Educated - Tara Westover


By Tara Westover

  • Release Date: 2018-02-20
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 5
From 1,291 Ratings


#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University

Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times

“A coming-of-age memoir reminiscent of The Glass Castle.”O: The Oprah Magazine

“Tara Westover is living proof that some people are flat-out, boots-always-laced-up indomitable.”USA Today

“The extremity of Westover’s upbringing emerges gradually through her telling, which only makes the telling more alluring and harrowing.”—The New York Times Book Review

Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father’s junkyard.

Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent.

When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing one’s closest ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.


  • By far one of the most thought provoking -

    By DKCMC
    Could not put this one down despite the anxiety the words produced. So much abuse the writer’s words are palpable. But this book is also healing. The depth of this writing is mesmerizing.
  • Amazing!

    By Ekthomps
    Truly awe- inspiring. This is my first recommendation when people ask me for a book to read.
  • Best book I have read in years

    By Michele in Memphis
    Have you ever been in a reading rut where you just weren’t interested enough in a book to finish it? Well that’s where I was before reading Educated. I could not put this book down... I think one thing that makes this book so compelling is that it is so relatable. While her story is from an extreme background she tells it in a way that you can relate to pieces of your own life. I have recommended this book to a few people who have all loved it too...
  • Educated

    By Nextdoor Junior
    A very well written and interesting story.Emotional and spell binding for the reader especially if you have never been exposed to a world like that, It was a quick read as I could not put the book down! I would like to read more stories from this author/historian,
  • WOW

    By Lolee r
    Great read! Could not put down.
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  • I couldn't put it down

    By Czrice
    I just read this stunning memoir. Educated is easily the best book I've read in ages. It's spectacularly written, and I am in awe of this amazing young woman. Kudos to an author I hope to read much more from in the future.
  • Educated

    By Lake Sky
    Family, relationships, memories, accuracies have are something we each possess. This magnificently written book explodes with self doubt, intimidation and the questioning of self confidence and belief in ones self. I highly recommend this autobiography.
  • Best read in a long time!

    By LE TAG
    Well written and extremely interesting and insightful.
  • Education ~ a memoir ~ and much more

    By LauristonA
    This story of the struggle of a child to understand and win her parents’ love is a powerful testimony of the strength of the human spirit to overcome all kinds of injury, physical and emotional. Her struggle, it seems, she will wrestle with for the rest of her life. And it seems that this same struggle was an important motivating factor in her educational achievements. A gripping story of how her innate brilliance came to be fulfilled.