Educated: A Brief Overview of the Book

Educated is a captivating memoir written by Tara Westover, an American author. The book delves into the personal journey of the author, chronicling her quest for knowledge and education as she navigates a challenging upbringing in a strict and isolated household in rural Idaho.

The Storyline

The memoir begins by introducing the readers to Tara’s unconventional family. Her parents, fervently religious and distrustful of the government, choose to keep their children away from mainstream society, education, and healthcare.

Tara grows up with little formal education but is taught survival skills alongside her six siblings by her father, Gene, who is deeply paranoid about the world outside their property. Despite the hardships and the limitations imposed on her, Tara’s thirst for knowledge leads her on a remarkable journey of self-discovery and transformation.

As Tara grows older, her desire for education intensifies, leading her to make a difficult decision to leave her family behind in search of a better life. She manages to gain admission to Brigham Young University, where her academic journey begins.

Through resilience and determination, Tara excels in her studies, ultimately earning a prestigious scholarship to Cambridge University. Along the way, she struggles to reconcile her newfound knowledge and experiences with the beliefs and values instilled in her during her upbringing.

Praise and Recognition

Educated has received widespread acclaim since its release in 2018. The book has been praised for its honest and gripping storytelling, as well as its exploration of themes such as education, family dynamics, and personal identity.

Tara Westover’s memoir has resonated with readers worldwide, prompting discussions on the importance of education and the impact of upbringing on individual development. Educated has been hailed as an empowering narrative that demonstrates the transformative power of education and the pursuit of knowledge in overcoming adversity.

Additionally, the book has been the recipient of numerous awards and nominations, including being shortlisted for the prestigious 2018 Book of the Year award by The British Book Awards and being named one of Time magazine’s 10 Best Nonfiction Books of the decade.

Key Characters

Educated introduces readers to several important individuals who played a significant role in Tara Westover’s life:

Tara Westover

The author and protagonist of the memoir. Tara’s journey is the focal point of the book, as she defies the limitations set upon her and pursues education, ultimately transforming her life.

Gene Westover

Tara’s father, whose strict and controlling nature influences the way Tara and her siblings are raised. Gene’s deep-rooted beliefs and paranoia shape their isolated and unconventional lifestyle.

Faye Westover

Tara’s mother, who initially supports the family’s unique way of life but later struggles with her daughter’s pursuit of education, causing a strained relationship between them.

Shawn Westover

Tara’s older brother, whose complicated and abusive behavior adds another layer of complexity to Tara’s struggles within her family dynamic.


The memoir Educated by Tara Westover is a thought-provoking and powerful exploration of one woman’s journey to overcome the limitations imposed upon her and the transformative power of education in shaping her identity and future. It is a testament to the strength of the human spirit and the importance of seeking knowledge and learning throughout one’s life.

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