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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 (413 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Brought to you by Penguin. 

Selected as a book of the year by Amazon, The Times, Sunday Times, Guardian, New York Times, Economist, New Statesman, Vogue, Irish Times, Irish Examiner and RED Magazine.

The multi-million copy best seller.

A Book of the Decade, 2010-2020 (Independent).

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.

From one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people of 2019.

Shortlisted for the 2018 BAMB Readers' Awards.

Recommended by Barack Obama, Anthony Beevor, Blake Morrison and Nina Stibbe.

©2018 Tara Westover (P)2018 Random House Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"An amazing story, and truly inspiring. The kind of book everyone will enjoy. IT’S EVEN BETTER THAN YOU’VE HEARD." (Bill Gates)

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What listeners say about Educated

Average Customer Ratings
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A book I will revisit again and again.

It took me just three days to finish this audiobook. This is one of the best coming of age stories I have read. Reminds you to stand up for yourself and carve your own reality. Such a emotional but beautiful read. The narrator is great too. Thankyou Tara for sharing your story.

1 person found this helpful

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Great book, great narration!

Highly inspiring story of the author about her struggles and how she overcame those to get really 'educated', really a great book with fluidic writing,
The narration is superb, such a beautiful crisp voice and amazing style of narration which just carries you inside the story, making you feel the feelings of the author firsthand..

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A thorough mix of Courage and resilience

I picked this up when i was going through a bad time myself and it was like the world was telling me to have faith and not give up.
This story is bound to have an effect long after you have finished it.
What i liked about it most was that every character has been showcased with good heart as well. its not all negative with everyone. Perfect example that people come with baggage and some truly transform and change as they grow, whereas some get lost.
Tara westover is one hell of a women.

1 person found this helpful

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A must listen!!

It's an amazing account of Tara's extraordinary life journey. It has also been written beautifully to depict her life events as vividly as possible. While the parent child relationship is at the core of this book, it authentically captures the hope, despair, fear, anger, trust and more importantly resilience of the people involved. The author is just 31 at the time of book publishing, which shows how relatable this entire narrative could be for the younger generation. Finally, kudos to Julia Whelan for blowing life into the story through her excellent narration on audible

1 person found this helpful

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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.

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A brilliant piece of work

I listened to the audiobook of the book, and no doubt @audible enhanced my experience in every way.
Educated is a memoir of Tara Westover. I wonder curiosity and determination can do such a beautiful change your life, which you can realise only if you imply them in your life.
"You are your best teacher". Tara's father used to say this line to her, and she proved that her father was right.
🍁
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 family members had no trust on medical science or any scientific theories. Her mother's head injury remained untreated fully throughout her life. Nobody was allowed to think about their education, or Carrer. They were made to believe that the junkyard or their mothers herb culture were their ultimate destiny.
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.
🍂
Consistent fightings with the family members even after achieving certain high class goals could not suppress Tara Westover's patience, perseverance, and urge to do better in life.
This book is really a great piece of art. The gripping power in her narration is germane. There are enough reasons for staying in the New York Times Bestsellers for a long time.
Keep reading📚.
.
@lady_bibliofoodie

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A well educated woman

A tale of a girl who was raised by a family with superstitions.
Truly mesmerizing.

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Outstanding

Its such a brilliant memoir by Tara Westover. And kudos to Julia Whelan for the engaging voice over.

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revealing, painful and thankful

having watched captain fantastic (awesome movie), I came across the book and thought it may be on similar lines. then after reading the reviews, I realised that it's very different. overall, the book is painful to go through and yet I would suggest you read it. people bear children, but then don't live upto the responsibility towards the life they brought into this world. forget the education part, not caring for a life and almost killing someone in the process, supporting abusive behaviour, making up false fantasies to misguide and only relying on poorly learnt alternate medical practices. living in harmony in nature was the last thing they were doing , if that's what the intention was to live such a life. Tara must have been brilliant, or she was uncomplicated to pursue what she wanted to do to reach here. most of her narrative was matter of fact and not judgemental - and that's what kept me going through the book. and that's the endearing quality is why this book is good - you tell an event as an event, not as a preacher.

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A very unique, personal and original story

I had no idea about what mormonism was all about before reading the book and it explains the experience of being zealously devout and then questioning the belief with equal fervour.
It is a personal tale of growing up and getting educated which was liberation for the author.
I loved the way in which so many layers and issues are woven by the author in her retelling of the events - religion, parenting, American history, bipolar disorder, health, and so much more.
Overall, a sad story, told beautifully by the author and performed extremely well by the person reading it out. Must read/listen.

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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 people found this 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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-01-20

A haunting book beautifully written

Story and narration was excellent. Powerful story of religion and how big a role education has.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Dilip Bhagwat
  • 05-04-19

Excellent story, narration and gripping!

It is difficult to believe that people with such conviction of God`s hand in all things done still exist in today's world

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anna
  • 15-09-20

Incredible Truths

I imagine this a formidable decision for one to put this testimony into words and applaud the fortitude to publish this work for those who will never speak.

Thank you!

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  • A E Parfett
  • 06-08-20

Educated

this was the most set inspiring autobiography I’ve ever read/listened to...a must read

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  • Jacobus Strydom
  • 23-07-20

loved it

I loved this book, the narrator was great. I am still trying to process everything that has happened to Tara. This story will stay with me forever.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-06-20

Phenomenal story from a wonderful writer

One of the most incredible stories I have ever heard. Wonderfully written and each chapter I was completely engaged. This was read by the author and Westover is a natural story teller.

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  • Judith Wilson
  • 24-05-20

An engrossing personal and social history

This story of a phenomenal personal journey is so well written and also provides a much broader social commentary to reflect on.

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  • Betina
  • 25-02-20

Best book

This was definitely the best book I have ever listened to. Very interesting and very different upbringing.

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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

30 people found this 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.

10 people found this 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.

19 people found this 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.

6 people found this 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!

5 people found this 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.

4 people found this 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.

4 people found this 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.

3 people found this 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.

3 people found this 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!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 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.

14 people found this 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.

11 people found this 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

8 people found this 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.’

5 people found this 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.

2 people found this 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 people found this 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. 😊

2 people found this 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.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-05-20

Transcendent role of self knowledge

A searing and insightful recollection of experiencing/overcoming an isolated upbringing enmeshed with entwined love and abuse

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-05-20

vivid narrative

It was my first audio book ever and I loved it. One of the highlights for me is the vivid narrative, descriptions that you can see, and a overarching theme of how education touches lives.

1 person found this helpful