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  • jlentz24

Book Rec: Educated by Tara Westover

Updated: Apr 9

"First find out what you are capable of, then decide who you are."

book jacket with a big pencil in the background and the title in the front

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her father forbade hospitals and modern medicine. Her family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the seven siblings received an education. Tara’s quest for knowledge led her across continents, to Harvard and Cambridge University. This coming-of-age, real-life story details the grief of severing family ties and the important role of education in our lives.

Difficult to read. Impossible to put down. This thought-provoking memoir by an Idaho survivalist in the last 30 years is one of my favorite non-fiction books.




Discussion Questions


  1. When Tara’s older brother, Tyler, goes to college, how does that begin to shift her desire for education? How does his departure effect Tara?

  2. How does the family’s upbringing and isolation continue to cycle? How does it cover the abuse from Tara’s brother?

  3. How do you view Tara’s relationship with her father, Gene? Does it change throughout the book?

  4. Looking back over the book, what do you learn about forgiveness and trauma?

  5. What do you learn about education and the struggle for self-invention?

  6. Is truth in story telling a matter of memory, perspective, or something else?

Educated by Tara Westover is this week's non-fiction book recommendation! Check it out and comment below with your thoughts and reactions. If you liked this book, you should read I am Malala for an international perspective on female education!

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