not support his children going to school. Tara suffers much emotional and physical abuse and neglect but fights her way out of this untenable situation and triumphs. Her determination is inspiring and her strength amazing.
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*Discussion Questions



1. Many of Tara’s father’s choices have an obvious impact on Tara’s life, but how did her mother’s choices influence her? How did that change over time?

2. Tara’s brother Tyler tells her to take the ACT. What motivates Tara to follow his advice?

3. Charles was Tara’s first window into the outside world. Under his influence, Tara begins to dress differently and takes medicine for the first time. Discuss Tara’s conflicting admiration for both Charles and her father.

4. Tara has titled her book Educated and much of her education takes place in classrooms, lectures, or other university environments. But not all. What other important moments of “education” were there? What friends, acquaintances, or experiences had the most impact on Tara? What does that imply about what an education is?

5. Eventually, Tara confronts her family about her brother’s abuse. How do different the members of her family respond?

6. What keeps Tara coming back to her family as an adult?

7. Ultimately, what type of freedom did education give Tara?

8. Tara wrote this at the age of thirty, while in the midst of her healing process. Why do you think she chose to write it so young, and how does this distinguish the book from similar memoirs?

9. Tara paid a high price for her education: she lost her family. Do you think she would make the same choice again?

(Discussion Questions by Publisher)


Book Summary
Tara Westover was born in Idaho in 1986. She received her BA from Brigham Young University in 2008 and was subsequently awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned an MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2009, and in 2010 was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. She returned to Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD in history in 2014. Educated is her first book.
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