Educated Summary

#1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER • One of the most acclaimed books of our time: an unforgettable memoir about a young woman who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University
“An amazing story, and truly inspiring. It’s even better than you’ve heard.”—Bill Gates
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW • ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR • BILL GATES’S HOLIDAY READING LIST • FINALIST: National Book Critics Circle’s Award In Autobiography and John Leonard Prize For Best First Book • PEN/Jean Stein Book Award • Los Angeles Times Book Prize
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 [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

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • O: The Oprah Magazine • Time • NPR • Good Morning America • San Francisco ChronicleThe Guardian  The Economist• Financial Times Newsday • New York PosttheSkimmRefinery29BloombergSelfReal Simple • Town & CountryBustlePaste • Publishers Weekly Library JournalLibraryReadsBookRiot • Pamela Paul, KQED • New York Public Library

Book Reviews


Wow5 star

Moving story of overcoming an abusive childhood I really enjoyed this book55


Inspiring and eye opening5 star

While I have never endured ANYTHING like this, it’s still relatable on so many levels. A truly inspiring and heart breaking story. I wish it was 900 more pages. Being able to put myself in the authors shoes really brings out an empathy- an understanding, of different cultures/religions.55

likes my windows

Educated5 star

This book tore at my heartstrings. There were times when I wondered if she would survive and I had to marvel at her strength to not only get through her life but to thrive and not end up hating everybody that tried to keep her from achieving her goal. I literally held my breath when she went off to college at BYU and had to live in a dorm. I’m so glad she made it through!55


A good book.5 star

Well written.55

Tango Willy

Educated3 star

Kind of amazing that someone with so much adversity could accomplish so much. Kind of rough at times.35


Tara Westover book review.1 star

Captivating story. I couldn’t put the book down.15


Must read!!!4 star

Loved this book!!45


Great Story5 star

Could not put this down.55


Riveting.5 star

All families are messy. It was in the honest, authentic balanced accounting of the story that makes me a fan of the author.55


Engaging and Heartbreaking5 star

This memoir has been one of the most engaging I’ve read so far, and yet it was also one of the most disturbing and heartbreaking I’ve ever read. Tara Westover’s Educated is a firsthand account of the tragic consequences of decades-long gaslighting, emotional manipulation, and physical abuse. There are many customer reviews disputing the credibility of Westover’s account; ironically, anyone who themselves has been a victim or an intimate witness of psychological abuse knows this skepticism all too well. It is hard to believe, because we don’t want to believe it. Though the memoir has been thoroughly fact checked by both family members and professional fact checkers, and Westover is careful to include many footnotes for memories that diverge from other witnesses’ accounts, it is perhaps easier for some to believe that Westover is simply embellishing reality. Perhaps that is an easier portrait to believe than acknowledging that those we ought to have unconditional faith in (i.e. our family) can sometimes be undeserving of that gift. A powerful read, particularly for anyone who has been a victim of abuse (or perhaps an abuser themselves), or anyone who has ever been made to feel small and less than by those who were supposed to love and protect them.55

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