Educated by Tara Westover


By Tara Westover

  • Release Date: 2018-02-20
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 5
From 182 Ratings
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#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

“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
“Westover brings readers deep into this world, a milieu usually hidden from outsiders.”—The Economist

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.


  • Excellent read with inspiring themes

    By Dldarcy
    It was difficult to put this book down. The author is such a brave women who was haunted by the perils of strict religiosity. In the end, she was able to break away from the struggles of devout Mormonism. She writes with such clarity and it reminds me to pursue truths that define who I’m trying to be.
  • Wow

    By Conchytonkin
    A harrowing account of a woman’s survival of childhood. It will definitely guide my thoughts and interactions with my own daughters.
  • What a ride

    By Destingator
    If this is truth, which I haven’t tried to verify, then we’ve got a pretty extraordinary talent here. If it’s fiction, I’m looking forward to the next book. Either way, bravo.
  • Incredible story

    By Person1560
    This story is so incredible that at points I would forget it was a memoir. Truly inspirational, and a great examination of complicated family ties
  • ‘Educated’

    By m.simpleton
    I am an avid reader of many genres. Rarely do I sit with a book and read it in an unrelenting manner. This book made me do that. The stunning and heartbreaking reveals, shared by Ms. Westover, were truly shocking, humbling and inspiring. The destructive power of faith and family, displayed on these pages, makes me cringe. She becomes a classical hero in the truest sense. I thank her substantially...
  • Unable To Put It Down

    By Ellywriter
    Tara’s memoir reads like you are living her story. I felt as though I was experiencing her pain, numbness, fear, or inquisitions. She did a fabulous job of honoring truth, whatever it was and, whomever it belonged to. I related to her parents story as it helped me better understand my own father and the role he takes with his spouse against his children (much as I see Tara’s mother do with her husband and children). Truly a remarkable young woman!
  • Gripping and Heartbreaking

    By CherryPie0420
    Educated was incredibly hard for me to read and yet at the same time I couldn't put it down. I read it in two days! It was absouletely gripping. To read of the abuse that Tara endured made me sick to my stomach, and brought back memories from my own abuse. I felt angry that she had to go through what she went through, but I am so glad that she fought for herself, and her education, and got herself out of a horrible situation. Her memoir gives hope to those who feel like they are in hopeless situations and proves that you can overcome any obstacle, no matter how big. Highly recommend!
  • Like entering another world

    By Iowa Liberal
    Fascinating and well written. I read it in one day.
  • Amazing, encouraging, thought provoking.

    By rottenflower
    It’s not often that I’ll rate a book at 5, but this book took hold of me from the first page. I look forward to future works from this author.
  • I’d recommend this if you’re at all interested in a journey of self-discovery - it’s raw and honest

    By RoadrunnerReader
    I'm about to recommend this to a friend of mine who grew up in very similar circumstances. Not so bad as Tara describes, but bad enough. It's hard for me to read stuff like this but it's vital for people like Tara to tell their stories. I was not home schooled, but I am a proponent of home schooling. I think that it permits children to have more personal attention than being stuffed into a classroom of 35 children, as I was in eighth grade in one of the best school districts in America. I think Tara demonstrates how dangerous it can be for people to be homeschooled and held back from reality. It's really, really hard for me to read this.