Tara Westover first set foot in a classroom when she was 17. Born in the mountains of Idaho to survivors, she prepared for the end of the world by storing homemade peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag." For her mother, a midwife and healer, she stewed herbs in the summer and in the ... winter she saved in her father's junkyard.
Her father has forbidden hospitals so Tara has never seen a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even explosion burns, have all been treated with herbalism at home. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that when one of Tara's older brothers became violent, there was no one to ensure that the children received an education, and no one to intervene.
Then, lacking any formal training, Tara started educating herself. She taught herself enough math and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning about important world events such as the Holocaust and the civil rights movement for the first time. Her quest for knowledge transformed her to Harvard and Cambridge, taking her over the oceans and across continents. Only then would she wonder if she would have traveled too far, had there still been a way home.
Educated is an account of the struggle for the invention of self. It is a tale of fierce loyalty to the family and of the grief that comes with the closest ties being cut. Westover has created a universal coming-of-age story with the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective of seeing one's life through new eyes and the will to change it.READ MORE