In following the yearly tradition of endorsing a book on behalf of the University for course adoption, community-wide dialogue and close reading, the Villanova One Book Committee has made its selection for the 2020-2021 term. Next year’s focus will be “Educated” by Tara Westover. This memoir follows the true story of the author’s upbringing with a survivalist family in the Idaho mountains, through her pursuit of higher education around the world. 

Westover was 17 the first time she ever sat in a real classroom, having only before been trained in the ways of doomsday preparation and survival by her parents. At this point she had also never been allowed to seek proper medical treatment or use modern medicine, and the shock she experienced upon coming out of isolation motivated her to begin educating herself. The journey of self-discovery and enlightenment that followed eventually took Westover from Brigham Young University to Cambridge, before ultimately returning to the US to confront her roots once more.

Westover is scheduled to speak to the University community on September 24, 2020, during the annual St. Thomas of Villanova celebration. The One Book Committee encourages students, faculty and staff alike to consider reading “Educated” in preparation for Westover’s visit. The memoir will additionally be integrated into the Augustine and Culture Seminar Program (ACS) for incoming freshmen and new students, as is typical of One Book selections in past years. “Educated” will be more widely available in Falvey Memorial Library in the months to come.