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Publisher's Summary

Number-one New York Times best seller

An unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University 

Book Club Pick for Now Read This, from PBS NewsHour and The New York Times 

“A coming-of-age memoir reminiscent of The Glass Castle.” (O: The Oprah Magazine

“Tara Westover is living proof that some people are flat-out, boots-always-laced-up indomitable.” (USA Today

“The extremity of Westover’s upbringing emerges gradually through her telling, which only makes the telling more alluring and harrowing.” (The New York Times Book Review

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her "head-for-the-hills bag". In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. 

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara's older brothers became violent. 

Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she'd traveled 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 severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, 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. 

©2018 Tara Westover (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Educated

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  • Overall
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Slow start but great overall

I found it difficult to get into this book at first and if it wasn’t my only entertainment on a four hour plan ride, I’m not sure I would have stuck with it, but I’m so glad I did. It’s an unbelievable extreme example of what happens when we live in cloistered echo chambers and what the result can be when we get out from it - very apt for this time and place. For those comparing it to the Glass Castle, I totally agree, although Educated lacks some of the charm of that book, not because the Glass Castle is a better book but because father in Castle is simply mare charming.

I will say, if you have any experience with physical or emotional abuse, this book can be triggering but also provides some good tools to ultimately manage that trauma (through counselling).

Regarding the performance, I didn’t love when the narrator changed voices for the brother Sean and the father. It was more caricature than character to me.

3 people found this helpful

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a must read

loved this book. it is a must read memoir! the performance ia gripping and the story keeps you wanting more.

2 people found this helpful

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Full of admiration for the author

Really really good. Gives an insight into a life that is so different from my own - but with so many similarities. I wish the author all the best in her future life, and I think she is one of the strongest people I have ever "met" through literature. Recommended.

2 people found this helpful

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Fascinating and difficult to put down.

I couldn't put this book down. Fascinating story that makes you think.
Reader tells the story very well.
The youngest girl in a family tells of growing up in a survivalist family. She doesnt go to school like the others in her family. She tells the story of growing up. Sad in places, but inspiring too.

1 person found this helpful

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Enlightening

I finished this book in a week. i couldn't stop listening. this story, memoir is so powerful. it's truly amazing to hear where Tara came from and what she overcame to become who she is. excellent book.

1 person found this helpful

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I have no words.

An incredible and unbelievable story. The best book I’ve read/listened to this year. A must read!

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sobbing

It's a pity that parents don't have to pass the certificate exams.
May we all survive our relationships - family, friends and the one we love.

1 person found this helpful

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Unrelenting, Utterly Hynoptic

A good friend whose taste I trust implicitly recommended this book wholeheartedly. She said the writer was Mormon but did not mention that she was raised as a survivalist, with a use and gas-lighting as part of her entire life. The book is harrowing, painful and yet I could not turn away. It felt so deeply personal and affected me in how I look at so many of my own relationships,albeit my life has little in common with hers. Highly recommended.

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Excellent read

This book was hard to put down, full of honesty and truths that were often hard to listen to, but like a train wreck you cannot look away from. Beautifully written.

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Pretty Amazing

It is an amazing story and a story that takes courage to tell. I hope it helps her heal. Education can be a powerful thing. The ignorance perpetuated in the name of God's plan is hard to fathom as is the mentality of people who accept or tolerate that.