On Thursday, January 9, 2020, the All Good Books group will discuss Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover. Notice the meeting date is one week earlier than our normal third Thursday meeting date.

The group meets at the Community of Christ (7842 Mission Road, Prairie Village, KS) in Church Library starting at 7 PM. Everyone is welcome.

Note: The book club does not meet in December.

The following discussion questions are drawn from Bookbub.com (see https://www.bookbub.com/blog/book-club-questions-for-educated-by-tara-westover).

1. Tara Westover’s memoir recounts her life as the daughter of Mormon survivalist parents who leaves rural Idaho to pursue an education. What do you think she’s referring to with the title Educated? And what statement do you think the book makes on education at large?

2. Westover’s quest for an education is a dramatic rebellion by her father’s standards. How does her rebellion differ from that of her older brother Tyler, if at all?

3. Do you think being the youngest child in the family impacted Westover ultimately leaving her family? Would it have made a difference if she’d been the oldest child?

4. Why is it significant that Westover didn’t know the word “holocaust” and had no knowledge of race issues in the United States?

5. Which family member had the biggest influence on Westover’s quest for a different life? Which non-family members were influential on her life?

6. Westover’s life changes dramatically thanks to an encouraging professor at Brigham Young University. How might her life be different if she hadn’t applied for the study abroad program at Cambridge University?

7. Westover eventually finds her voice and realizes it’s just as powerful as the people who have influenced her life. What is voice, and how important is it that every child be encouraged to find their own?

8. What impact does Westover’s pursuit of formal education have on her parents and family?

9. How does education change Westover’s view of her childhood? How does she come to terms with how she was raised once she knows the value of education?

10. Westover makes great efforts to ensure the story is as objective as possible, including footnotes where accounts of an event differ, or comparing her diary entries to her memory. As a reader, how important is objectivity in this story, and more largely, in memoirs in general?

11. At 30, Westover is still relatively close in age to the events that occur in this book. How do you think the memoir would be different were it written when Tara was significantly older and more distanced from this time in her life? In what ways would it alter your interpretation of these experiences?