Educated by Tara Westover

Book 8/30.

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

1 ½ stars

I’m not a believer in ½ stars when it comes to reviews, but this wasn’t bad enough for a 1 star rating (because I’ve read some bogus books) and it also wasn’t good enough for a 2 star rating, so here I am doling out a rare ½ star.

Going through the reviews on Goodreads, the major issue a lot of reviewers have with Educated is that Tara Westover’s journey to education is incredibly incredulous. From teaching herself algebra and trigonometry as she self-studied for the ACT, to never having set foot in a classroom before she was 17 but somehow receiving scholarships and fellowships to study at Cambridge and Harvard, earning her PhD at the latter. The consensus is that the author is either lying or grossly exaggerating the truth, but I have no issue with her incredibly incredulous journey to education because I easily suspend disbelief. On that note it was easy for me to ignore almost everything other Goodreads reviewers took issue with such as:

• her mother healing from a brain injury and her father from major burns without going to a hospital
• her mother’s finger clicking to diagnose medical conditions/assess injuries and to also make her essential oils and salves that a major pharmaceutical company offered to buy for 3 million dollars
• the author going from never having sung a single note in her entire life to being the next Beyoncé in one day
• her describing her family as survivalists yet they had a TV, a phone, internet and money that appeared out of nowhere to pay for things they/the farm/Tara needed

The reason I did not find this good enough for a 2 star rating is because the author, her dad and her brother Shawn stayed dry humping my last nerve 😤 I couldn’t generate any empathy for her dad and Shawn no matter how hard I tried, and I’m highly empathetic so believe me when I say I realllllllyyyyyy tried. I couldn’t understand her dad’s radical behaviour and his choices that endangered his family. Shawn physically and emotionally abused Tara for years and when she told her parents about it, he denied it while threatening her by placing a bloody knife in her hand. I couldn’t understand why her parents chose to turn a blind eye to Shawn’s violent nature, despite seeing the same thing also happening to his wife. And for the life of me I couldn’t understand why Tara kept refusing to see things for what they were and kept taking herself back to a situation she knew was not good for her. I understand it is not easy to let go of toxic family members because familial love has strong bonds, but it reaches a point when enough is enough. Tara reached that point many times, and she knew it, but not only did she keep going back to her family, she also gaslit herself into disbelieving her memories and questioning whether the abuse happen ever happened.

No explanation was offered for Shawn’s violent nature so it’s safe to say he’s just a psychopath, but her dad is supposedly bipolar and/or schizophrenic, and while that may explain his behaviour it certainly doesn’t excuse it. In a lot of ways he reminded me of Ernt Allbright (from The Great Alone) but without the physical abuse towards his wife. Speaking of wives, Tara’s mum kept oscillating between annoying and cool but by the end of the book she was full on annoying 🙄

View all my reviews

** A guide to ratings **
1 star – did not like it
2 stars – it was okay
3 stars – liked it
4 stars – really liked it
5 stars – it was amazing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s