Educated by Tara Westover


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, ...

Details Educated

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

Reviews Educated

  • Will Byrnes
    On the highway below, the school bus rolls past without stopping. I am only 7, but I understand that it is this fact more than any other that makes my family different. We don't go to school. Dad worries that the government will force us to go, but it can't because it doesn't know about us. Four of my parents' seven children don't have birth certificates. We have no medical records because we were born at home and have never seen a doctor or nurs...
  • Bill Gates
    I’ve always prided myself on my ability to teach myself things. Whenever I don’t know a lot about something, I’ll read a textbook or watch an online course until I do.I thought I was pretty good at teaching myself—until I read Tara Westover’s memoir Educated. Her ability to learn on her own blows mine right out of the water. I was thrilled to sit down with her recently to talk about the book.Tara was raised in a Mormon survivalist home ...
  • Angela M
    Difficult to read. Impossible to put down. A powerful, powerful book that you shouldn’t miss. I can’t just leave it at that because Tara Westover’s story deserves more than those few words. I don’t often read memoirs, but when I do I want them to be told by extraordinary people who have a meaningful story to tell and that would be faint praise for this book. It sounds odd to say how beautifully written this is because we are not spared of...
  • Emily May
    What an interesting fantasy novel.I'm kidding. I think. Some parts of this do seem farfetched, such as how an uneducated mountain wildgirl clicked her heels together, magicked up thousands of dollars (yeah, yeah, scholarships don't cover everything, you know), and went on to some of the world's most prestigious higher education centres. Intelligence is not the main thing required to attend Harvard or Cambridge; being able to pass exams and perfor...
  • Marialyce
    2 stars and I know, I am an outlier.I have been born with a gene called the "doubting Thomas" gene. It has made me very leery of trusting and believing a lot of things and unfortunately this gene kicked in big time in this story billed as a memoir.While I do believe that the things described by Tara Westover might have happened, I also have to think that this was a book of childhood memories. Sometimes, as children, we distort the truth, and some...
  • Debra
    "It's strange how you give the people you love so much power over you"I am in the minority on this one, but this did not blow me away. I wanted to read this after seeing so many high ratings. I was expecting to love this book but ended up feeling meh about it. I actually wanted to hurry the book up in parts and other times found it to be a little repetitive. There were other times I wanted her to go into more detail or explain things more. One th...
  • Emily (Books with Emily Fox)
    I had a really tough time reading this book.The physical and emotional abuse made me want to put it down and forget about it. The manipulation, the abuse she went through left me speechless. While not unique, family issues are still so taboo. Brainwashing your own self into thinking it's your fault, that it wasn't that bad or that you imagined it will hit way too close for comfort for a lot of people.The author's writing was beautiful and her cou...
  • Matthew
    Every second of this book is enthralling!EVERY.SINGLE.SECOND.The tales in here are true. The stories are mind-blowing. The events are not from a time long ago - they happened in the past 20 years! You will have to keep reminding yourself of that because the mindset and ideas discussed sound antiquated, but they are alive and kicking . . . and that is just crazy!One thing that brought this story close to home is that at the time a lot of the event...
  • Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader
    5 brilliant stars to Educated! 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 I grew up in a home of readers with a teacher mom and a dad who questioned my effort when I made an A-minus on my report card. When I began reading Educated, I was floored that Tara and her siblings were not in school, and they were not homeschooled either. How could this happen in modern times with compulsory schooling put in place long ago? Tara made it clear from the start that her family...
  • Miranda Reads
    New Month, New Tier List! Click Here to see all the books read in April and where they rank!Onwards to the written review! “You can love someone and still choose to say goodbye to them,” she says now. “You can miss a person every day, and still be glad that they are no longer in your life.” Tara Westover lived her life like everyday was her last - literally. Her dad was a doomsday prepper.She spent her childhood stockpiling supplies, sc...
  • Elyse Walters
    Tara Westover’s book “Educated” is a distressing & discomforting - alarming & startling exposure of her Mormon fundamentalist family. “Educated” is a memoir of nonfiction - but names and identifying details have been changed. Aaron, Audrey, Benjamin, Erin, Faye, Gene, Vanessa, Judy, Peter, Sadie, Shannon, Shawn, Susan, Robert, and Robin are pseudonyms. Tara tells us in her authors notes: “This is not about Mormonism. Neither is it abo...
  • Darwin8u
    "Not knowing for certain, but refusing to give way to those who claim certainty, was a privilege I had never allowed myself. My life was narrated for me by others. Their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. It had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs."- Tara Westover, Educated: A MemoirThis book feels like it was written by a sister, a cousin, a niece. Tara Westover grew up a few mountains over from my dad's Heglar...
  • PorshaJo
    This one first came to my attention via a GR review. I thought wow, I need to read this now. The wonderful Traveling Sisters group set it up as a slow read and I was in. Grabbed a copy from NetGalley and was ready to go. BUT.....and a big BUT......I didn't like this one, I had to force myself to finish. Had it not been for the group read, I'm sure I would have DNF'd this one.So I'm probably in the minority in not liking this one. It was more of a...
  • Liz
    I grew up with my nose perpetually in a book. So, the idea of not being able to go to school, of being deprived of an education, hit me really hard. It was hard for me to grasp that things I take for granted, like knowing what the Holocaust was or who MLK, Jr. was, were black holes to Tara. Tara Westover is the child of a religious fanatic, someone who sees the government as pure evil. And by government, he means schools, hospitals, vaccines, sea...
  • Cindy Pham
    So good. So good. SO GOOD. Ok, I'll try to elaborate. Tara Westover's memoir is incredibly engrossing not just because of the rollercoaster of traumatic events that occur throughout her life, but also because of her ability to weave humanity and complicated familial relationships in her portrayal of events. While it's easy to take these events and market it like a thriller novel, it's that sense of reflection and poignancy in her carefully crafte...
  • Justin Tate
    A monumental memoir that should be required reading for all. The description doesn't do it justice. It's not about getting a PhD, it's about growing up in a family that doesn't believe in school, thinks doctors are a part of a sociologist conspiracy, and that any day the government will shoot them dead--if the end of times don't come first. The experiences Tara describes are horrific, yet oddly relatable--even if your family is nothing like hers ...
  • Maxwell
    Everything about this book amazed me. I will not stop thinking about this book for a very, very long time. I don't think I can even do this proper justice in a review other than telling everyone to go out and READ THIS BOOK! Easiest 5 stars ever. Loved it.
  • emma
    To be honest, I don’t even know why I’m bothering to review this.There is no scenario in which I am a more trusted source than Obama, Oprah, the New York Times Book Review, and the Goodreads Choice Awards combined, and if they’ve all already told you to read this (which they have) then I don’t know why my recommendation would push this whole thing over the edge for you.If I am a more trusted source than all of those, then I just don’t k...
  • Debbie
    5 OMG How did she end up alive and educated? stars[News flash: I see that this review is WAY too long! I’m such a blabbermouth! Feel free to skip sections. I went way overboard. Geez….]Tara did a lot more than ride a pogo stick to get from a junkyard in Idaho to a Ph.D. in Cambridge.Meanwhile, I’m bouncing on mine, going high and far to escape her whacked-out father and super-scary psycho brother. Plus, face it, I bring out the pogo stick w...
  • jessica
    ‘my life was narrated for me by others. their voices were forceful, emphatic, absolute. it had never occurred to me that my voice might be as strong as theirs.’ i would generally consider myself to be a reserved person. i dont tend to actively share my thoughts, feelings, beliefs, or opinions. personal things like that, i usually to keep to myself. but after reading this book, it would be a shame to not express, in some form, how important i ...
  • Linda
    I must tell you.......Educated: A Memoir scalded the very edges of my soul. It took me through a whole gamut of my own emotions from belief to disbelief, from hesitation to doubt to wariness, and most importantly, from the weightiness of compassion and empathy to the restrictions of frustration and anger.Tara Westover tells her story straight out through the reflections seen by her own eyes, her own jagged experiences, and in her own words. As yo...
  • Tatiana
    I don't want to disregard Tara Westover's life experiences or not believe her, so I am going have to settle on one of two options: 1) either she is not a very good writer;2) or her memories are often faulty and/or selective, with an emphasis on the macabre and tragic, which is understandable I guess.Much of Tara's misfortunes and fortunes seem to make no sense, or not explained well in the context of her life story. There are multiple miraculous ...
  • Karen
    Wow! Tara Westgrove is one of the strongest, and bravest people I have ever read about! This woman grew up as the youngest child in a big survivalist, Mormon family, in Idaho at Buck Peak. So much danger for her in that life, mostly because of her father and one of her older brothers.This memoir is so brutal at times and hard to read, your heart just breaks for this girl, and for some of her siblings.Tara rises up to become extremely “educated...
  • j e w e l s
    FIVE STARSThis is one of those books that I can't stop talking about. Literally. My dental hygienist even wrote it down because she asked me for a good book recommendation. She likes biographies. YASSSSSSSSS! I'M READING THE BEST MEMOIR EVER!!! YOU MUST BUY IT TODAY!!! (That was in between spitting and rinsing, of course.) I love memoirs written by unusual people. Tara Westover is not only highly educated, but she is stubborn as a bulldog and pul...
  • karen
    oooh, goodreads choice awards semifinalist for best memoir/autobiography 2018! what will happen?this is one of those “eeeeveryone is reading it” books that i always come in too late on, since i rarely read nonfiction and it takes me a while to jump onto nonfiction bandwagons. but here i am, way behind the rest of y’all on the oregon trail, probably riddled with dysentery. or that. which is probably a good place to dive into this review, bec...
  • Barry Pierce
    Every year, in order for the publishing industry to survive, one poor traumatised adult must delve deep into the blocked recesses of their minds and produce the Next Top Abuse Memoir. It’s a tradition as old as and as common as Christmas. One could argue we all have Joan Crawford to blame for this. Christina Crawford’s book Mommie Dearest acted as a shocking exposé of the once respected actress and described, in campy detail, Crawford’s le...
  • Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
    So this book is billed as being along the same lines as The Glass CastleMy little nothing opinion falls around something like this. Tara grows up in a different kind of family. Her dad knows that the end of the world is coming and makes sure his family is always ready. He has them preparing food constantly, digs a shelter, does not believe in association with anything government (including doctors) is a midwife that practices with herbal ...
  • Carol (Bookaria)
    I was blown away by this book. I finished it a few days ago and can’t stop thinking about it.Tara Westover grew up under the watchful eye of a survivalist and fundamentalist family. Her parents did not believe in sending children to school for fear of being brainwashed, they did not believe in doctors, hospitals or medication. Whenever a member of the family was injured they would be treated at home with tinctures, herbs, and homemade remedies....
  • Larry H
    Wow.Harrowing, heartbreaking, and ultimately triumphant, Educated is at times difficult to read and not at all what I expected, but I couldn't tear myself away from it."Mother had always said we could go to school if we wanted. We just had to ask Dad, she said. Then we could go. But I didn't ask. There was something in the hard line of my father's face, in the quiet sigh of supplication he made every morning before he began family prayer, tha...
  • BlackOxford
    That Cool Mountain AirTara Westover In Education tells a tale remarkably like that of Jeanette Walls in The Glass Castle ( - of incompetent parents, child endangerment, and not infrequent life-threatening physical injury. Both women survive and thrive sufficiently to write about their experiences with some considerable elegance and wit. But while the psychological traumas of each woman are similar, the soc...