Brown Bag Book Discussion

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Program Description


Sharon Livingston will lead a discussion of Tara Westover's bestselling and award-winning memoir Educated. Participants are encouraged (but not required) to read the book in advance. Ask for a copy at the library’s information desk.

In order to allow for social distancing, seating is limited. Please register to reserve your spot. 

From Library Journal: 

Raised in an alternative Mormon home in rural Idaho, Westover  worked as an assistant midwife to her mother and labored in her father's junkyard.

Formal schooling wasn't a priority, because her parents believed that public education was government indoctrination and that Westover's future role would be to support her husband.

But her older brother's violence and their family's refusal to acknowledge problems at home resulted in the teen contemplating escape through education.

Admittance to Brigham Young University was difficult. Westover taught herself enough to receive a decent score on the ACT; but because of her upbringing, she didn't understand rudimentary concepts of sanitation and etiquette; and her learning curve was steep.

However, she eventually thrived, earning scholarships to Harvard and Cambridge—though she grappled with whether to include her toxic family in her new life.

Born in 1986, Westover  interviewed family members to help her write the first half. Her well-crafted account of her early years will intrigue teens, but the memoir's second part, covering her undergraduate and graduate experiences in the "real world," will stun them.

VERDICT: A gripping, intimate, sometimes shocking, yet ultimately inspiring work. Perfect for fans of memoirs about overcoming traumatic childhoods or escaping from fundamentalist religious communities, for example, Jeannette Walls's The Glass Castle and Ruth Wariner's The Sound of Gravel. — by Sarah Hill