Book Details

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About the Book

For readers of North of Normal and Wild, a stunning new memoir about family, loss and the struggle for a better future

Tara Westover was seventeen when she first set foot in a classroom. Instead of math, science and literature, she grew up learning how to stew herbs into medicine, scavenging in the family scrap yard and helping her family prepare for the apocalypse. She had no birth certificate and no medical records and had never been enrolled in school—and was not even properly home-schooled. To the rest of the world, she did not exist.

Westover’s mother proved a marvel at concocting folk remedies for many ailments. But no one in the close-knit family circle could help her deal with instances of undiagnosed mental illness or domestic violence. As Tara developed her own coping mechanisms, little by little, she started to realize that her family’s inward-looking ways didn’t have to be her only education. Her first day of university was her first day of school—ever—and she would eventually win an esteemed fellowship from Cambridge and graduate with a PhD in intellectual history and political thought.

This is a story of education in its most extreme forms, but also a story of the most extreme kind of upbringing, fierce loyalty and the breaking of ties.

Educator and Librarian Resources

Critical Praise

“Extraordinary, heartbreaking and ultimately uplifting.” —Carys Bray, author of A Song for Issy Bradley and The Museum of You

“A punch to the gut, a slow burn, a savage indictment, a love letter. . . . Rarely have I read a book that made me so uncomfortable, so enraged, and at the same time so utterly, entirely absorbed. I loved this book, and this woman.” —Claire Dederer, author of Love and Trouble: A Midlife Reckoning

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443452489
  • ISBN 10: 1443452483
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 02/20/2018
  • Pages: 400
  • List Price: 22.99 CAD

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