Educated - Tara Westover


By Tara Westover

  • Release Date: 2018-02-20
  • Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Score: 5
From 980 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.


  • Educated

    By Salazar7
    Great read! Enjoyed Westover's style and how she believed in herself! Characters and story were captivating.
  • Shine Through

    By SDWill
    What incredible courage, strength and sensitivity shine through this memoir. I can only thank Ms. Westover for the gift she has given everyone who reads her story. THANK YOU!
  • Best memoir I’ve read in a long time

    By Rayne5656
    First time writing a review, but I just want Tara to know people are rooting her on. This book was so powerful and inspirational to me; even though my story is much different, Tara’s words injected so much hope and resilience in my own life. Thank you for the gift of YOU and you’re truly making an impact on this world. I read the book in a few days because it was so good. I definitely recommend it! P.S. I can’t wait to hear about the second part of your life and hope you write again someday!
  • Educated

    By FulltimeDonna
    Excellent book. One of the best books I’ve read!
  • Excellent book

    By T-DIZZLE⚡️⚡️☁️⚡️⚡️
    From page 1 I was captured by both this incredible true story and the author’s extraordinary ability to tell it. The reader is given insight not just into Mormonism but fundamental religiosity and its impact on the family. A gripping tale of a woman’s journey of overcoming an unimaginable childhood to find peace and purpose in adulthood.
  • Wow

    By TaraBaraCO
    I couldn’t put this book down. It was inspiring to read how the author overcame such a horrific family life to end up where she has. I found this book to be magnificent.
  • Consumed

    By karbie1985
    I’m not Mormon. I’m not from Idaho. But, this book, with a different setting in a different era, was my life. I understood the nervous laughter. I felt the embarrassment and then the shame of being embarrassed. Written beautifully and painfully, I highly recommend.
  • An Education

    By B5A7
    From grueling circumstances arise truly extraordinary people. Tara Westover took me on the journey of her life and illuminated rural fundamentalist American culture. Tragedy is overcome by great people, sometimes from those you least expect. The sense of what is ‘moral’ both destroy and come to the rescue in this incredible story. It left me laughing at times and crying at others. Educated is the most remarkable and courageous memoir that I have read.
  • This was unbelievably good!

    By KazeeKam
    A truly inspiring story that makes you believe that you can overcome any obstacle and become whoever you dream to be, despite your childhood circumstances! I was in awe of this woman for the entirety of the book. So well written. Her stories are branded in my mind.
  • Wow

    By allTmighty
    I liked this book for what it was. In some ways i found myself somewhat in correlation to Tara. Her experiences from her family life and her education experience were definitely worlds apart. I loved her courage to not let her background destroy her future but in reality drive her to her future. That is something I found played an important part of her education. It was almost like her background encouraged her unbeknownst to her, along with people on her journey she became exposed to. I find that this book is great motivation for anyone struggling between their past and future. Great book to say the least!