eARC Review: Educated: A Memoir, by Tara Westover

educated tara westoverRating: ★★★★★

Genres: Memoir, Non-Fiction

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I have received this book via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

This powerful, gripping memoir must have been one of the strongest books I’ve ever read. Educated is Tara’s story, her life in a survivalist Mormon family, and then her education which eventually led her to Cambridge and to discover so many things she never knew.

The violence, the power of denial and the acceptance of what was normal within such a world struck me deeply, my heart beating fast as I read some parts of it. It literally took my appetite away at least twice. This story grips your attention, demanding, honest. There are parts where I sighed, sad for the author’s beliefs as a kid, the things she went thought unquestioning their wrongness. I had to make several pauses between chapters, the power of this story so enthralling it put me in an anxious mood more than once.

TW: abuse, violence, gaslighting, toxic family relationship.

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Review: A River in Darkness, by Masaji Ishikawa

A River in the Darkness Masaji IshikawaRating: ★★★★☆

Genres: Non-fiction, Memoir

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Half-Japanese and half-Korean Masaji Ishikawa lived a poor and hard life in Japan with his family, angry at his violent father and feeling like an outsider. Then, when he’s thirteen, his family moves to North Korea, in search of a better life – the promises of free education, abundance of jobs and free access to doctors lures them. They soon find out the depth of the lies of the propaganda, and life gets much, much harder. Masaji tells the story of his life in “paradise on earth”, and its brutality, the endless hunger, poverty and cruelty and his escape 36 years later. Continue reading