Educated: A Memoir (Hardcover)

Staff Pick Badge
Educated: A Memoir Cover Image
$28.00
On Our Shelves Now
4 on hand, as of Nov 20 9:31am
(Best Seller)

Staff Reviews


I haven’t read a memoir this gripping since The Glass Castle. Tara Westover grew up in a dysfunctional family, to put it mildly. Her father, who likely has  bipolar disorder, thinks of himself as a great defender of the Mormon faith, proclaiming his family’s independence from the government, modern medicine, and the sinful world outside. Tara didn’t receive a birth certificate until she was 9 years old, never attended a day of school, and relied entirely on her mother’s homeopathic medicine even for serious injuries. This all changed when she decided to take the ACT, earning a high enough score to enter BYU, where she could see more clearly than ever just how lacking her education had been. As Tara moves further into the world of academia, she may have to leave everything about her past behind her. If you like this, you may also enjoy Breaking Free by Rachel Jeffs, and Under the Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer.

- Recommended by Megan

— From May Staff Picks to Get You Ready for Summer!

This is a fantastic read - one of the most personal and interesting memoirs I’ve read. Tara Westover grew up not going to school, not seeing doctors, working in a junkyard and preparing for the end of the world. Her transition from this life to being a college-educated historian is a heart wrenching yet beautiful journey.  In her writing, you can tell that Tara still has so much love, as well as confusion, for her family, and I hope that this isn’t the last we hear from her - her story is not over, you can tell. Emotional and moving, this story of self-invention will inspire you.

  • Recommended by Marissa

— From August Staff Picks to Conclude Your Summer

I haven’t read a memoir this gripping since The Glass Castle. Tara Westover grew up in a dysfunctional family, to put it mildly. Her father, who likely has bipolar disorder, thinks of himself as a great defender of the Mormon faith, proclaiming his family’s independence from the government, modern medicine, and the sinful world outside. Tara didn’t receive a birth certificate until she was 9 years old, never attended a day of school, and relied entirely on her mother’s homeopathic medicine even for serious injuries. This all changed when she decided to take the ACT, earning a high enough score to enter BYU, where she could see more clearly than ever just how lacking her education had been. As Tara moves further into the world of academia, she may have to leave everything about her past behind her.  

If you like this you will like this: Breaking Free, Under the Banner of Heaven

Recommended by Megan (She is Off the Beaten Path’s Café Manager and a Circulation Assistant at Bud Werner)

— From The ULTIMATE Holiday List of Favorites!

March 2018 Indie Next List


“Tara Westover is barely 30; could she really write a necessary and timely memoir already? Absolutely. Raised largely 'off the grid' in rural Idaho - without school, doctor visits, a birth certificate, or even a family consensus on the date of her birth - Tara nevertheless decides she wants to go to college. This is a story in two parts: First, Tara's childhood working in a dangerous scrapyard alongside her six siblings, her survivalist father, and her mother, a conflicted but talented midwife and healer, while fearing Y2K and the influence of the secular world; then, her departure from her mountain home to receive an education. Both halves of her story are equally fascinating. Educated is a testament to Tara's brilliance and tenacity, a bittersweet rendering of how family relationships can be cruel or life-saving, and a truly great read from the first page to the last.”
— Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC

Description


#1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW • ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR • BILL GATES’S HOLIDAY READING LIST • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S AWARD IN AUTOBIOGRAPHY • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK • FINALIST FOR THE PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD • FINALIST FOR THE LOS ANGELES BOOK PRIZE

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post O: The Oprah MagazineTime • NPR • Good Morning America San Francisco ChronicleThe Guardian The Economist Financial TimesNewsdayNew York PosttheSkimmRefinery29BloombergSelfReal Simple Town & CountryBustlePastePublishers WeeklyLibrary JournalLibraryReadsBookRiot • Pamela Paul, KQED • New York Public Library


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

Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her 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. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

“Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Tara Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue


“Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.”—The New York Times Book Review

About the Author


Tara Westover was born in Idaho in 1986. She received her BA from Brigham Young University in 2008 and was subsequently awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She earned an MPhil from Trinity College, Cambridge, in 2009, and in 2010 was a visiting fellow at Harvard University. She returned to Cambridge, where she was awarded a PhD in history in 2014. Educated is her first book.

Praise For…


“Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.”The New York Times Book Review

“Westover is a keen and honest guide to the difficulties of filial love, and to the enchantment of embracing a life of the mind.”The New Yorker

“An amazing story, and truly inspiring. It’s even better than you’ve heard.”—Bill Gates

“Heart-wrenching . . . a beautiful testament to the power of education to open eyes and change lives.”—Amy Chua, The New York Times Book Review

“A coming-of-age memoir reminiscent of The Glass Castle.”O: The Oprah Magazine

“Westover’s one-of-a-kind memoir is about the shaping of a mind. . . . In briskly paced prose, she evokes a childhood that completely defined her. Yet it was also, she gradually sensed, deforming her.”The Atlantic

“Tara Westover is living proof that some people are flat-out, boots-always-laced-up indomitable. Her new book, Educated, is a heartbreaking, heartwarming, best-in-years memoir about striding beyond the limitations of birth and environment into a better life. . . . ★★★★ out of four.”USA Today

“[Educated] left me speechless with wonder. [Westover’s] lyrical prose is mesmerizing, as is her personal story, growing up in a family in which girls were supposed to aspire only to become wives—and in which coveting an education was considered sinful. Her journey will surprise and inspire men and women alike.”Refinery29

“Riveting . . . Westover brings readers deep into this world, a milieu usually hidden from outsiders. . . . Her story is remarkable, as each extreme anecdote described in tidy prose attests.”—The Economist

“A subtle, nuanced study of how dysfunction of any kind can be normalized even within the most conventional family structure, and of the damage such containment can do.”Financial Times

“Whether narrating scenes of fury and violence or evoking rural landscapes or tortured self-analysis, Westover writes with uncommon intelligence and grace. . . . One of the most improbable and fascinating journeys I’ve read in recent years.”—Newsday


Coverage from NPR

Product Details
ISBN: 9780399590504
ISBN-10: 0399590501
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: February 20th, 2018
Pages: 352
Language: English