8 Best Books Like Educated Update 05/2022

Tara Westover’s moving memoir, Educated, tells the story of her childhood in the Idaho wilderness, where she was raised by parents who instilled in her a sense of survival, tenacity, and obedience. Tara, on the other hand, knew from an early age that she wanted more out of life and set out to pursue a college education, which allowed her to broaden her perspective. Book clubs have loved it, and it has sparked many insightful discussions. Read-alikes of Tara Westover’s memoir that feature stories about parents who are both complicated and interesting, as well as childhoods that are both interesting and tragic, are included here for those who enjoyed Westover’s autobiography.

Memoirs about complicated parents

The Only Girl in the World by Maude Julien

Parents wanted to make sure their daughter Maud was tough from an early age. As a result, they withheld their affection and subjected her to torturous physical testing. With the help of the animals on her family’s farm and the fictional characters she secretly read, Maude managed to survive this ordeal. In spite of the horrific living conditions and cruel treatment, she persisted until a mysterious visitor arrived and made it possible for her to flee.

Priestdaddy by Patricia Lockwood

Despite the fact that Patricia Lockwood’s father was married and a father, he managed to find an opening in the Catholic Church’s rules that allowed him to continue his religious training as a priest. When a crisis forced Patricia and her husband to temporarily relocate to her parents’ house, Patricia’s two worlds were brought into sharp contrast. When it comes to religion, the religious life, and Patricia’s father, the author has a lot to say about it all.

Heavy by Kiese Laymon

Laymon examines his relationship with his mother, a complicated woman from Jackson, Mississippi, in this memoir. He talks about how he was abused as a child, how he struggled with his weight and anorexia, and how he eventually left home and went to college and became a professor in New York. He could go wherever he wanted, but Laymon’s relationship with his mother, the secrets they shared, and the effect they had on him would follow him. For anyone who has ever struggled with a dysfunctional family, this book is a must-read.

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

Walls’s memoir is a fascinating look at family, loyalty, and what it takes for children to forge a different path from their parents. Her parents had degrees and were capable, but they were unable to find work and refused to do so. The Walls children were raised in squalor in the hometown of their paternal grandparents after years of moving around. To break away and move to New York City, they would need all of their strength and bravery, and when they did so, their parents would follow, becoming homeless. It’s a heartfelt look at Walls’s parents, who she loved even as she established her own boundaries as an adult.

River House by Sarahlee Lawrence

After spending her childhood in rural Oregon, Sarahlee Lawrence became an experienced river guide who has rafted along many hazardous waters around the world. When she finally made the decision to settle down, she returned to her family’s farm and worked side by side with her father to construct a log home from scratch. She hopes that by working on this project with her father, she will be able to better understand him. When a father and daughter are able to connect over their shared passion for a project, it is a beautiful thing.

Novels about surviving extreme childhoods

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

If you’d like to read about a family’s struggle to survive in the Alaskan wilderness in the 1970s, this novel is for you. When Ernt returns from Vietnam with his family, he makes the decision to relocate to Alaska, the last unexplored state. With no other option, his wife and daughter are forced to go along with the plan. They soon come across a friendly group of hardy men and women. However, the true test will come in the midst of a long, harsh winter that they are unprepared for.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

If you enjoyed the story of Kya Clark, a young woman who has been living alone in a marsh near a small town on the North Carolina coast for several years, you’ll enjoy this book. What happens when two young men become interested in Kya as well as Kya wanting more out of life? That’s what will lead to a death and a lot of unanswered questions.

Memoirs about survival

This is My Life in the West with the Last Civil War Black Widow by If the Creek Don’t Rise Whoopi Goldberg’s daughter

Aunt Daisy, the last surviving Black widow of a Union soldier who relocated her sharecropper family west to reinvent themselves, took in Rita after her mother died when she was four. When it came to becoming a woman “a perfect credit to her race,” Rita became Daisy’s last hope, but her conflicted feelings about race, exacting standards, and heavy expectations became too much for Rita, until one day she had to break free to become her own person.

Heartberries by Therese Marie Mailhot

It was a difficult childhood for Therese Marie Mailhot, who was raised on Seabird Island in the Pacific Northwest. While her mother worked as a social worker, she had a soft spot for inmates, and her father was an accomplished artist who was assassinated because of his drinking problem. With her bipolar and PTSD diagnosis, Mailhot begins writing about her family, healing herself, finding her voice and reconnecting with those she cares about.

By Cea Sunrise Person, a memoir about growing up in the wilderness with a strange family and surviving both

She and her mother fled California with her maternal grandparents to live in the Canadian wilderness as an escape from society when Cea was just six years old, They lived off the land, sex and drugs were commonplace, and clothing was optional. At the age of five, Cea begins to realize that her upbringing is unconventional and spends the next eight years attempting to lead a “normal” life, going to great lengths in an effort to escape until one day she makes a dramatic decision to leave everything behind at the age of thirteen.

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