An unforgettable memoir in the tradition of The Liar's Club about a young girl, who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University.
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 “Tara’s story will find a place alongside modern classic memoirs like Wild and The Glass Castle. It’s that special.”—Susannah Cahalan, author of Brain on Fire
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 ties with those closest to you. 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.Advance praise for Educated
shines a light on a part of our country that we too often overlook. Tara Westover’s powerful tale—of trying to find a place for herself in the world, without losing her connection to her family or her beloved home—deserves to be widely read. My Mamaw would have been rooting for Tara.”—J. D. Vance, author of Hillbilly Elegy
“Breathtaking, heart-wrenching, inspirational—I’ve never read anything like this. Educated
tells the story of a young girl’s escape from violence and emotional prison. It is about the love of family and the pain of family both, the ferocity of the human spirit, and the power of education to change lives. Educated
is one of the best books, and Westover one of the most gifted writers, that I’ve read in a very long time.”—Amy Chua, Yale law professor and author of Political Tribes and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother
“A punch to the gut, a slow burn, a savage indictment, a love letter: Educated
somehow contrives to be all these things at once. Tara Westover guides us through the extraordinary western landscape of her coming of age, and in clear, tender prose makes us feel what she felt, growing up among fanatics. Rarely have I read a book that made me so uncomfortable, so enraged, and at the same time so utterly, entirely absorbed.”—Claire Dederer, author of Love and Trouble