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Tara Westover

Author of Educated: A Memoir

3+ Works 10,134 Members 515 Reviews 2 Favorited

About the Author

Tara Westover is an American author, based in the U.K. She was born in Idaho in 1986 and led a sheltered childhood. Her father did not believe in public education. She worked with her parents, becoming a self-taught herbalist and midwife. She did not attend a school until age seventeen. From there, show more went on to graduate from Brigham Young University, magna cum laude (2008) and won a Gates Cambridge Scholarship. She graduated from Trinity College, Cambridge (2009) with a Master of Philosophy degree. She was a visiting fellow at Harvard University in 2010. Later, she went back to Cambridge University and earned a PhD in history (2014). Her first book is entitled, Educated: A Memoir. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Works by Tara Westover

Associated Works

Educated, Hillbilly Elegy (2022) — Contributor — 2 copies
Educated [and] Where the Crawdads Sing (2019) — Contributor — 1 copy


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Common Knowledge



Just great ♥️ OR

It's hard to imagine a life like Tara's. This is what makes literature interesting; stories that transport you in faraway places with very different people. But Tara's is real. She said that while she was writing her story, she wasn't sure if she was writing the account of estrangement from her family or her path to education. It was both, because they were mutually exclusive. Her radical Mormon survivalist parents raised her and her brothers in a farm in Idaho without a birth certificate, doctors, or education. Tara was supposed to be homeschooled, but she wasnt. Her father believed in government conspiracies and the End of Days. Her mother treated near-fatal injuries with essential oils. As Tara went from that environment to attending BYU and then earning a PhD from Cambridge, she slowly learned to believe in her own truth, to make her own choices. But it was a very different world her family still lived in, one that she had to give up. This is not one to be missed!… (more)
Louisasbookclub | 514 other reviews | Jun 30, 2024 |
This book is a fantastic read, as everyone says, and is also supremely unsettling. Maybe because of my personal perspectives and reader empathy, this book was especially intense. It's written at an interesting distance that I don't see often in life writing: the reader isn't as close to Tara as they could be. There's a removed tone to the way the story is told, which is explained by and compliments her story perfectly. It's filled with violence and unstable mental states and maybe it's a subject most people don't want to get close to anyway.
I definitely recommend this book, but if you've already experienced a life of emotional manipulation, brace yourself.
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illarai | 514 other reviews | Jun 26, 2024 |
So far the best book I've read in 2020. Tara Westover has a unique way with words; her stories and anecdotes are incredibly fascinating. This memoir, in my understanding, shows how curiosity can bring someone to their success, and that family has a huge effect on a person's behaviors, biases, and beliefs.
heolinhdam | 514 other reviews | Jun 25, 2024 |
People like Tara Westover, author of "Educated: A Memoir," vividly remind us all about the innate potential in people and the indomitable human spirit. In this powerful and emotion-filled book, Tara explains what it was like to not only survive her unusual upbringing but to thrive in a way that was inconceivable to her younger self.

Raised by survivalist, conspiracy-theorist parents in rural Idaho, Tara never visited a doctor or attended school. She suffered direct abuse from her older brother and in some instances neglect from her parents. Believing there was more to life than what was offered to her on her family's mountain, Tara embarked on a course of self-study to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. She attended, in spite of her father's warning that the school was too liberal (!) Away from her family for the first time, Tara discovered just how much she didn't know and learned that much of what she had been told by her parents simply wasn't true. She continued her education -- eventually studying at both Oxford and Harvard.

Aside from her outward journey from Idaho to Utah and then the U.K. and beyond, Tara shares her inward journey. Where and how does she fit into her family? Can they accept her as she is -- and will they accept the truth she tries to get them to acknowledge?

Thank you to Netgalley and Random House for a galley of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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jj24 | 514 other reviews | May 27, 2024 |



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Associated Authors

J. D. Vance Contributor
Delia Owens Contributor
Julia Whelan Narrator
Silvija Brice Translator
Patrik Svensson Cover designer


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