1. Many of Tara’s father’s choices have an obvious impact on Tara’s life, but how did her mother’s choices influence her? How did that change over time?

2. Tara’s brother Tyler tells her to take the ACT. What motivates Tara to follow his advice? 

3. Charles was Tara’s first window into the outside world. Under his influence, Tara begins to dress differently and takes medicine for the first time. Discuss Tara’s conflicting admiration for both Charles and her father. 

4. Tara has titled her book Educated and much of her education takes place in classrooms, lectures, or other university environments. But not all. What other important moments of “education” were there? What friends, acquaintances, or experiences had the most impact on Tara? What does that imply about what an education is?

5. Eventually, Tara confronts her family about her brother’s abuse. How do different the members of her family respond?

6. What keeps Tara coming back to her family as an adult?

7. Ultimately, what type of freedom did education give Tara?

8. Tara wrote this at the age of thirty, while in the midst of her healing process. Why do you think she chose to write it so young, and how does this distinguish the book from similar memoirs?

9. Tara paid a high price for her education: she lost her family. Do you think she would make the same choice again?

Reading guide provided by random house:

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Judi C
Tara has a very fluid writing style, it easy reading and the book is hard to put down. She is very descriptive recalling her life. Some of these incidents are very difficult to read. I was surprised that even though they lived in the Hills they weren't as backward as I thought they would be when it came to owning certain things . They owned a  television and they had a few cars. I'm still reading the book.
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My book club recently read Educated and I have to say I was disappointed by the content. After all the hype on TV, in review journals, etc. I guess I expected more. I recently finished Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance which I couldn't put down! I would recommend it if you are looking for a more in depth examination of this subject. Someone recently recommended Hill Women which apparently is a similar expose on children and lack of education.
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Judi C
I know what you mean, I expected them to be a lot more remote and I was very surprised at the inconsistencies in their lifestyle. There were a lot of abusive incidents in the book, very descriptive and they're hard to read. Overall  I do admire her tenacity to become educated and strive for a better life.
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Judi C
The book club at the library was a reading this book. Is that the book club you are in?
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