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By: Tara Westover

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group

Imprint: Random House

Format: Hardcover | ISBN: 9780399590504

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On Sale: | Pages: 352

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#1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER • 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 FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S AWARD IN AUTOBIOGRAPHY • FINALIST FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK CRITICS CIRCLE’S JOHN LEONARD PRIZE FOR BEST FIRST BOOK • FINALIST FOR THE PEN/JEAN STEIN BOOK AWARD NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • O: The Oprah Magazine • Time • NPR • Good Morning America • San Francisco Chronicle • The Guardian • The Economist • Financial Times • Newsday • New York Post • theSkimm • Refinery29 • Bloomberg • Self • Real Simple • Town & Country • Bustle • Paste • Publishers Weekly • Library Journal • LibraryReads • BookRiot • Pamela Paul, KQED • New York Public LibraryAn unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge UniversityBorn 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 [Tara 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“Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others.”—The New York Times Book Review
...[a] searing memoir... Memoirists like Mary Karr and Tobias Wolff famously used humor to chronicle brutal childhoods, but Westover describes lethal injuries, near-fatal car accidents and familial abuse with simple, matter-of-fact sentences. Her style tends to flatten out the usual highs and lows, pitching every event in “Educated” at the same volume. Yet the unadorned approach also lays bare moments of enormous pathos...
—Seattle Times
The extremity of Westover's upbringing emerges gradually through her telling, which only makes the telling more alluring and harrowing.... Westover has somehow managed not only to capture her unsurpassably exceptional upbringing, but to make her current situation seem not so exceptional at all, and resonant for many others. She is but yet another young person who left home for an education, now views the family she left across an uncomprehending ideological canyon, and isn't going back.
—New York Times
The memoir is divided into three parts — childhood, college and present-day. The most powerful section is the first, which Westover writes from the point of view of herself as a girl. She recounts her bizarre life dispassionately, as though it was perfectly ordinary, and it is that sense of normality that gives this section its power.... It is the third section that is the most difficult to read — the least polished, the most painful, perhaps because it is the most recent. It lacks distance, both temporal and emotional.... [T]he rawness of this last section suggests that despite her amazing transformation and this powerful book, Westover's remarkable education is not yet complete.
—Minneapolis Star Tribune
Whether narrating scenes of fury and violence or evoking rural landscapes or tortured self-analysis, Westover writes with uncommon intelligence and grace. “Educated” recounts one of the most improbable and fascinating journeys I've read in recent years.
Westover's writing style is straightforward, even as she recounts heart-wrenching details and abusive events. Her quest for autonomy, learning, understanding and acceptance can break your heart, even as it has you cheering for her empowerment. EDUCATED is a terrific, if harrowing, read.
...a heartbreaking, heartwarming, best-in-years memoir about striding beyond the limitations of birth and environment into a better life.... [E]ven when presenting the rough parts, Westover, now 31, doesn't wail. She writes about it as she processed it when she was growing up insulated: in a straightforward manner. It wasn't until she reached her teen years that she began to realize not everyone lived this way.
—USA Today
The power to leave her warped family of origin and move forward into her own adult life: This is the education of Ms. Westover's title. Which was something of a letdown to me, the reader. I don't mean to minimize the distance Ms. Westover has traveled. But other children of paranoid conspiracists, not to mention children of alcoholics and children of bipolar parents, have also managed to emerge from the toxic fantasy. On the other hand, almost no one encounters formal education for the first time at 18 and immediately becomes a scholar. Ms. Westover doesn't seem to have any sense of how remarkable that journey is.... Without ever meaning to, “Educated” suggests something startling: Our children's intellectual achievement may have almost nothing to do with the opportunities we provide them, and everything to do with some inborn drive that we can neither influence nor create.
—Wall Street Journal
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