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Educated
Cover of Educated
Educated
A Memoir

For readers of The Glass Castle and Wild, a stunning new memoir about family, loss and the struggle for a better future

#1 International Bestseller

Tara Westover was seventeen when she first set foot in a classroom. Instead of traditional lessons, she grew up learning how to stew herbs into medicine, scavenging in the family scrap yard and helping her family prepare for the apocalypse. She had no birth certificate and no medical records and had never been enrolled in school.

Westover's mother proved a marvel at concocting folk remedies for many ailments. As Tara developed her own coping mechanisms, little by little, she started to realize that what her family was offering didn't have to be her only education. Her first day of university was her first day in school—ever—and she would eventually win an esteemed fellowship from Cambridge and graduate with a PhD in intellectual history and political thought.

For readers of The Glass Castle and Wild, a stunning new memoir about family, loss and the struggle for a better future

#1 International Bestseller

Tara Westover was seventeen when she first set foot in a classroom. Instead of traditional lessons, she grew up learning how to stew herbs into medicine, scavenging in the family scrap yard and helping her family prepare for the apocalypse. She had no birth certificate and no medical records and had never been enrolled in school.

Westover's mother proved a marvel at concocting folk remedies for many ailments. As Tara developed her own coping mechanisms, little by little, she started to realize that what her family was offering didn't have to be her only education. Her first day of university was her first day in school—ever—and she would eventually win an esteemed fellowship from Cambridge and graduate with a PhD in intellectual history and political thought.

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Awards-
About the Author-
  • TARA WESTOVER was born in rural Idaho in 1986. She received a BA in history from Brigham Young University in 2008 and was subsequently awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned an MPhil in intellectual history and political thought from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2009, and in 2010 she was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. She returned to Cambridge, where she received a PhD in history in 2014. She lives in England.

Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from December 11, 2017
    A girl claws her way out of a claustrophobic, violent fundamentalist family into an elite academic career in this searing debut memoir. Westover recounts her upbringing with six siblings on an Idaho farm dominated by her father Gene (a pseudonym), a devout Mormon with a paranoid streak who tried to live off the grid, kept four children (including the author) out of school, refused to countenance doctors (Westover’s mother, Faye, was an unlicensed midwife who sold homeopathic medicines), and stockpiled supplies and guns for the end-time. Westover was forced to work from the age of 11 in Gene’s scrap and construction businesses under incredibly dangerous conditions; the grisly narrative includes lost fingers, several cases of severe brain trauma, and two horrible burns that Faye treated with herbal remedies. Thickening the dysfunction was the author’s bullying brother, who physically brutalized her for wearing makeup and other immodest behaviors. When she finally escaped the toxic atmosphere of dogma, suspicion, and patriarchy to attend college and then grad school at Cambridge, her identity crisis precipitated a heartbreaking rupture. Westover’s vivid prose makes this saga of the pressures of conformity and self-assertion that warp a family seem both terrifying and ordinary.

  • Mail on Sunday "This remarkable story of triumphing over a survivalist upbringing is fit to stand alongside the great modern memoirs . . . Powerful . . . a compelling and ultimately joyous account of self-determination."
  • USA Today (four stars) "Tara Westover is living proof that some people are flat-out, boots-always-laced-up indomitable . . . a heartbreaking, heartwarming, best-in-years memoir."
  • The Globe and Mail "Extraordinary."
  • Ellen DeGeneres "Incredible . . . a powerful book . . . beautiful."
  • The New York Times "The extremity of Westover's upbringing emerges gradually through her telling, which only makes the telling more alluring and harrowing."
  • Daily Mail (UK) "Jaw dropping."
  • Canadian Living "Fascinating . . . this book is a testament to willpower and freedom in knowledge."
  • Winnipeg Free Press "A story of resiliency amid many obstacles, including shame, violence, mental illness, family dysfunction and betrayal."
  • Los Angeles Times "This harrowing memoir shows a young woman's grit melding her work ethic and dazzling intellect as she freed herself from the narratives imposed on her by family and her constricted world—all to achieve a fact-based, enchanting life of the mind, a true education."
  • National Post "In the long process of escape, [Westover] acquired an independent sense of self, an ability to choose what she wants to be . . . A detailed and touching–sometimes harrowing–account."
  • Financial Times "The story of a transformation so courageous, so entire, as to beggar belief . . . Westover's triumph in forging a grounded self, and a coherent narrative, from such a maelstrom."
  • The Economist "A riveting memoir of a brutal upbringing . . . That someone who grew up in [Westover's] circumstances could achieve as much as she has is astonishing."
  • The Guardian "A powerful memoir . . . extraordinary."
  • Daily Mail (UK) "Astonishing, harrowing and brave . . . a shocking and powerfully moving memoir . . . It is remarkable that she has lived to tell the tale."
  • San Francisco Chronicle "Astounding."
  • Wall Street Journal "Fascinating."
  • Vanity Fair "Westover's story is as much about her difficult childhood and what it's like to grow up on fringe beliefs as it is about seeing the world through the eyes of a singular, intelligent, and observant person."
  • CBS This Morning "I've never read a story like this . . . amazing."
  • Publishers Weekly (starred review) "[A] searing debut memoir. . . . Westover's vivid prose makes this saga of the pressures of conformity and self-assertion that warp a family seem both terrifying and ordinary."
  • Oprah.com (Best Book) "A coming-of-age memoir reminiscent of The Glass Castle."
  • Psychology Today "A deeply inspiring and thought-provoking read on the fire within each and every one of us to overcome adversity should we fight hard enough for it."
  • Entertainment Weekly "One of the year's very biggest books."
  • Sunday Times "A memoir to stand alongside classics by the likes of Jeanette Winterson and Lorna Sage . . . a compelling and ultimately joyous account of self-determination."
  • Parade (A Best Book of the Year) "The power of an education shines in Westover's memoir of overcoming her incredibly harsh upbringing in favor of academia."
  • Sydney Morning Herald "Astonishing . . . You will be amazed at her upbringing and mightily impressed by her strength of character."
  • The Atlantic "Ane of the most dazzling books of 2018."
  • Amy Chua, Yale Law professor and author of Political Tribes and Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother "Breathtaking, heart-wrenching, inspirational. . . A powerful, jaw-dropper of a book . . . Educated is one of the best books, and Westover one of the most...
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Educated
A Memoir
Tara Westover
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