Tara Westover is an American author and historian. She is best known for her 2018 memoir, Educated. That book made its debut at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list and was a finalist for a number of awards. It was named one of the best books of the year by O: The Oprah Magazine, Time, NPR, Good Morning America, The Guardian, and many more.

Westover was born in a small town in Idaho as the youngest of seven children. Her parents were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints survivalists. Her and her siblings were homeschooled by their mother who also treated their medical issues with herbalism and other methods of alternative healing. She had very few textbooks as a kid, but she wanted to attend college. Tara began to study independently in order to pass her ACT Exam and she was granted admission to Brigham Young University despite not finishing high school. After struggling at first, she ended up graduating with honors and then attending the University of Cambridge at Trinity College where she earned her Master’s degree.

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Educated: A Memoir is Tara’s story of that upbringing and her college life that followed. Growing up in the mountains of Idaho, her family was isolated from mainstream society that the children received no education and she had no one to turn to besides her family when one of her older brothers turned violent. She was seventeen before the first time that she set foot in a classroom and decided that she wanted to attend college. She began a quest for knowledge that would transform her and take her far away from the mountains of Idaho. After a life of travelling, she began to wonder if she’d traveled too far and if there was still a way home.

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