Description /Buy link takes you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.
Tara Westover is an American author who came to fame when she wrote ‘Educated’, a memoir that detailed her difficult, isolated history. Tara was born in 1986 in Idaho. Her survivalist parents were devoted members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
Order of Tara Westover Non-Fiction Books
|Educated: A Memoir
|Description / Buy
They did not approve of the world outside their small community in Clifton. In fact, they repelled everything associated with the government, modern medicine, and formal education. According to Tara, her father was convinced that ideas were dangerous. He went out of his way to protect his family from the unfamiliar.
Later on in life, Tara told people that she had been homeschooled. She included this detail on her college application but it wasn’t entirely true. Her family lived a self-contained life. She was born at home.
Not only was she not allowed to see a doctor but Tara was nine when she finally got her birth certificate. Whenever the author and her six siblings fell ill, her mother would treat them using her knowledge of herbs, not to mention the various alternative healing techniques she had picked up along the way.
At some point, Tara was taught to read. However, the objective was to teach her enough so that she could participate in the family’s regular study of the Bible and the Mormon texts. Despite the isolation, Tara’s curiosity got the better of her.
She wanted to explore the wider world. One of her older brothers made this possible when he introduced her to music, maths, and other subjects. This only served to ignite her love for learning. The essayist starting teaching herself algebra.
By the time she sat down to take the ACT exam, she knew enough to earn a college scholarship. Her life at Brigham Young University was difficult. Because she did not attend high school, Tara knew next to nothing about life outside her home.
She was often laughed at for her ignorance. Though, such moments of embarrassment only encouraged her to strive for success. She completed her studies at Brigham before moving on to the University of Cambridge (Trinity College) where she got her Master’s.
In 2014, Tara Westover secured an Intellectual History Doctorate. By 2018, she had published ‘Educated’, a memoir that provided an account of her efforts to escape the strict ideology her parents had instilled in her.
The book became a bestseller, turning Tara into a publishing sensation. But it also placed a strain on her family. She had already fractured her relationship with them when she revealed the physical and psychological abuse she had suffered as a teenager at the hands of one of her older brothers.
Her allegation was quickly rejected by her parents who blamed Tara’s accusations on satanic influence. Tara and her family clashed once more when she published ‘Educated’. The lawyer representing her parents argued that she had made several false claims in her memoir, the most prominent being her suggestion that her father was bipolar.
Tara refused to retract the claims in her book. The memoir had sections that assured readers that Tara’s work had been fact-checked rigorously. For her part, the author did not engage her parents on the issue.
Tara Westover Awards
Tara has won the Goodreads Choice and Audie Awards. She has been a finalist for John Leonard and LA Times Book Prizes.
Best Tara Westover Books
Tara has admitted that she continually struggles to forgive her family for the ills they brought upon her. These struggles are explored in her works. Some of the historian’s best books include:
Educated: Tara’s parents were survivalists. She spent her life preparing for the end of the world. Her parents kept her isolated from civilization. She wasn’t allowed to go to school or to see a doctor. Her mother always tended to their medical needs.
But Tara wanted more. So she taught herself math and grammar, got admitted to Brigham Young University, and discovered the horrors and the wonders of a world that had been kept from her.
Having come so far, it became obvious to Tara that she could never return home. So she worked to re-invent herself and to find her place in a society that was both hostile and welcoming. This book chronicles her struggles, not just the joys she found in education but the grief of cutting ties with those closest to her.
When Does The Next Tara Westover book come out?
Tara Westover doesn't seem to have an upcoming book. Their newest book is Educated: A Memoir and was released on February, 20th 2018. It is the newest book in the Tara Westover Non-Fiction Books.