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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, 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.


JENNIFER*** 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’s Mormon faith did not cause her father’s substantial paranoia; however, he used his faith to feed it. This family not only did not have insurance, they did not believe in accessing traditional medical care. Horrific accidents and illnesses abounded due to the father’s and one sibling’s risk-taking, and no one went to the doctor.

While the family was clearly having difficulty grappling with many things, I was struck by the love and devotion between them, even with the strained family dynamics. It was both fascinating and heartbreaking to watch those dynamics shift even more as Tara’s aspirations developed and were achieved.

Strength. Grit. Perseverance. Tara’s tenacity resulted in her leaving the farm at Buck’s Peak and enrolling in college, after never attending a day of school. Her words were upfront, bold, but never complaining or looking for pity.

Overall, I found Educated to be one of the most engaging, powerful, and inspiring memoirs I have read.

Thank you to Tara Westover, Random House, and Netgalley for this reading experience I will treasure. Educated is now available!

MATTHEW*** Every second of this book is enthralling!




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 events in this book we're taking place, I was living in Yellowstone National Park and frequently travelled to or through Idaho Falls, Pocatello, Salt Lake City and all points in between. This means I could have been mere miles away from the events in this book while they were taking place! Again, this seems impossible to me and I had to keep reminding myself that this was happening in my neck of the woods! And, because of this, my mind was repeatedly blown.

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 (and let's hope it isn't). By the end, she has to come to terms with balancing family bonds and having the strength to see past their warped sense of reality.

There's really no words to describe it, but I'd start with moving, inspiring, shocking and un-put-downable. Stop wasting your time reading this review and start reading the book! IT'S SO GOOD!!!

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.

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” despite the fact that she never attended school, and was barely homeschooled.
Her academic achievements were fascinating to read about, especially with all the turmoil in her life.

Recommended!!!!! What a story!

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House for the advanced ebook!

You will get the following files:

  • EPUB (2MB)
  • PDF (4MB)

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