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Book Review

Publisher's Note:

An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University One of . . . The New York Times Book Review’s Must-Know Literary Events of 2018 BBC’s Books Look Ahead 2018 Stylist’s 20 Must-Read Books to Make Room For in 2018 Entertainment Weekly’s 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2018 Bustle’s 13 Authors You Need to Be Watching in 2018 LibraryReads’s February Top 10 Daily Express’s Must-Have New Reads The Pool’s Books We’re Looking Forward to in 2018 Vogue’s What to Read This Fall Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father’s junkyard. Her father distrusted the medical esta…

Educated: A Memoir

by Tara Westover

Overall Book Review:

Educated: A Memoir is an unforgettable book. This eventful autobiography details the upbringing of Tara Westover, the youngest of seven kids brought up by Mormon fundamentalists in rural Idaho. Westover’s unique world is both fascinating and horrifying. Her family doesn’t trust modern medicine, public education, or the government. Tara doesn’t know about major events in history, let alone her date of birth.

Westover is a strong writer and anecdotes from her life are clear and straightforward. The book is well-paced and Westover’s path to receiving a higher education is inspirational. Readers will appreciate Westover’s insights into her life but experiences with her family are often violent and difficult to read. Educated: A Memoir is extraordinary for its ability to create a multitude of emotions. This memorable nonfiction is perfect for those who enjoyed The Glass Castle.

Review of an Advance Reading Copy

This book was sent to Compass Book Ratings for review by Random House

Content Analysis:

Profanity/Language: 18 mild obscenities, 23 derogatory names, 5 scatological words and 1 anatomical term. 

Violence/Gore:  Several verbal threats; several secondhand reports of violence including stabbing of a dog, motorcycle accident, an Apache legend, domestic abuse and FBI raid; a brief scene involving a non-life-threatening injury; frequent incidents of violence involving domestic abuse and sibling abuse, car crashes, and fist fights; a scene including blood and gore in describing burn injuries. 

Sex/Nudity:  A few sexual references.

Mature Subject Matter:

Mental illness, domestic abuse, sibling abuse, religious fanaticism, male chauvinism, traumatic brain injury, cancer, racism, mistrust of government, mention of alcoholism, polygamy, childbirth. 

Alcohol / Drug Use:

Mention of alcoholism.

Overall Book Rating

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About the Reviewer

My mother was the one who sparked my love of books. Long before school instruction, she sat me down and taught me to read. My childhood was filled with trips to the library and bookmobile to find great books. My first loves were The Little House series by Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Pippi Longstocking series by Astrid Lingren. Now as a mom and speech pathologist, I am constantly looking for good, clean books to use at home and in therapy. I enjoy reading many different genres, but my favorites are usually historical fiction. I married my best friend, the “boy next door”, and we have a beautiful little girl who we often find sprawled out on the floor, flipping through picture books. Together our family likes to swim, run and play tennis. Besides reading, I also love to bake, garden and travel.