Mr B's review
Mr B’s Christmas Catalogue Review 2018
An unflinchingly honest look at a rural Idaho childhood which saw Westover raised by a father who believed both schools and the medical establishment were part of a government conspiracy. She recounts brutal shifts in the family’s scrapyard, an attempted “rescue” by her grandparents and encounters with her volatile elder brother. And then comes her flight – to a late education that is at first awkward and then truly impressive. An astonishing and captivating memoir.
THE MULTI-MILLION COPY BESTSELLER
‘An amazing story, and truly inspiring. The kind of book everyone will enjoy. IT’S EVEN BETTER THAN YOU’VE HEARD.’ – Bill Gates
Selected as a book of the year by AMAZON, THE TIMES, SUNDAY TIMES, GUARDIAN, NEW YORK TIMES, ECONOMIST, NEW STATESMAN, VOGUE, IRISH TIMES, IRISH EXAMINER and RED MAGAZINE
A Book of the Decade, 2010-2020 (Independent)
Tara Westover and her family grew up preparing for the End of Days but, according to the government, she didn’t exist. She hadn’t been registered for a birth certificate. She had no school records because she’d never set foot in a classroom, and no medical records because her father didn’t believe in hospitals.
As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent. At sixteen, Tara knew she had to leave home. In doing so she discovered both the transformative power of education, and the price she had to pay for it.
* From one of TIME magazine’s 100 most influential people of 2019
* Shortlisted for the 2018 BAMB Readers’ Awards
* Recommended as a summer read by Barack Obama, Antony Beevor, India Knight, Blake Morrison and Nina Stibbe
“A memoir to stand alongside classics by the likes of Jeanette Winterson and Lorna Sage . . . a compelling and ultimately joyous account of self-determination” * Sunday Times * “[A] fascinating, jaw-dropping memoir” — Nina Stibbe * Observer * “[A] superb memoir… Westover’s journey from a remote corner of the American west to one of the world’s grandest seats of learning is extraordinary . . . Her story, of fighting to be herself, is as old as the hills she came from, but Westover gives us such a fresh, absorbing take that it deserves to bring her own private Idaho into the bestseller lists, book groups and, eventually, cinemas.” * The Times * “Brilliantly recounts her journey towards knowledge and enlightenment” — Blake Morrison * Guardian * “Her story is remarkable, as each extreme anecdote described in tidy prose attests. That someone who grew up in her circumstances could achieve as much as she has is astonishing . . . The central tension she wrestles with throughout her book is how to be true to herself without alienating her family. Her upbringing was extraordinary, but that struggle is not.” * The Economist * “This memoir [is] one of the wisest accounts of family love and betrayal that I’ve read” * Mail on Sunday * “[An] astonishing autobiography” — Antony Beevor “Heartbreaking in its honesty…[an] intelligent and powerful memoir” * Literary Review * “An astonishing and uplifting story about the transformative power of education” * Mail on Sunday, 2018 Cultural Highlights * “Educated is quite simply one of the best books I have ever read. What a writer, what a thinker and what a gift for the rest of us to be able to read her story. Unbelievably moving and profoundly thought-provoking.” — Elizabeth Day “Educated is an unflinching account of love and brutality, of the strength of blood ties and the power of imagination, and of a young woman whose intellect, self-knowledge and courage illuminate every page. There are passages so painfully vivid that they sear themselves into the memory, yet Westover is never prurient or punitive: even when writing from the depths, she does so with compassion and grace. Both the book and its writer are remarkable in every respect” — Sarah Perry, bestselling author of THE ESSEX SERPENT “Westover has a story to tell that shouldn’t be ignored” * The Guardian *
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