• Kelly Fredericks

A Memoir That Makes You Go 😱

Updated: Oct 15, 2018

Educated by Tara Westover

September 9, 2018

Dear Mr. Hemingway,

I just read a memoir that I most certainly could not put down.  I found the pages of this book practically turning themselves. Readers will absolutely escape their own reality and be transported back to Westover’s childhood where they will be thanking their lucky stars it was not their own.  I was beyond captivated by Tara Westover’s story and utterly baffled by her childhood and family dynamics. In her memoir titled Educated, Westover shares her story growing up on a mountain in Idaho with her parents and siblings.  Her father was a survivalist (always preparing for the end of the word…literally) and a religious fanatic.  He ran a scrap metal business on his land (basically a dangerous junkyard) with his capable children who provided free labor.  He truly believed in the “will of God”. As someone who was anti- government and western medicine, he raised his family off the grid (no birth certificates, doctors, schools, etc.).  Westover’s mother, a midwife and a self -trained herbalist/healer, was the primary “Doctor” to her family no matter the severity. Though her parents claimed to have successfully home schooled their children, the memoir tells us differently.   

Westover grew up with essentially no formal education.  When old enough, she worked in her dad’s scrap metal pile in harm’s way enduring serious injuries.  She was mentally and physically abused by one of her brothers. Wanting more from her life, she challenged her parent’s beliefs and somehow got herself accepted to college where she experienced a classroom and formal education for the first time at age 17.  As the years went by, she continued to struggle with adapting to the mainstream, while battling emotional push and pull with her parents and family. Despite her family drama, Westover goes on to study and earn a Ph.D from the prestigious Cambridge University.   

This story was down right jaw dropping.  I paused throughout the book many times saying “WHAT?!?!”. I was stunned and mesmerized by Westover’s story and how it’s craziness just kept intensifying.  It no doubt raises questions on what is the definition of “responsible parenting”, who gets to judge and where/when the line is drawn?

I am hoping my friends enjoy the strangeness of this memoir for what it is.  If anything, it will make them appreciate their own stories!!!!!!!!


Your Biggest Fan,


P.S. Check out two more books with a similar vibe that I absolutely LOVED……..

The Glass Castle (memoir) by Jeannette Walls

*click here for link to buy this book*

The Great Alone (fiction) by Kristin Hannah

*click here for link to buy this book*

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