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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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Average Customer Ratings

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Loved it

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

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  • Jane
  • VictoriaAustralia
  • 06-12-18

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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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
  • 03-03-18

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

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-22-18

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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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Elma
  • 03-28-18

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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  • Rachel
  • 03-14-18

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David J. Carpenter
  • 09-22-18

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.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Sarah, Bristol
  • 09-11-18

brilliant insight into world I had no idea about

believable and heartbreaking account of an unbelievable life. want to read what happens after bok ends to.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 08-28-18

Loved it

Fantastic moving book, brilliantly written, wonderfully narrated. Kept me hooked from the very beginning. Read it!!

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  • Dr
  • 08-22-18

Absorbing and revealing

I was impressed by this book. Thank you Tara for telling your story in such an engaging but non pitiful way. I have already recommended this to several friends. The book tells the life story of Tara, growing up in a Mormon family, and how she struggled to make sense of many things as she grew but also the strong pull that home has for many of us. It was not a painful or traumatic read, given the way the author uses events to reflect on bigger questions. The story was so well told, it has me gripped from the start.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • "chris230603"
  • 08-21-18

Gripping and moving story, ultimately full of hope

A moving and gripping story, beautifully told and perfectly narrated. Quite similar in nature to Rebecca Stott's excellent "In the Days of Rain" which I also listened to here. Based on my experience I would say don't listen to this if you have a lot of things to get done as it's hard to stop listening!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Abbie S
  • 08-12-18

I persevered but ultimately gave up...

... I think it was the monotonous narration that finally did for me with this book. Have to say I found the story monotonous too. It was an account rather than a story. I wouldn’t recommend.

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  • Sam
  • 09-11-18

Amazing

Enthralling tale of human life and the self examination of her mind. Nature nurture and education

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  • Ian
  • 09-05-18

Absolutely love this book!

I bought this book after seeing President Obama's summer reading list and I am glad I did. The writing is superb, the story engaging and the narration perfect.

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  • Quantum Kernel
  • 08-20-18

Absolutely enthralling

The first nonfiction I’ve read in a while. I found it captivating and was looking for every spare minute to listen to more of the story. It takes you to a reality so far from common experience, you easily forget it’s a biography.

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  • tdwilson
  • 07-30-18

wow!

harrowing story, but totally engaging and completely fascinating. what is genetics and what is upbringing?

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Erica
  • 07-03-18

Amazing

This amazing story makes me feel so blessed for having had a ‘normal’ upbringing. Couldn’t put it down.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-26-18

A vital read

Essential listening for anyone hurt by cults, family violence or mental illness. Insightful and engaging

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • ROBYN M
  • 06-23-18

I couldn’t stop listening

As with all audiobooks, I wish the author had read it.
However, this story was amazing, it drew me in & took me into the author’s tumultuous world. Tara Westover is an educated survivor, who chooses her own truth in her life journey.
I found this a fabulous listen.

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  • MEW
  • 06-21-18

The Mormons

Having been raised in a religious school I could well believe the mindset Tara Westover must have been subjected to. This book is well written although somewhat belaboured. I was certainly frustrated by the fact that she could not seek help earlier for the abuse her brother put her through. Thank goodness for education.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • K. Chong
  • 06-08-18

Compelling

After hearing Tara Westover speak on radio I very much wanted to understand more about her life. The story is compelling, sad and sometimes unbelievable. Her life experience up to going to college is so far from my own that it felt like fiction, not biography - I was constantly left wondering how ones own family can be so cruel and deluded. The narration is excellent and the whole book is binge-worthy.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • James F.
  • 06-06-18

Terrific first half, then tedium sets in

Superb narration couldn't save this from turning from a fascinating backstory to a tedious soap-opera.