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Publisher's Summary

Random House presents the audiobook edition of Educated by Tara Westover, read by Julia Whelan.

Tara Westover grew up preparing for the End of Days, watching for the sun to darken, for the moon to drip as if with blood. She spent her summers bottling peaches and her winters rotating emergency supplies, hoping that when the World of Men failed, her family would continue on, unaffected. 

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 doctors or hospitals. According to the state and federal government, she didn’t exist.

As she grew older, her father became more radical, and her brother, more violent. At 16 Tara decided to educate herself. Her struggle for knowledge would take her far from her Idaho mountains, over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d travelled 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 with the severing of the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, from her singular experience 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.

Earphones Award Winner for Audiofile magazine.

©2018 Tara Westover (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"One of my favourite parts of summer is deciding what to read when things slow down just a bit, whether it’s on a vacation with family or just a quiet afternoon...Tara Westover’s Educated is a remarkable memoir of a young woman raised in a survivalist family in Idaho who strives for education while still showing great understanding and love for the world she leaves behind." (Barack Obama) 

"Marvellous. There is no feeling like discovering a young writer who is springing up fully armed with so much talent." (Stephen Fry)
"A striking story, beautifully told. Tara is an incredible new talent...I was holding my breath through parts, willing her to be okay." (Cathy Retzinbrink, author of The Last Act of Love)

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LOVE in this family = loyalty to a bipolar father

Tara shows what it is like to be caught in the cycle of abuse and overcome it... eventually. This powerful book made me understand the grip of a family cult and the cycle of abuse.

Thank you Tara for having the courage to write it.

Unconditional loyalty to a bipolar delusional man is what this family defines as love and acceptance.

I found this interesting because many families have a similar premise and that is; in order to be a part of the family you have to pretend to believe the family lies.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Memoir not to be missed

Fabulous book which invokes all the emotions. Hard to believe women could still be treated like this in the current day. Insightfully and emotionally written book about families, domestic violence, religious culture and of course the role of education in all of this. The narrator was excellent. One of my favourite Audiobooks so far

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wow.

What an amazing book. Read it now. Compelling. Had me from the beginning. To crazy to be fiction.

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Finished in a day...

The insight paired with incredibly personal yet somehow objective recollections is riveting. It is delicate, truthful & a fascinating insight into human beings.

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Memorable and Amazing Story

I found this story fascinating. Tara's life was unlike anything I have heard of, a mix of highs and lows and an incredible story of letting go with family at its core. She is clearly a very intelligent woman who has a strength of will and determination that is to be admired.
The narrator did a fabulous job and I found Educated riveting listening.

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Amazing memoir!

This book spoke to me, so deeply. I grew up very strict Mormon, and although we didn’t stockpile guns and fuel, much of the rest of this story really spoke to me. Many of Tara’s feelings and experiences were my own at some point. I’ve never read another book that spoke so directly to me. I thought I’d worked through everything from my childhood but this book has stirred up many thoughts and emotions from that period of my life. Thank you Tara, so much, for writing this book 💗

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loved every minute what a journey and what courage

The courage shown by Tara in the novel is astounding. i feel most readers can relate to the battle within us when given the choose of listening to our own voice or the voice of someone we love.

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An inspiration

What a life! What a story. Tara, this is amazing. You are amazing. Thank you

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Best book I have ever listened to

The narrator was amazing I could have listened to her forever. I couldn't stop listening to the book every free minute I had it was on.

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<br />Powerful story

Loved it from start to finish. Personal but respectful account of an very different childhood.

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  • Charmaine P
  • 09-10-2018

You can’t be off the grid forever....it ain’t ‘right’!

There’s another side to life that I don’t even know about.... What was this father even thinking in keeping his family off the grid. And, the ‘vasbyt’ and determination of one child to get a degree without ever having been to school ..... I loved this book and it’s really well written.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-12-2018

What an amazing wonderful memoir.

Fantastic narrating and heartwrenching story. What a talented author! I hope there's more on the way.

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  • Petroise van Driessel
  • 24-11-2018

Wow wow WOW!!!

This was an eye opener. Astonishing and tender. Well written and sensitive with full development of the characters. These people we are bound to by love and who mould and determine our destiny. Thank you for sharing your life Tara! LOVED!!!!!

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  • elisabeth
  • 28-08-2018

Loved it

An honest gut wrenching autobiography of a difficult childhood and the challenge to rise above it

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Jane
  • 12-06-2018

Worth reading

Beautifully documented memoir. Great study of family secrets and painful love. I highly recommend it.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Thandi Lamprecht
  • 15-05-2018

Excellent

Fantastic memoir- like all the very best books it stays with you long after you’ve finished and you wish there was more.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David Bowden
  • 03-03-2018

Wonderful, inspiring book on the value of education

While this book has plenty of grim stories of life growing up in a Mormon survivalist home, this is much more than a book about survival.

Westover makes this a book about education in its clearest, most uncynical form. This is a hymn to the benefits of stepping outside of your comfort zone and learning not to be frightened of making mistakes on your path to knowledge.

It is similar to JD Vance’s Hillbilly Elegy. Yet whereas Vance’s journey from hillbilly to literary star could only make you admire his determination & discipline, Westover’s is a more humane vision. She fails, doubts and self-sabotages yet never loses faith that acquiring knowledge about the world and her fellow humans is a liberation (even when it unsettles).

Most importantly she provides hope for us all: that hopeless ignorance is only ever a book or good teacher away from being transformed, if you have the desire.

Like Lorna Sage’s Bad Blood it can be a challenging read at times: but what sings out is not the badness she experiences, but the goodness & generosity she frequently encounters (whilst remaining astounding generous to her family’s flaws)

A beautiful, inspiring read

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-03-2018

Extraordinary

This had me gripped from the beginning. Beautifully written. It's devastating and uplifting. Heart stopping and heart warming. One of the best books I've ready in a long time. Inspiring all the way.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachel
  • 14-03-2018

Wow

I found this very shocking & sad at times.
I throughly enjoyed listening to the story of Tara’s life unfold.
I found it hard to understand how her father had such a hold over his children even after Tara had started a PHD her father still managed to cause problems in Tara’s mind.
A very brave lady, who managed to get herself an education of the highest level despite never attending a school.
I could not under stand why towards the end she felt she might have been guilt of wrong doing.
Sad thing us there are children today being raised in similar homes.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-09-2018

a tinderbox life story

a breathless and humbling story of survival and phoenix like success. A clarion call for education and understanding of mental health.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • David J. Carpenter
  • 22-09-2018

Outstanding

Gripping, haunting, disturbing, frightening, inspiring, courageous, uplifting, honest, heart and soul - just some of the words that come to mind in this must read. The journey to realisation and self worth laid out in uncompromising honesty. A privilege to be allowed to share the journey of this remarkable person.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Elma
  • 28-03-2018

Autobiography

A well written account of the life so far of Tara Westover. Although I was hoping to get more insight into the Mormon faith. The book is very moving and is very descriptive, it feels very real. This will always be about perception though and it will raise it's own questions.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-12-2018

brilliant

The story is fascinating, shocking, sad and inspiring all in one. I highly recommend listening to it.

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  • Mrs. D. L. Vieira da Silva
  • 06-12-2018

Inspiring

Beautifully writen and a real pleasure to listen to. i am sorry it has ended.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Alice Watchorn
  • 05-12-2018

Fascinating and beautifully written

An incredible book, I literally listened to the whole thing in two sittings. Beautifully read and presented by Julia Whelan.

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  • Luke
  • 21-11-2018

Fabulous

I wasn't sure if I was going to like this, but I did, a lot. The beautiful writing compels you to journey alongside Tara in her extraordinary life, witnessing scenes of mental chaos and wrenching family ties.
I had no idea what was going to happen and consequently the book turned into a nail-biting thriller that never let go. As much as I wanted to know the outcome, the real joy of this book was the intricacy of every line, the beautiful prose that transported you into the mind of another person, another family, another way of thinking.
The narration was faultless and a pleasure to listen to.