Tara Westover grew up preparing for the End of Days, watching for the sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood. She spent her summers bottling peaches and her winters rotating emergency supplies, hoping that when the World of Men failed, her family would continue on, unaffected.
She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in doctors or hospitals. According to the state and federal government, she didn’t exist.
As she grew older, her father became more radical, and her brother, more violent. At sixteen TAra decided to educate herself. Her struggle for knowledge would take her far from her Idaho mountains, over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d travelled 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 the severing of the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted, from her singular experience, a universal coming-of-age story, one 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.
About the Author
Tara Westover was born in rural Idaho. She studied history at Brigham Young University and upon graduation was awarded a Gates Cambridge Scholarship to study at Trinity College, Cambridge, where she pursued an MPhil in intellectual history and political thought. She received her PhD in the same subject from Cambridge in 2014.
"A memoir to stand alongside classics by the likes of Jeanette Winterson and Lorna Sage . . . a compelling and ultimately joyous account of self-determination" * Sunday Times *
"A dazzling example of what you can achieve if you set your mind to something...an inspirational, truly unique coming-of-age tale" * BBC Ones to Watch in 2018 *
"[A] superb memoir... Westover's journey from a remote corner of the American west to one of the world's grandest seats of learning is extraordinary . . . Her story, of fighting to be herself, is as old as the hills she came from, but Westover gives us such a fresh, absorbing take that it deserves to bring her own private Idaho into the bestseller lists, book groups and, eventually, cinemas." * The Times *
"Westover has a story to tell that shouldn't be ignored" * The Guardian *
"Her story is remarkable, as each extreme anecdote described in tidy prose attests. That someone who grew up in her circumstances could achieve as much as she has is astonishing . . . The central tension she wrestles with throughout her book is how to be true to herself without alienating her family. Her upbringing was extraordinary, but that struggle is not." * The Economist *