Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover was one of the books that kept appearing on recommended reading lists during 2018, including The New York Times Book Review’s 10 Best Books of 2018. Some say it was the Best Non-Fiction of 2018. In fact, it won the Goodreads reader’s choice.
Recommended Reading Based on Awards
In the Goodreads Choice Awards, it received 5,027,741 votes in the Best Memoir & Autobiography section. It was a finalist or winner in many other book awards, including Oprah’s Best Book of March 2018.
Verified purchasers on Amazon reviews gave Educated 4.7 out of 5 stars; ninety-two percent rated it either four or five stars. Including Drew Mecham, Tara’s Ex, who gave it five stars.
Susan Amara, a Top 500 Reviewer, says, “A powerful memoir of family drama and those who twist the reality of the past. The memoir becomes a story of her internal struggle—to believe her own version of her life and to have the strength to break away from her past.”
Recommended Reading, The Backstory
Tara Westover learned from a young age how to make hard choices. Born in the 1980s into a strict religious family, she was not allowed to attend public school or go to the doctor when she was sick. While her parents said that she received homeschooling, she spent much of her time helping the family in their scrap metal business.
Westover relied on her personal journals to recount many graphic events from her childhood and mentions that she tried to collaborate with her siblings as much as possible.
Although money was tight, and it was against her parents’ wishes, she managed to purchase study materials and spend the time studying to pass the college entrance exams.
The author shows the reader a different side of American life than most mainstream people know. MS Westover demonstrates how important her family is to her. But, also how difficult it was to make the choices to leave home and go to school.
While she used her education to leave her home and create a new life for herself, other siblings did not. There is a strong theme that a person must make an effort to educate themselves to build a life.
Recommended reading because it discusses complex themes and exposes readers to a different lifestyle. Although off-the-grid family life also gets explored in The Glass Castle, this author found strength in education. Likewise, she had to make the difficult choice to leave her family behind.
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