A Memoir

Unknown - 2018
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"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 in her father's junkyard. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent. As a way out, Tara began to educate herself, learning enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University. Her quest for knowledge would transform her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled too far, if there was still a way home. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Tara Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education offers: the perspective to see one's life through new eyes, and the will to change it."--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Random House Large Print, [2018]
ISBN: 9780525589983
Characteristics: xviii, 493 pages ; 24 cm


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Nov 21, 2019

An amazing account of the resilience of a young woman from rural Idaho who breaks out of her restrictive environment and provides a voice to so many women who are dismissed by their families, their society, their religions, to name a few. I was riveted from the first page to the last. I didn't expect to feel so much kinship with this woman whose background is so different from mine. But her experiences of having to prove herself (not only to herself, but to everyone around her) over and over again were so familiar to me. It was so inspiring and I'm so happy for her to have found a place in the world that celebrates her the way she deserves.

She didn't have much education, but studied on her own in secret to be able to pass the GED test so she could apply for college. (I can't imagine teaching myself trigonometry from a textbook without anyone to ask questions.) Once in college, there were so many things about 'modern' life that she hadn't experienced or didn't understand because she hadn't been socialized with regular kids growing up. But she persevered and eventually was accepted by Harvard and then Cambridge. Kudos to her for her strength and determination!

Feb 21, 2019

I question less the memory's unreliability. What's elusive and shaped as such have more than sustained her to make what she is. As powerful as her inner drive and a positive force, nurtured also by the brutal negative impact within her family, I dropped the condemnation but feel empathy with all.
Related to the title, education has appeared to me as a chance play, followed by an active pursuit. Even though I may not be on the same page ideologically with the author and many readers here, the book's effect on me is still solid.

Feb 05, 2019

I had a hard time believing that the events that occurred in this person's life were true. I may not understand the father's beliefs in Mormonism but I think that this on the extreme side of beliefs. Stockpiling weapons and gas was reasonable for an expected millennium bug on January 1, 2000. The fact that banning things such as milk could have stunted his children's growth. Religion getting in the way of his family is something that should not have happened and as an atheist, I see this as ignoring your family and just following your own beliefs as forgetting about your family and being selfish. This book was well written but there were some issues in the writing. This book was too repetitive and I think that it mentioned too many similar things, such as Shawn abusing and beating someone up.

I rated this book an 8/10 because I liked the story but I did not like how the author conveyed it. I think that this book could have used a more effective way of telling her memoir. I think that the author should use a more immersive way of telling the story so that the reader does not have to reread any lines more than twice.


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