“Educated: a memoir”, describes the incredible but unusual life story of Tara Westover. Tara grows up in a Mormon Survivalist Home, isolated from the rest of the world. This book tells her journey from a strict and abusive childhood in rural Idaho to earning a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. Westover was raised by survivalist parents who kept her and her siblings isolated from the outside world and never allowed them to attend school. Instead, they were required to work in the family scrap metal business, which involved dangerous and grueling work. Westover’s father, Gene, was a violent and controlling man who inflicted physical and emotional abuse on his children and wife. Despite these challenges, Westover was determined to get an education and eventually managed to escape her oppressive household and pursue her dreams.

The road to obtaining an education was not easy for Westover. She faced numerous setbacks and obstacles, including her own lack of formal education and ongoing conflicts with her family over her decision to pursue higher learning. Despite these challenges, Westover was determined and resilient, and she eventually managed to earn her GED and enroll in college. From there, she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree and eventually a Ph.D. in history from Cambridge University.

Throughout the book, Westover grapples with the trauma of her past and the difficult process of reconciling her identity and her relationships with her family. “Educated” is a powerful and inspiring story of resilience, determination, and the transformative power of education. It’s a must-read for anyone who has ever faced challenges or adversity and persevered in pursuit of their dreams.

Before she turned 17 years old, Tara never received any proper schooling. After long hours of self-study she is permitted to university. Eventually she makes her way to Harvard and Cambridge. In this memoir you read about this fascinating journey in which she tries to adapt to a world that for us has become so normal and daily.

Reading List: Trauma

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Educated in numbers:


197 x 128 x 26 mm



People involved:


  • 2021: Indiebound’s Indie Biography & Memoir Bestseller List
  • 2019: American Library Association’s (ALA) Top Ten Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults
  • 2019: Outstanding Books for the College Bound
  • 2019: Westover chosen by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of 2019
  • 2018: The National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography
  • 2018: One of The New York Times 10 Best Books
  • 2018: Amazon Editors’ pick for the Best Book of 2018
  • Named the Book of the Year by the American Booksellers Association
  • Finalist for the John Leonard Prize from the National Book Critics Circle
  • Finalist for the Autobiography Award from the National Book Critics Circle
  • Finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize in Biography
  • Finalist for PEN/America’s Jean Stein Award
  • Finalist for the American Booksellers Association Audiobook of the Year Award
  • Finalist for Barnes & Noble’s Discover Great Writers Award
  • Long-listed for the Carnegie Medal of Excellence
  • Apple’s Best Memoir of the Year
  • Audible’s Best Memoir of the Year
  • Bill Gates’s Holiday Reading list
  • Hudson Group Best Book of the Year
  • Barack Obama’s pick for summer reading and his Favorite Books of the Year list
  • Educated named one of the Best Books of the year by The Washington Post, O, The Oprah Magazine, Time, NPR, Good Morning America, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, The Economist, Financial Times, The New York Post, The Skimm, Bloomberg, Real Simple, Town & Country, Bustle, Publishers Weekly, The Library Journal, Book Riot, and the New York Public Library.

List of awards

Educated: A Memoir is one of the most appreciated books by the community. Find some of the nominations and awards it has won.

In 2021, Lisanne recommended “Educated: A Memoir” by Tara Westover and said…

“Tara’s story is now on my personal reading list and it´s the ultimate example of how complex family ties can be sometimes. But the story is also about how powerful faith and education can be – the ability to see life as it is and then imagine a different life.”

Five stars!

I was able to read this book and it touched me to the core and I came out of it as a changed person. Very few books have ever had that effect on me, and it is relevant on so many levels. It will encourage people to be true to themselves and not keep dark secrets under wraps they suffered as children, often causing pain they carry for a lifetime and in many cases destroy lives – I salut the twins, Marcus and Alex Lewis for their bravery to come forward and share their lives journeys with us. Beautiful job by Hodgkin who tells the story with so much integrity. Even though shocking, this story is inspiring, and empowering and will bring about change. Bravo!


Intriguing coming-of-age story

This is an intriguing coming-of-age story, that reads like a psychological thriller. I have to say that I loved the book more than the documentary, but the story is either way very upsetting yet beautiful. I admire their courage of putting a story that’s so deeply personal out there.


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Asked Questions

  • Educated by Tara Westover is presented as a memoir, which means it is based on the author’s personal experiences and memories. However, as with any memoir, there has been some controversy and debate about the accuracy of certain events and details in the book. Some of Tara Westover’s family members and critics have raised questions about the reliability of her recollections.

    Westover has defended the truthfulness of her narrative and maintains that the events she describes in the book are accurate to the best of her memory. Memoirs often involve a subjective perspective and the potential for memory to be influenced by personal interpretation. While “Educated” has been well-received and praised for its powerful storytelling, readers should be aware of the ongoing discussions regarding the accuracy of specific details in the book.

  • Tara is no longer in contact with her brother Tyler, brother Shawn, her dad, and her mother Faye.

  • With Impeka you have the possibility to import any of the demos with just ONE click.

  • Before all else, you must setup a WordPress version on your server. After downloading the package, you will have “Impeka” folder and “impeka.zip” file inside the Theme package. You can either choose to upload the Theme to your server via ftp (just upload the folder “Impeka” into the folder wp-content/themes) or via WordPress upload function (Appearance > Themes > Install Themes > Upload) using the “impeka.zip” file.

  • Drew published a statement on Amazon in which he confirmed that he and Tara are no longer together. Read the comment here.

  • In Tara Westover’s memoir “Educated,” Shawn Westover is one of Tara’s brothers, and he plays a significant role in the narrative. Shawn is portrayed as a complex and troubled figure in the book. The memoir describes instances of physical and emotional abuse that Tara endured from Shawn during her childhood.

    As the story progresses, Tara Westover details her journey of self-discovery, education, and ultimately distancing herself from her family. The book does not provide a comprehensive update on Shawn’s life beyond the events covered in Tara’s narrative. The focus of the memoir is on Tara’s personal experiences and her quest for education and self-empowerment.

    If you are looking for specific updates on Shawn Westover’s life after the events covered in “Educated,” you may need to explore more recent sources, interviews, or statements from Tara Westover or other family members, if available. Keep in mind that personal details about individuals, especially those not in the public eye, may be private, and privacy considerations should be respected.

  • In “Educated” by Tara Westover, Shawn is Tara’s brother, and his character is a significant part of the memoir. Throughout the book, Shawn is portrayed as having a complicated and sometimes abusive relationship with Tara.

    Without giving away too many spoilers, it’s revealed in the book that Shawn’s behavior becomes increasingly violent and abusive. Tara recounts instances of physical and emotional abuse inflicted by Shawn. The details of these incidents are distressing, and they contribute to the overall theme of the challenges Tara faced in her quest for education and independence.

    Shawn’s character serves as a crucial element in Tara Westover’s narrative, illustrating the impact of her upbringing on her life and the difficulties she faced in breaking away from the constraints of her family.

  • Educated by Tara Westover consists of 27 chapters. The book is a memoir that chronicles Westover’s journey from growing up in a strict and abusive household in rural Idaho with little formal education to eventually earning a PhD from the University of Cambridge.

  • The number of pages in “Educated” by Tara Westover can vary depending on the edition and publisher. However, as of my last knowledge update in January 2022, the standard hardcover edition of “Educated” has about 352 pages. Keep in mind that different editions, such as paperback or e-book versions, may have slightly different page counts. It’s always a good idea to check the specific edition you have or are considering for the most accurate page count.

  • The book Educated has been on the New York Times bestseller list for two years, and remained number 1 on the list in hardcover.

  • As of December 2020, “Educated” had garnered sales surpassing 8 million copies.

  • Educated falls into the genre of memoir and autobiography. It is a nonfiction book that recounts Tara Westover’s personal journey from growing up in a strict and abusive household in rural Idaho, where she had little formal education, to eventually earning a PhD from the University of Cambridge. The book explores themes of family, education, resilience, and self-discovery. While it is a memoir, it also touches on broader social and cultural issues related to education, family dynamics, and the pursuit of knowledge.

  • Yes, Tara Westover was raised in a strict and conservative Mormon (Latter-day Saint) family in rural Idaho. Her memoir, Educated, provides a detailed account of her upbringing in a household that emphasized self-sufficiency and was often isolated from mainstream society. In the book, Westover discusses her journey of self-discovery and pursuit of education despite facing numerous challenges and obstacles.

  • Tara Westover is an American author known for her memoir, “Educated,” which has garnered widespread acclaim and attention and turned out to be a bestseller worldwide. Born in rural Idaho in 1986, Tara grew up in a strict and isolated household. Her parents adhered to a radical form of survivalism and rejected formal education and medical care.

    Despite her unconventional upbringing, Tara was determined to learn and educate herself. She taught herself to read and write and eventually decided to pursue a formal education. She embarked on a remarkable journey that took her from a remote mountain town to Brigham Young University and later to the University of Cambridge, where she earned a Ph.D. in history.

    Tara’s first book called Educated: A Memoir, chronicles her extraordinary transformation from a girl raised without formal schooling to a highly educated scholar. The book explores the themes of family, identity, and the power of education to change one’s life. It has been a New York Times bestseller and received numerous awards and nominations, including the Goodreads Choice Award for Memoir & Autobiography.

    Tara Westover’s story has inspired countless readers around the world and serves as a testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of education

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