Educated: A Memoir By Tara Westover


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Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention.

eBook Summary

Tara Westover was seventeen 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 metal in her
father’s junkyard.

Her father distrusted the medical establishment, 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 an older brother
became violent.

When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of
the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life.
She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the
ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied
psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first
time about pivotal 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 University.
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 from severing
one’s closest 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.


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