It’s impossible not to compare Educated to The Glass Castle, another great memoir about an extremely difficult and unusual childhood, in which the subject overcomes her circumstances to survive through sheer willpower, with positivity and a fortitude somehow instilled by those same privations. Yet to stop there would be doing a massive disservice to both books and the women who wrote them. Tara Westover is a miracle. Her writing is beautiful, her insights sharp and nuanced. The Idaho landscape, her survivalist family, the unbelievable trauma, the insanely irrational rules she had to live by, Westover describes what feels like another world. But Educated is truly a universal story which challenges us to examine our assumptions, to strive for the unachievable, and to be grateful for what we take for granted. Undoubtedly one of the best books of this year.
Why should you read the memoir of someone you’ve never heard of? Here’s why: if it tells a difficult story without self-pity, if it’s told beautifully yet without unnecessary frills, if you learn about a person you would like to know, and if you can look at the world differently after reading it. These are all the reasons that Educated is so wonderful. Tara grows up in a fundamentalist family in Idaho, without a birth certificate or formal education because that would allow the government to know too much, according to her domineering, paranoid, probably mentally ill father. She studies the only books at home, the Bible and Mormon texts, so she can take the ACT. This cloistered girl makes it to Brigham Young University and then to Cambridge for her Master’s and PhD. Her education gives her a view of the world and a voice of her own.
“Tara Westover is barely 30; could she really write a necessary and timely memoir already? Absolutely. Raised largely 'off the grid' in rural Idaho - without school, doctor visits, a birth certificate, or even a family consensus on the date of her birth - Tara nevertheless decides she wants to go to college. This is a story in two parts: First, Tara's childhood working in a dangerous scrapyard alongside her six siblings, her survivalist father, and her mother, a conflicted but talented midwife and healer, while fearing Y2K and the influence of the secular world; then, her departure from her mountain home to receive an education. Both halves of her story are equally fascinating. Educated is a testament to Tara's brilliance and tenacity, a bittersweet rendering of how family relationships can be cruel or life-saving, and a truly great read from the first page to the last.”
— Emilie Sommer, East City Bookshop, Washington, DC
Uno de los libros más importantes del año según BBC • Daily Express • Library Journal • Publishers Weekly • The Washington Post • O: The Oprah Magazine • Time • NPR • Financial Times • The Economist • The Guardian • Newsday • Refinery29 • Real Simple • Bustle • Pamela Paul, KQED • Entertainment Weekly.
Cómo una educación puede salvar una vida.
«Podéis llamarlo transformación. Metamorfosis. Falsedad. Traición. Yo lo llamo una educación.»
Nacida en las montañas de Idaho, Tara Westover ha crecido en armonía con una naturaleza grandiosa y doblegada a las leyes que establece su padre, un mormón fundamentalista convencido de que el final del mundo es inminente. Ni Tara ni sus hermanos van a la escuela o acuden al médico cuando enferman. Todos trabajan con el padre, y su madre es curandera y única partera de la zona.
Tara tiene un talento: el canto, y una obsesión: saber. Pone por primera vez los pies en un aula a los diecisiete años: no sabe que ha habido dos guerras mundiales, pero tampoco la fecha exacta de su nacimiento (no tiene documentos). Pronto descubre que la educación es la única vía para huir de su hogar. A pesar de empezar de cero, reúne las fuerzas necesarias para preparar el examen de ingreso a la universidad, cruzar el océano y graduarse en Cambridge, aunque para ello deba romper los lazos con su familia.
Westover ha escrito una historia extraordinaria -su propia historia-, una formidable epopeya, desgarradora e inspiradora, sobre la posibilidad de ver la vida a través de otros ojos, y de cambiar, que se ha convertido en un resonante éxito editorial.
National Book Critics Circle finalist 2018
One of the 10 New York Times Best Books 2018.
A Publisher Weekly Best Book 2018
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times
“A coming-of-age memoir reminiscent of The Glass Castle.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Tara Westover is living proof that some people are flat-out, boots-always-laced-up indomitable.”—USA Today
“The extremity of Westover’s upbringing emerges gradually through her telling, which only makes the telling more alluring and harrowing.”—The New York Times Book Review
Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills” bag. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged metal in her father’s junkyard.
Her father distrusted the medical establishment, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education, and no one to intervene when an older brother became violent.
When another brother got himself into college and came back with news of the world beyond the mountain, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. She taught herself enough mathematics, grammar, and science to take the ACT and was admitted to Brigham Young University. There, she studied psychology, politics, philosophy, and history, learning for the first time about pivotal world events like the Holocaust and the Civil Rights Movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty, and of the grief that comes from severing one’s closest ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes, and the will to change it.
«La historia más poderosa sobre el poder transformador de la educación que he leído nunca. [...] No hay libro que pueda competir con Una educación.».-Caroline Sanderdon, The Bookseller
«Un deslumbrante ejemplo de lo que se puede llegar a conseguir cuando uno se propone hacer algo. [...] Una novela de iniciación única e inspiradora.».-BBC News
«Uno de los grandes fenómenos editoriales de la temporada.».-Library Journal
«Maravilloso. No hay sentimiento igual al de descubrir a una joven escritora con tanto talento.».-Stephen Fry
«Un sorprendente relato de superación y realización personal.».-Kirkus Reviews
«Un debut ardiente.».-Publishers Weekly
«Impresionante y alentadora.».-Mail on Sunday
«Westover consigue transmitir ternura y honestidad salvaje, no perdona a nadie, ni siquiera a sí misma. [...] Una educación es algo más que la historia de un éxito.».-Amanda Winterroth, Booklist