Book Review: Westover’s Educated

Tara Westover

The injuries in this book, the real bloody, life changing injuries. I wasn’t ready for that. I was ready for the story on the cover, of a woman raised by Mormon survivalists in the remote west, the story of a woman who didn’t know what the Holocaust was until she went to college, but who would, eventually work her way all the way to Oxford.

That story, I was ready for. But I wasn’t ready for the junk yard, and the accidents that left Westover’s brother violent and unhinged, and her father horribly disfigured. That flabbergasted me. I expected guns and conspiracies and a story of finding one’s self, but I didn’t expect children routinely put in harms way. Nor did I expect Westover’s relationship with her family to be so complex into adult hood.

This book is a bestseller, and it has the bestseller qualities, both good (compelling narrative) and bad (a bit on the “oh look at these weirdos” side) but its also much more moving than I expected. If seeing up close how precarious it can be to live “off the grid” and “close the land” than this is worth a read.

Recommended for the enthusiast.

Tara Westover

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