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Educated

Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
5 out of 5 stars (627 ratings)
Non-member price: $37.46
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Publisher's Summary

Winner of best autobiography/memoir and best female narrator at the Audies.

Selected as a book of the year in The Times, Sunday Times, Guardian, New York Times, Economist, New Statesman, Vogue, Irish Times, Irish Examiner and Red Magazine

Tara Westover and her family grew up preparing for the End of Days but, according to the government, she didn’t exist. 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 hospitals.    

As she grew older, her father became more radical and her brother more violent. At 16, Tara knew she had to leave home. In doing so she discovered both the transformative power of education, and the price she had to pay for it. 

Shortlisted for the 2018 BAMB Readers' Awards · Recommended as a summer read by Barack Obama, Antony Beevor, India Knight, Blake Morrison and Nina Stibbe. 

©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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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Best memoir I’ve ever read - and extraordinary work

A touching autobiography, both devastating and uplifting at the same time. It is a privilege to be let into Westover’s world; one of- heartbreaking family loyalty, but also the extraordinary power of education changing ones life.

3 of 3 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

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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A ‘jagged little patch of Idaho’ = a remarkable story of transformation

The multiple layers of this book are simultaneously bared and interwoven in a way which is very accessible despite most likely being beyond any frame of reference available to most readers.

There is a restrained steadiness in the telling of the story which is effective in keeping the reader engaged for the entire journey.

Westover’s personal journey and accomplishments are truly remarkable, particularly when set against the backdrop of her family life and circumstances, in that ‘jagged little patch of Idaho.’

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Outstanding

Beautifully written and expertly narrated, this is a fascinating story that had me captivated from start to finish. Highly recommend.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Powerful story about the use of power in a family

I really enjoyed the writing and performance in this book. I felt for the author and felt connected to such a different world from my own. Many parts made me angry due to the injustices that were inflicted, but I think that toward the end I found understanding in why the author was not quicker to act in her life. The power of a family is great and this book made me appreciate the rationality that my family contains.

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I loved this book!

What an amazing story. I was completely engrossed from the beginning. What an incredible price she paid for her education and her individuality

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An amazing book!

An amazing book that was read beautifully. You really feel every part of the story.

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Outstanding.

I stand in awe of this beautiful, brave and wise woman. The story is deeply and unashamedly personal but it speaks with brutal honesty to universal themes of loyalty, family, mental illness, love, the search for meaning, and the empowerment of knowledge and self awareness. It is years since I have been so affected by a book. Thank you.

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Amazing story

Absolutely loved this book. Narrator is fantastic. Gripping story just could not stop listening. At times I wanted to jump into the story and strangle a few people. Well worth listen.

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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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  • jennifer smith
  • 10-03-2019

Beautifully written by a brilliant young woman!

How terrifying to think how many more Tara's...brilliant young women... have been lost to the world through indictrination and the crazy zealots who oppress them.

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  • Ryan Fernandez
  • 06-03-2019

Fascinating story

Kept me captivated, funny and deep and sad and inspiring. Explored life's wonderful complexity
. Highly recommended

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  • Tracey Henderson
  • 09-02-2019

Brilliant book, about a tough life

I couldn't recommend this book more - while the challenges seemed insurmountable, Tara surmounted them. I admire her determination in spite of the emotional toll to be genuinely inspiring. Also, Julia Whelan did a fabulous reading.

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  • Richard Smith
  • 22-01-2019

Magnificent read, incredible lives.

As a family this lot, got more than there fare share of drive. Admittedly most of the time they seemed to be running each other over.

What was incredible, was how so many of them made so much progress. Not a dull life between them.

it seems it doesn't matter what you believe as long as you believe it strongly. Change what you believe even but then do that with conviction also.

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  • Mrs
  • 21-01-2019

Tortuous

I admire this woman for her remarkable journey to educate herself. But ... just how much abuse are you prepared to tolerate and endure and to repeatedly go back for more? Also the babblings of her deranged father and all of this "it's God's will" to rationalise and explain away his behaviour is also mind boggling. It is like stuff from the dark ages.

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  • Janel
  • 09-01-2019

Speechless

I couldn't put it down. I'm very touched and deeply hurt (for her) by her story. I'm just speechless.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-12-2018

Religion: good or bad

It never ceases to surprise me how many wrongful things are being accepted in the name of religion. Does religion come before humanity? I would love a follow up on Tara's life in about 10 years.

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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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  • 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

11 of 11 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.

9 of 10 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Rix Pyke
  • 21-03-2019

Gripping and fascinating

Extraordinary life, incredibly experiences and the narrator brought it all to life. I was sad to reach the end

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  • Z
  • 20-03-2019

Wonderfully captivating

I devoured this book, I was shocked and horrified, worried at times even though the events were long past, I loved it. An incredibly story, frankly told. I absolutely recommend it, just be ready to cancel your plans to stay in and hear it.

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  • eleda
  • 20-03-2019

Absolutely Extraordinary!!

To start with, I wasn't sure I'd be able to listen to the American voice for the whole book. But, very quickly, the story of Tara Westover's life both intrigued and amazed me. This is really well written and so many times I had to remind myself that this was not a work of fiction. This woman actually lived this life! It is almost unbelievable in this day and age but listen to the author being interviewed. It really did happen! It's just extraordinary. A wonderful book and a brilliant read with a fantastic audio to go with it. 5 stars.

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  • Fiona D
  • 20-03-2019

Utterly compelling, heart wrenching and inspiring!

I’ve just listened to this audible book in the space of a couple of days - I couldn’t stop listening to it. I can’t recommend it enough!