Educated by Tara Westover


An unforgettable memoir in the tradition of The Glass Castle about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge UniversityTara 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 s...

Details Educated

Release DateFeb 20th, 2018
PublisherRandom House
GenreNonfiction, Autobiography, Memoir

Reviews Educated

  • Diane S ☔
    She was the youngest of seven, one sister, five brothers. Raised on a mountain top in Idsho, by a survivalist father and midwife mother . Of the Mormon religion, her father preached the coming of the end days, intrusion by the government, built a bomb shelter, stockpiled fuel, food, guns. He ruled with an iron fist, the word of God and the family fell in line. Though there was another factor in her father's psyche that she wouldn't understand or ...
  • Lisa
    EDUCATEDTara WestoverMY RATING ⭐⭐⭐⭐▫PUBLISHER Random HousePUBLISHED February 20, 2018A gripping, heartbreaking memoir of a woman who, against all odds, overcomes immense family obstacles to gain an education, opening her eyes to a world she never knew existed. SUMMARYTARA WESTOVER never went to school, never saw a doctor and did not have a birth certificate. Her parents were Idaho survivalists, and wanted nothing to do with the governme...
  • Tammy
    Knowledge is power and Educated is a powerful memoir.
  • Lolly K Dandeneau
    via my blog:“There’s a world out there, Tara,” he said. “And it will look a lot different once Dad is no longer whispering his view of it in your ear.”The above quote is true, in a sense, for all children but more so in certain families. This was one of the most captivating memoirs I have ever read. Ideas can be dangerous, and children are nothing if not always at the mercy of their parents. They a...
  • Jennifer Blankfein
    Follow my reviews on The author’s coming of age in Educated is incredible, tragic, praiseworthy and monumental. From a young girl loving and believing everything her parents tell her to questioning their logic and actively pursuing different answers and other ways of thinking, Tara Westover has the inherent desire to know more. Reminiscent of The Glass Castle, Tara lives with her survivalist family in the mountains...
  • Mary Lange
    4.5 stars– a beautiful, heartbreaking and ultimately hopeful and redemptive tale of perseverance, and the power of education. Westover writes about the difficult things– mental illness, domestic abuse– with clarity and understanding, but also with deep compassion. I still cannot believe this is the work of a debut author, and I find myself pressing my copy into the hands of any/everyone who will listen. A half a star subtracted from an othe...
  • Willa
    I loved this book. I want to re-read it when it comes out. When I heard about certain moments and memories that Tara shares in this book before I had read it, I thought that the book would be interesting to read in those spaces of the extremes. I thought this will be little too outrageous, perhaps a little ridiculous. What I thought it was going to be was completely off base. Yes, the story shares some of Tara's memories that you might not think ...
  • Jamie
    It's September of 2017 as I write this, and yet I already know that in "Educated" I've found a book that will make my best of 2018 list. A good memoir takes you into a place that you don't know and shows you around; an exceptional one grabs you and doesn't let go until you feel like the author's singular story is universal. Tara Westover's childhood growing up on a mountain in Idaho with dangerously devout Mormon parents and brothers is not one I...
  • Marika
    This *can't put down* book is a mashup of The Glass Castle and Why Be Happy When You Could Be Normal?" The author grew up in an abusive home and whose father practiced his own brand of Mormonism. When you grow up so isolated you begin to think that what you are witnessing is normal. But abuse is never normal and Tara Westover has written a brilliant memoir on how her soul and eyes were opened. Highly recommend.I read a review copy and was not com...
  • Milka
    Educated by Tara Westover was one of my most anticipated releases of 2018 and it definitely did not disappoint.Tara Westover's memoir is filled with interesting family stories, heartbreak, resilience, strength, and much more. It is both touching and thought-provoking, personal yet universal. Tara Westover, Ph.D., was seventeen years old when she first set foot in a traditional classroom. Educated in an unconventional homeschooling system (unconve...
  • Renata
    This is a little hard for me to rate because I certainly am very moved by Tara Westover's journey and have a huge amount of respect for everything she overcame. This is a great book for reading and muttering "wow that's fucked up" to yourself.That said, it's hard for me not to compare this negatively to The Glass Castle--they're both somewhat similar stories of very difficult childhoods with charismatic but unstable fathers--but The Glass Castle ...
  • JennE
    I'd like to thank NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group for making this copy of Educated available. All opinions are my own.The Glass Castle meets Gap Creek and earns a PhD.Can I give this six stars?? More in-depth review to come.UPDATE: It took me about a week or so to digest and live in the words of this book and the incredible story of Tara Westover growing up with extremist parents that were against all things "unnatural" and how she ev...
  • Cat
    Just. Wow. No words, but I'll try. This was a moving, incredible story (as in, superbly written, raw, and full of events that strained my belief) about a woman who was raised in a strict, abusive, misogynistic, paranoid survivalist/conspiracist family whose children were not allowed to attend any school or ever be treated by doctors. She was 16/17 when she passed college admissions exams and began attending university classes (the first time she ...
  • McKenzie
    I don't know how to talk about this book yet. I've tried to explain how moved I was while reading it. How proud I am of Tara's journey so far, though we've never met. How haunted I feel by what she went through, and by the echoes of her experiences in my own life. I called my dad this morning, to thank him for raising me not just to value my education, but to pursue it. To chase after it. I can't keep the tears out of my eyes and I can't praise E...
  • Shannon A
    Tara's extraordinary experience is akin to a bittersweet love letter to the past. I have devoured every page in utter awe.A nearly unbelievable, astonishing & beautifully raw account of a life lived off the grid.
  • Kathi
    Love love love. I can't wait to re - read this when it comes out. I have so many conflicting emotions and thoughts about this family and their relationships and I don't understand much about this culture and religion and way of life, but my goodness was I drawn in unbelievably fast.
  • Susan
    "I am only seven, but I understand that it is this fact, more than any other, that makes my family different: we don't go to school."Tara Westover begins her memoir with this fact. It's typical of the book: not written in soaring prose, but stated factually. We learn much more about her upbringing. Her fundamentalist Mormon family is extreme in the extreme -- the family lives on a mountain, and Dad rules the roost in every way. He fears the gover...
  • Eleanor
    Tara Westover was raised in Idaho, the daughter of fundamentalist Mormon parents, in the wake of the tragic events at Ruby Ridge. Her father decreed that anything to do with the government was sinful, and kept Tara and her siblings from school and from access to medical care. Her mother, an herbalist and midwife, chose to be helpless to protect her children from his rages and turned a blind eye to the physical and emotional abuse one of Tara's br...
  • Meag McKeron
    I'm still trying to wrap my mind around this book. When you see the title "Educated," you automatically think "school," but by the end of Tara's memoir, the word holds much more weight. Life experiences, valuable role models and mentors, and constant self-discovery all contribute to a person's education, and no one's path to becoming educated is the same. Tara's unconventional path is a testament to that and should give hope to anyone who feels l...
  • Gilbert Saller
    Against the weight of a survivalist family, run by the heartbreaking delusions and legalism of a bipolar father, void of the safety and protection that should describe the word "family", Tara Westover journeys to set herself apart, earn an education, and ultimately die to an old version of herself to become stronger. Education can be powerful, and this is a powerful memoir.One reason I like reading memoirs and biographies is that they remind me t...
  • Lisa Guidarini
    Growing up sheltered from the outside world, her home birth unreported out of fear her father’s imagined “Illuminati” (i.e., the U.S. government) would swoop down and morally corrupt her, Tara Westover was the child of devout Mormon survivalists, marooned in the mountains of Idaho.Physically and mentally abused by her father and brothers, semi-neglected by a mother brain-damaged by an automobile accident, she grew up with little to knowledg...
  • Kathleen Brunnett
    A must read! I haven't been so captivated by a book in a long time. This memoir is the story of a girl who grew up in a survivalist Mormon family in Idaho. Her family didn't trust the public school system so she just never had an education, homeschool or otherwise. Her household was filled with injuries and physical and mental abuse. What is so captivating is that the author went on to graduate from BYU and earn a doctorate from Cambridge. Her wh...
  • Neanderthal
    Tara Westover recounts her childhood and youth in her family of fundamental Mormons in Idaho, but the memoir is not about Mormonism. Terrified by the events at Ruby Ridge, the Westovers strive to live off the grid, preparing for the End of Days, being born at home, not attending school or consulting doctors or nurses. Four of the seven children don't have birth certificates and Tara uses pseudonyms for her parents and most of her siblings."Gene,"...
  • Maggie Holmes
    A good memoir is like good fiction: the reader enters into the life of the author, feeling the emotions and experiencing the events. Educated by Tara Westover joins the club of great memoirs like The Glass Castle and Liar’s Club with a story of a girl who is part of a highly dysfunctional family but pushes through her doubts, her love and her distrust of herself to become her own person. Westover supplies visceral descriptions of her feelings d...
  • Janieh Hermann
    One of the best memoirs I have a read in a long time.
  • Cindy
    This author has accomplished more in the past 13 years than most could accomplish in multiple lifetimes. She pulled herself up and out of a fanatical survivalist family where she received no education for her first 16 years. At 16 she studied for the ACTs and was accepted and enrolled at BYU and eventually received her PhD in 2014 in Cambridge. Based on what she endured and overcame it is challenging for me to rank and review this book. Her spirt...
  • Kristen Beverly
    Wow. Wow wow wow wow wow! I just can’t even believe how amazing this book is. How proficient, how inspiring, how gut wrenching, how just purely amazing this book is. I could not put it down and I was rooting for Tara the whole way. By the end, she feels like a dear friend who is telling you her story & everything she has learned from life. You absolutely must read this book.
  • Meredithla
    Phenomenal read-in the class of The Glass Castle. It's a must-read!
  • Bri (
    This memoir had an effect on me and I want to recommend it to everyone. Educated by Tara Westover is a memoir about family obligations, systems of control, and the power of education. It was a hard, but good read. Westover grew up in a strict, Mormon household in rural middle America with parents who had their own interpretation of Mormonism that they proselytized to their children and used to condemn others' interpretations of divine faith, ...
  • librarianka
    Everybody loves survivors' memoirs. We especially like to cheer them on their way to freeing themselves and finally making it. Tara Westover's story is one such survivor's tale. What's unique about it is how she used the power of her intellect. This fantastically gifted, talented and brilliant young woman was deprived of a conventional education through normal schools by her extreme, paranoiac, religious zealot of a father who saw conspiracy of i...