Number-one New York Times best seller
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 17 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 in her father's junkyard.
Her father forbade hospitals, 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 one of Tara's older brothers became violent.
Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important 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. 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 with severing the closest of 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.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Born on a remote Idaho mountain, Tara Westover endured a crazily rough childhood in a survivalist family: her father was a self-proclaimed prophet, her mother was an herbal healer, and the children were kept isolated and off the grid. Actress Julia Whelan’s calm, unblinking narration of Westover’s jaw-dropping story drives home the specific and sometimes-gruesome horrors of Westover’s upbringing. But this story about the thirst for knowledge and a formal education also gets at universal yearnings. Like Cheryl Strayed’s bestseller Wild, Educated maps out a woman’s inspiring journey to overcome internal and external fears and save herself.