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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Best-selling ‘Educated’ author Tara Westover comes to Spokane

From staff reports

Tara Westover, author of the best-selling new memoir “Educated,” will join The Spokesman-Review’s Northwest Passages Book Club on May 17.

Westover’s book chronicles growing up in Idaho with survivalist parents who lived off the grid. Raised without a birth certificate, medical care or a formal education, she stepped into a classroom for the first time at 17, after teaching herself just enough math to win admission to Brigham Young University.

“The gripping story of Westover’s self-invention after a brutally hard upbringing, is winning acclaim across the literary world, riding high on nonfiction best-seller lists,” says Martin Wolk in the Reading the Northwest column.

The May 17 book club event starts at 7 p.m. at the newspaper, 999 W. Riverside Ave. in Spokane. General admission is $5; seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. VIP tickets are $40 and include a copy of “Educated,” a glass of wine at the Terra Blanca wine bar and a reserved seat at the book talk. Tickets are available at

Hosted by The Spokesman-Review, Northwest Passages is a growing community book club with lively evenings of words, wine and live music. Auntie’s Bookstore offers book club readers a 15 percent discount on featured titles before and during the event.

“Educated” sits atop the Pacific Northwest Independent Bestseller List of nonfiction books. It’s also on the best-seller list of The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and San Francisco Chronicle, among others.

“Tara Westover is living proof that some people are flat-out, boots-always-laced-up indomitable,” writes USA Today. “Her new book, ‘Educated,’ is a heartbreaking, heart warming, best-in-years memoir about striding beyond the limitations of birth and environment into a better life.”

Westover is the youngest of seven children, whose father instilled in his family a fear and distrust of all forms of government. She and her siblings slept with getaway bags by their side and never visited a doctor even when they were injured.

Following in the footsteps of an older brother, Westover engineered her escape from home and began to learn about life in the outside world. Westover, now 31, graduated from BYU and continued on to Harvard and Cambridge, ultimately earning a doctorate in history.