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

Educated - Tara Westover Summary

Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, values, beliefs, and habits. Educational methods include storytelling, discussion, teaching, training, and directed research. Education frequently takes place under the guidance of educators and also learners may also educate themselves. Education can take place in formal or informal settings and any experience that has a formative effect on the way one thinks, feels, or acts may be considered educational. The methodology of teaching is called pedagogy. Formal education is commonly divided formally into such stages as preschool or kindergarten, primary school, secondary school and then college, university, or apprenticeship. A right to education has been recognized by some governments and the United Nations. In most regions, education is compulsory up to a certain age...

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Educated - Tara Westover Book Reviews (7,250)

mr sterling

Astounding and perhaps a little too creative3 star

I loved this book but began to have nagging doubts about it later. Perhaps truth mixed with fiction to keep it likely. Somehow the antagonists seem to rise from the dead miraculously. No real names and her interview on the news hour made her look like she was hiding something. 35

Missouri gabe

Educated5 star

Thought provoking, heart wrenching, raw honesty that pushes the reader to feel the heavy weight of violence and family dysfunction- a testament to the power and strength of the human spirit! 55


Educated is Powerful5 star

This book is extremely powerful and heartbreakingly beautiful. The raw emotion and turmoil that Tara faced through her life is more than many people could ever begin to handle. Not only did she handle it, she came out of it stronger than ever. Her perseverance is something to look up to. You won’t regret reading this. 55


Loved5 star

This book is wonderful on so many levels. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Could not put it down and was sad to see it end! 55


Educated5 star

OMG I just can’t begin to express how much I loved this book………its not a great story but it’s sooooo important. 55


Astonishing5 star

What a story. Had to keep reminding myself it was a memoir. Excellent 55


Amazing!5 star

I highly recommend this book! I read it in 2 days. The strength of the author amazes me. 55

Melodie Baker

Educated5 star

I loved this story. I couldn’t help but transcend to my own story or religious extremism and unintended manipulation. The pages turned by themselves. Interesting how a perspective of a white isolated Mormon girl could could reach a black southern baptist girl and almost seamlessly tell the story I’ve been hiding my entire life. Thank you Tara for releasing my self-mutilating desire to belong. 55


Educated1 star

Spectacular! Gripping. Couldn’t put down. Emotional and raw. I highly recommend. 15



I picked this book up on a Friday afternoon and finished it the very next day. Dr. Westover’s experiences as a child and young adult are daunting to the rest of us living in a less rural society and having been raised by people with less extreme views of government. I often wanted to throw the book down in disgust at her parent’s beliefs and lack of faith in their own daughter. It’s almost unbelievable to me that these type of people actually exist in this country today, yet this book is proof of their existence. If you are looking for a page-turner, look no further. This is it! I wonder if I am the only reader who felt that there were sexual undertones to the violence bestowed on Tara by her brother. He is obviously a psychopath. I just found it so odd that her parents had such a hard time admitting to her brother’s violent tendencies when they were there, witnessing it all along. It makes me wonder if Tara didn’t perhaps also allege a little more than just violent outbursts from her brother. Whatever the case, people in her family would do well to keep a wide birth around her brother, “Shawn”, who is capable of such extreme violence. He is one of those people whose temper will eventually land him in prison on a murder charge. A sick, psychopathic dog killer. To Dr. Westover, if you are reading this someday, I want to tell you what an inspiration you are to others and that your sacrifice was not in vain. Estrangement from family is always hard, no matter the circumstances. Whatever you do and however you decide to live your life, I wish you much peace and happiness. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I hope it brought you some measure of vindication to tell it. Be well and have a wonderful, happy life. You deserve it. 55


Gripping, Disturbing, Compelling5 star

(May contain information that could be perceived as a spoiler....) I devoured this memoir in two days and immediately recommended it to family. It is a deeply disturbing memoir of family ties, search for self, emotional and physical abuse and the amazing strength of the man spirit. I so admired Tara throughout the book for being a tough, bright young woman, who although was eager to please her family, also had a mind of her own. I literally cried multiple times through the book as she (and other family members) found herself (themselves) in near death accidents because of the negligence and arrogance of her father or the victim of abuse at the hands of her brother. It was maddening to read accounts of her going back home after feeling some satisfaction that she had “escaped”. In the end I have nothing but respect for her. She endured so much suppression, abuse and manipulation it is amazing she has accomplished what she has and can speak so eloquently about her experiences. I wish I could embrace her and thank her for sharing her story, and I truly hope that she is doing well. She will probably never read this, but if so, Tara, I believe every word you wrote and I think you made the right decisions in the end. You deserved so much more. You deserved to be protected from physical and emotional harm. You count as a person. I hope you are at peace and are happy with your life. 55


Educated5 star

AMAZING BOOK! So inspirational ❤️ 55

Dot in Boise

Astonishing5 star

Once you start reading Tara Westover’s story, don’t plan to do anything else until you finish. She brings the reader inside to live a story that most of could not otherwise even imagine. Wow! 55


Moving, tragic & beautiful5 star

A real account of family, determination, loss and self-love. Like a phoenix rising in the ash, we follow Tara on a painful journey to self-discovery and cheer for her miraculous education of life. 55


Education5 star

Mesmerizing, I read it in two days. I grew up in a very rural area with no abuse but breaking free from the place was very difficult. I could relate to those moments when you just couldn’t rationalize the culture anymore but could still love your family even if they felt they couldn’t trust you anymore. Thank you for this healing book and the bravery it took to write it and live it. 55

KT Reads

Amazing story, well told5 star

Loved this book for so many reasons--the efforts at accuracy, the careful prose, the use of tension and suspense. So much of this story is unbelievable to anyone with no experience of fundamentalism, mental illness, or dysfunctional families. But Westover brings it all to life with tenderness toward all. 55


Highly recommend5 star

A 55

Kirtan katie

Gripping5 star

Just spent a harrowing week reading this memoir. I’ll never forget this story, and the powerful characters within it. Especially because it’s a true story- or as true as can be from Memory. Thank you Tara for your courage. This is a tale of a survivor and I will recommend it to friends. 55


Educated5 star

Amazing! 55


Excellent5 star

In the same category as the Glass Castle. So tragic, so engaging, and so eye opening. Wow. 55

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