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Educated

Written by: Tara Westover
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
Categories: Biographies & Memoirs
4.5 out of 5 stars (209 ratings)

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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)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Education transforms!!

A beautiful book which shows how education can break shackles in the mind and free one in a true sense. The trauma Tara endures in her childhood and how she comes to term with it in later life was just touching. Life was not a fairy tale for her but she emerged out of the chaos, that was her life, bit by bit and education held her up through the journey.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Stupendous Work

Tara Westover’s memoir is very captivating and I finished the audible in just 5 days!! It depicts the journey of the protagonist Tara who comes from an uneducated background, oblivious of the real world and has the picture of the world as told to her by her parents. How she grows out of her old persona, how she transforms as she encounters the real world and how education plays a significant role in all this is impressive.
The writer has shared her experiences with the audience very vividly. And it leaves an indelible impact on the mind even after the reading. A very good book recommended for the young generation.

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Be Educated. Nothing stop you

It change your perception towards the outdated education system which we putting ourselves over the years.
Family is over strength and weakness but do you dare to lose your family for the principles which you believe.. hats off to Tara for doing so
Don't give false reasons for not Learning and moving forward in the life...

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Get educated.

Thoroughly loved thw story and the performance. The author had a real difficult life, but somehow she lived it and was transformed, through education. It tells the story of the faint call we have in our bosom. It tells the story of making something out of nothing. It tells the story of education, mind over brain.
Get educated.

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Hyped !

So I have been seeing this book on the list of must reads with raving reviews, including that of Mr.Gates infact. Perhaps because of the same I went to expect great things and profound learnings from this book and unfortunately it fell short of expectations. Yes, the author has encountered some truly wacky upbringing but she does not tie it cohesively into her current day progress and career advancements and how it helped her be “educated”. The narration by Julia Wheelen is on point though, she is definitely one of my favorites.

Give it a read if you want to, but definitely do it as a Audiobook the narration does give the book a better dimension.

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Educated I Am

Tara Westover's memoir will not leave me. Her detailed accounts, her dilemma, her ignorance, her constant conflict of what to be, how to be, when to be, where to be, oddly, makes sense and is relatable. We all love and admire family. Tara's story introduces us to love and family, like we have never known before. Thank you for the Education, Tara.
Julia Whelan's narration adds emotion making you laugh, cry, shout, hurt, and draw you back to the story until you are Educated.

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Phenomenal book

it's a superb book and you are hooked from the beginning itself. Highly recommended. Narrator has also done full justice to the story.

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Beautiful

It was pure joy to read this book. Don't miss it. It will make you cry. It will make you laugh. It will make you non judgemental.

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Dramatic & gripping narrative. But biased.

Gripping narrative. And extraordinary writing style. Julia Whelan narrative is grasping.

However, Taras memoir is, I felt, biased. Strangely she hasn't done single thing wrong her in her entire life as she kept on blaming every one else around her whilst giving little credit to her professors Nad friends.

Everyone around her pathetic where as she is a person on a pth to become perfect. Completely artificial memoir.
I have wen her couple of her interviews and it made my opinion even stronger. Her talk is artificial and no emotion in it. The emotion you see in the book is purely dramatic but doesn't sound real. Good writing style though.

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Enjoyed listening to this book.

It's a remarkable story of achieving one's freedom through education against familial constrictions.
Really good.

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  • Charmaine P
  • 09-10-18

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Jolene
  • 24-06-19

Best book of 2019

I loved this story, couldn't stop listening (downloaded the audio version). Tara opened up her world and took me with her. This is a story about family, how much we are shaped by it but also how much you sometimes have to cut the ties to survive. I was blown away by her determination. She kept listening to that little voice inside of her. In her heart she stayed loyal to them not by following their "rules" but by loving them. I think that's what matters in the end.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-11-19

Great story writing, spot on narration

I bought the book on kindle, finished it, bought the audiobook, finished it and ended up getting the paperback as well... hahaha what more can i say.

Tera really dug deep and expressed her childhood trauma and experiences in such a introspective and honest manner and also managed to make it chilling and engaging. It sure left me thinking about my own views of my childhood, life and how we take many things for granted.

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  • Shonti
  • 11-11-19

Inspiring and Challenging

I really liked the raw honesty and courage of this story. I enjoyed it and yet trembled at the resonance in part to aspects of my own inner self.
It is a compelling true story and I recommend it highly.

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  • Vicky
  • 22-10-19

It's not just a story it's Life

Every one who loves reading must be listen or Read thia story once in a lifetime ,I don't think i can't able to Read or listen this story again , I mean this contend is very intense, While i was listening i can't able to concentrate on anything i don't know how many day's it's going to stay with me loved it from bottom of my heart for, finally Tara Westover you're true inspiration..

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  • Anonymous User
  • 16-09-19

Loved this book

Amazing narration with clear distinctions between characters. Well formed and thought out story.
So emotionally intelligent. Loved this book!

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  • Melissa
  • 26-08-19

Extraordinary

This book is wonderfully erudite, touching without any yawning sentimentality. Beautifully read. Congratulations to Tara Westover.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-08-19

Educated

Very good narrator . Good story. Amazing to hear how other people live. goog listen.

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  • Eric
  • 16-07-19

Great voice

Julia Whelan was excellent in bringing the story to life. It made all the difference.

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  • Camila
  • 18-06-19

Buenísimo de principio a fin.

La historia te envuelve desde el principio. Hace mucho no me picaba tanto en un audiolibro, no pude dejar de escucharlo.

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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

23 of 23 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 22-03-18

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.

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

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  • Rachel
  • 14-03-18

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Heather
  • 28-07-19

Wonderful and thought provoking

Beautifully written and narrated, often painfully depicting a child, a family, abused, bulleyed and controlled under the cover of Mormonism. Shocking that such derranged minds could wield such power over their innocent families using threats and violence, hidden from the authorities under their cloak of religeon. Hard to know if the abusers were simply brainwashed into their psychopathy or were born warped and enjoyed the protection of their mormon enclave to carry out their sadistic rituals.
The book made me angry for the family members, who, while striving to be 'good' people gave power to evil men.
It's amazing to me that after the torture she suffered, mental and physical, the cruelty and rejection, the author still revered and loved her parents and sought their approval and affection. Making her the greater person.
It's always hard for those us who haven't experienced this sort of abuse to understand the control these abusers have, the guilt and self blame they instil into their victims.
At the end of it all, despite Tara's true goodness of heart and forgiving spirit, I do wish someone would grab that nasty old dad by the scruff and throw him and his psychopathic son Sean into goal and give them a taste of their own medicine!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • TK
  • 25-02-19

Unique and great... but unfinished and incomplete

Julie Whelan is a fantasic narrator in this audiobook. Tara's story is fascinating and unique, but there is a slight irritation after finishing her book. After a way too detailed first third of the book about her childhood, we fast forward through life experiences and pass others in tangent, that would be crucial to understand the author's change in perspective. It feels like the author, despite her best intentions, still hasn't come to terms with herself and the family. The story has not yet ended, and Tara needs to do some self-exploration over things that are glaringly obvious to the outsider. Or at least it seems so from her book.
I almost want to ask the author to get, or continue getting counselling - and I would really want to hear her next book.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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  • Elma
  • 28-03-18

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Eadaoin
  • 31-07-19

Moving

family estrangement written with pure softness and truth . Despair , loss , love , trauma and confusion can be felt everywhere yet the authors own grit powered through.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 26-09-18

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • David J. Carpenter
  • 22-09-18

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Maya Connell
  • 09-10-19

Fantastic

A truly inspiring story of a life. Tara really gets to heart of what it takes to love a family but also what it takes to leave it, even if that leaving means coming back and examining it over and over as a part of the process of understanding. The miles she came in distance, thought and ideology is huge, makes for a un-turnoffable listen!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Zoonda
  • 08-11-18

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.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

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  • Paul Taylor
  • 21-12-18

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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-11-18

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

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Lisa
  • 09-03-19

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.’

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 07-08-19

interesting but not outstanding

The rave reviews had me investing. But the story wasnt memorable nor will I be recommending it to others.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 02-11-19

Do yourself a favour and read this

Tara Westover you are a legend!! More people should celebrate their self-growth and learn to not self-loth.
We are not all fortunate to grow up in families deserved of respect. Thank you for sharing your story. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • HR
  • 30-07-19

Tara your amazing!

Tara you defied the odds through sheer strength of character which guided you to safe shores without your conscience knowledge most of the time. I hope life brings you every conceivable joy & a few inconceivable ones too, you deserve it my dear. 😊

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 20-12-18

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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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-11-19

Horrific and Fantastic

I absolutely loved this story and at the same time feel horrified that a person had to live through something like this. The book is written very well, the descriptions are vivid and I loved the development of the story. I think my most favourite part of this though, is that it is not written from the mentality of a victim, but from the mind of a woman that owns her story and takes it for what it was.

What an amazing accomplishment Tara! And congratulations on all of your academic achievements! Thank you for sharing your story with us! Z

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  • Anna Le Merle
  • 13-11-19

What an amazing story for such a young lady

Tara's story is amazing. She had a very interesting and somewhat sheltered upbringing which she somehow managed to leave to start a completely different life of her own. It will be good if she adds to this story in the future as i certainly would be iinterested in reading it. This book has come out whilst she is still young so her story needs to continue.