A Memoir

Book - 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."-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: Toronto, Ontario : HarperCollins Publishers Ltd, [2018]
Edition: First Canadian edition.
ISBN: 9781443452472
Branch Call Number: 270.92 WESTO
Characteristics: 334 pages ; 24 cm


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DBRL_ReginaF Mar 14, 2018

This is such an incredible memoir. Tara is so honest about her escape from fundamentalism
with no education beyond homeschooling to the halls of Harvard and Cambridge and the ensuing mental breakdown. She treats everyone, even the worst and even herself, with such empathy.

Mayflower94 Mar 14, 2018


StaceyM_KCMO Mar 09, 2018

Though this memoir can be tough to read at times (due to subjects such as violence and emotional/physical abuse), it is a heartfelt and emotional testament to the power of believing in yourself even when your family doesn't. Tara Westover learns through the power of education that self-acceptance and self-worth is not measured by your family roots, but rather through determination to succeed and be happy with decisions you make in your life. A redemptive, powerful read that focuses on dealing with life choices and carving out a place for yourself in the world.

DPLalyssab Mar 08, 2018

Extraordinary memoir illustrating the power of education.

Mar 03, 2018

Could not put this one down once I started it. I am shocked at what people can do to others and how someone can come out so well with this background. Just so hard to believe and I admire the author for being able to tell her story. Hope she writes more books for our pleasure.

Mar 01, 2018

Riveting memoir !! Told without self pity somewhat like the style of 'The Glass Castle' . Her odd family are survivalists living in the rural midwest USA, and despite her weird and crazy upbringing, she manages to educate herself and escape to a better life. Very traumatizing childhood. Very well written.

Mar 01, 2018

What a gripping story this was. Tara Westover's personal story of her unconventional childhood and how she used education to rise above it was a very interesting, readable and inspiring tale. It is the kind of book that opens your eyes and teaches you about the world while still being an engrossing read. This will be on my 2018 recommendation list for sure.

AL_JANE Jan 29, 2018

Simultaneously dark, brutal, disturbing and tragic yet also hope-filled. If ever there was a case made for the importance of education, this is it. I was (again) struck by the influence of parents (and siblings) on the attitudes of their children and the unique power of religious institutions to shape beliefs. This book provided an insight to a world in which I, thankfully, have no experiential reference. The importance of access to a variety of ideas and perspectives, offered through education and libraries, cannot be underestimated.


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DBRL_ReginaF Mar 14, 2018

“You can love someone and still choose to say goodbye to them,” she says now. “You can miss a person every day, and still be glad that they are no longer in your life.”

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