Brought to you by Penguin Selected as a book of the year by , 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, 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 radical and her brother violent At , 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 smost influential people ofShortlisted for theBAMB Readers Awards Recommended by Barack Obama, Anthony Beevor, Blake Morrison and Nina Stibbe

14 thoughts on “Educated (Audio Download): Tara Westover, Julia Whelan, Random House Audiobooks: Audible Audiobooks

  1. Bookthrower Bookthrower says:

    Some autobiographical memoirs of traumatic childhoods areself pitying and self absorbed This one is not The author gives a balanced picture of her troubled family,in which madness is combined with ingenuity, intelligence and grit, and of the wider Mormon community in which she grew up It provides a fascinating insight into the complex effects of mental illness on family relationships and the individual It is also a moving story of one individual s successful struggle to overcome those effects and live a satisfying life.

  2. Mrs. S. Thorne Mrs. S. Thorne says:

    I expected this book to be redemptive, and it finally left me rather depressed I suppose I was waiting for the author s vindication, and I probably wanted a bit of retribution to fall on those appalling parents and that horrible brother It is hard to believe this was happening during the 21st century, and I admire the author for her ultimate escape, though I was frustrated by the number of times she returned home and faced abuse Don t want to re read it.

  3. megmerrett megmerrett says:

    Usually I take issue with someone younger than me churning out a memoir On this occasion I m all for it This is a stonker I couldn t believe that it s based in the late 20th and early 21st century I kept slipping into an assumption that it was 1960s America.I read a review in a broadsheet that mentioned Westover s author s voice being distant and a little cold I didn t feel this at all I felt it was all the powerful for not being doused in flowery descriptions It was clear and real and honest.I like the references to how reliable a storyteller is, how our memories differ and how, in real life we have to find a way of weaving varying recollections to find a truth.It s an anthem to the power of education and knowledge Fascinating and incredibly readable The numerous accidents felt like the tense moments in an episode of Casualty You know whenever there s a scene with a tractor that something horrific is going to happen.It s a 4 for now but of a 4.5..

  4. millhall millhall says:

    A remarkable book , written by a remarkable person Brought up by parents who were fanatical Mormons, she had to suffer threats and aggression from a dysfunctional brother, a childhood without any formal education and repeated pronouncements that the end of the world was nigh Despite spending much of her pre pubertal years as an unpaid labourer, she contrived to turn her life around and ended up as a scholar in both Cambridge and Oxford Inevitably, she had great difficulty in maintaining relationships largely because core facts about history and life outside the teachings of the Mormon Church were a blank page to her She had never heard of the Holocaust knew nothing of the World Wars and was told that the authorities had murdered members of another Mormon family because of their faith Despite all of these encumbrances, she became a highly respected academic Her success was bought at the price of her family relationships but she came to accept that cost The book can be a little fragmentary with no continuous chronological line, but it is a compelling read which I will not easily forget.

  5. Lucy Mitchell Lucy Mitchell says:

    I hope Tara Westover one day writes fiction because her prose is so engaging and captivating.A powerful and gripping read which makes you feel grateful for your own childhood.I can t believe Tara has achieved so much after the years with her dysfunctional family her accident prone father, his radical beliefs, her evil older brother Shawn and her mentally scarred mother.I loved how Tara s quest to learn never went away, it kept encouraging her to look outside the farm and the mountain.I got used to her father s odd ways, but what I did struggle with was her older brother Shawn and the things he did to Tara.I don t normally read memoirs but I am glad I did with this.

  6. Mayuri Mayuri says:

    This is an absolutely riveting book that I couldn t put down until finally I had finished it in the small hours of the morning.Tara Westover tells the story of her childhood and upbringing with such descriptive narrative that it s easy to see the farm and mountain where she grew up and to imagine what it must have been like to be a young girl in her family house.When the first incidents start to appear one is held in a kind of shock This is horrible, so wrong, so very wrong that she is treated like this and we wait for someone to recognise the abuse and intervene and put a stop to it.But the interventions never come and with each successive incident of abuse, violence and gross neglect we read on in increasing disbelief and horror that no one has stopped these people, called them out on what they are doing and stepped in to protect the victims.Tara tells her life story so skilfully, she somehow allows us to experience what she went through and yet disassociate from the worst parts simultaneously in the same way she did It s such brilliant brilliant writing technique to tell us and yet show us in the same sentence Offering narrative of what her future self came to understand was happening to her, she relays at the same time perfectly how the young girl she was then lived it.With either carefully crafted intention or from therapeutic necessity or maybe both she leads the reader to flow through the story narrative smoothly and expertly and then stop abruptly when an incident happens The way she writes and explains each incident forces a rereading of the paragraph than once, for suddenly there s a change in pace here and it s relayed from a disassociated perspective whilst still remaining in the first person.I can t help thinking that this emulates in part the way she herself must have visited and revisited these same incidents repeatedly in her head and in her journal to try to make sense of what has happening to her Except she somehow found a way to normalise it so she could continue to survive and function in such a dangerous hostile environment.Truly it s such marvellous intelligent writing and all the painful for it We feel a truer impact of her painful incredible story and feel for her in a way that is at once frustrating because we are powerless ourselves to step in and save her from the people who are her family Or even perhaps to save them all from themselves.It s interesting that this is domestic abuse and violence in full flow but Tara never calls it that in the book, save a indicative third party reference in the end She reaches for instead repeatedly, an understanding of why her family behaved the way they did Her love for them and need not to unfairly label them, even whilst recalling such pain, is obvious even here.In some ways the second and last part of the book are heartbreaking and haunting Whilst clearly all the physical wounds have healed and by the power of her own internal will, strength, resilience and focus and determination she has transformed her life into what any of us would applaud as a brilliant success and most of us can only aspire to in our dreams , there is a feeling that this is all overshadowed by the pain of her cruel and unfair eviction from the family.She describes the effects of their gaslighting with disturbing clarity Physical violence is one thing but to undermine and eradicate a person s sense of reality and self belief is an abhorrent abuse that leaves no visible scars, yet has a destructive force that can demolish a life from the inside out.There s a sense that even with her intellectual understanding, she still underneath it all keenly feels she s had to pay a high price for her personal safety, success and happiness That whilst than half of her family have cruelly rejected and evicted her and continue to slander her in attempt to regain lost power and control, she still feels love and undercurrents of loyalty towards them even whilst she knows she can no longer concede to the abuse.The book is an excellent example of the devastating cost an absence of education and self belief can have What Tara Westover doesn t emphasise and is notably non vocal and modest about is her own inspiring inner strength and brilliance as a human being.One can t help but feel that in the absence of having a family who appreciated their incredible good fortune to have such a remarkable daughter in their lives and who lived up to their responsibilities, she at some point is finally able to fully let go of them within herself To fully let go of that innate desire to have the love and regard of her parents Is this ever truly possible for a child, even an adult one That s debateable but if anyone deserves to be happy and free and lighthearted and at true peace within herself, it s undoubtedly Tara Westover.

  7. Carolyn Carolyn says:

    I read this book with conflicting sentiments and reactions It has been compared with The Glass Castle, a memoir which I loved Educated is a testimony of following one s ambitions and dreams while overcoming overwhelming obstacles and hardships It is an inspiring story of the drive for self realization and while overcoming doubts, guilt, self worth, and unhealthy family ties and beliefs I admit I felt some degree of skepticism There seemed to be contradictions and gaps which needed further explanation At times I felt it was documenting a nasty family feud while her recollection of family dynamics and its surrounding radical religious fanaticism and paranoia altered in her thinking I believed this was a story of overcoming an upbringing in a family of survivalists and poverty From what I thought I knew about survivalism, people lived off the grid, but there was mention of TV, computer, phone, camera, etc The parents chose to live in an atypical manner, driven by the eccentric father s belief that Armageddon or Judgement Day was rapidly approaching I could not classify the family as impoverished There were vehicles, often wrecked in accidents which needed expensive repairs or replacement They had expensive heavy duty machinery for construction and the junkyard business they owned There was also the fear that the feared government agents would invade the family property and weapons were stockpiled The father persuaded his wife to concoct natural medicines from herbs to sell as remedies for various illnesses No medical intervention or hospitals were permitted despite dreadful injuries occurring at the workplace The mother also worked as a midwife The family also spent time preserving countless jars of peaches for the end time.The children lacked birth certificates and were not permitted to attend school, and forced to work under dangerous conditions in the junkyard and construction Each youngster slept with a run for the hills backpack in case of a standoff by government law enforcement The author describes herself and the home as often dirty and smelly, and not having soap In spite of her description of a strict home, she went out on dates, performed in musicals at a nearby theatre and occasionally worked outside the home Three of the children have PHDs and the parents have become millionaires through their natural medicine business.I felt detached from the author s story thinking I was being forced to feel for her hard work and emotional upheavals, and there were parts missing in her recollections and information We were only getting one side of the dysfunctional family story There is no doubt that she was emotionally abused and injured by an older brother and the parents and in laws could not be trusted to uphold her accusations.Some credibility issues arose in her education That she was able, with no schooling, to teach herself enough to obtain very high marks on tests and be admitted into prestigious Universities is astounding and admirable Once at University she soon discovered her knowledge of recent history was woefully inadequate She had never heard of the Holocaust or the Civil Rights movement Funding was a mystery Grants and Scholarships only cover so much, but she did not seem to be a typical impoverished student as there were many return overseas flights from Cambridge University to home, and also vacations in Rome and Paris I finished the book feeling disconnected from her, and wanted to know how her life is like now, whether she is completely estranged from her family, and what her goals are for the future.

  8. Cherilyn Clough Cherilyn Clough says:

    I highly recommend this book about a girl whose childhood began on a beautiful mountain in a narrow world created by her father s anti establishment mindset of fear, insanity, and control and ended when she decided to venture out into the wider world and research the facts for herself Will she come home Can she come home Or will home be damaging to her spirit than the broader dangerous world her father fears I will try not to give spoilers, but most of the information in this review was provided by the book s author in interviews It s not the bare facts which are so fascinating, but the story itself and how it plays out If you ve ever been gaslighted, scapegoated or lied about by your own family, you will find in Tara Westover a true kindred spirit.The title of this book might give the impression it s merely about going to school While the author s lack of primary education is offset by her future ability to earn a doctorate at Cambridge, her education about society and the world outside her family is just as important as her rise academically.You might say Tara Westover s education started while she was very young Her life began on an Idaho mountain with survivalist parents A father who distrusts the government and runs an ever spreading scrap yard A mother who is practically coerced by her husband to become a midwife Born the youngest in a family of seven, her mother must ve burned out on homeschooling by the time Tara came along because she didn t get much book learning Her first level of education included prepping with her family for the time of desolation, dodging her father s careless flung scrap metal while she does child labor in his junkyard and accompanying her mother to home births Tara s early survivalist education includes learning how to survive her parents ignorant choices and a bullying older brother all of which are much greater threats than her father s perceived threats of the government taking over their lives.Her parents rarely leave the mountain They are home birthers, home schoolers, anti vaxers, anti establishment and anti medical care In a nutshell, her father seems nutso like a deranged lunatic with a massive stockpile of weapons than a father.Tara s mother appears to be her husband s enabler as she meekly follows suit and rationalizes his unhealthy choices even when they threaten her safety and the health of her children As a matter of fact, for a woman who eventually created a lucrative business by claiming to be a healer by designing her own line of essential oils, her mother s only safety instinct seems to be to protect the family secrets.As Tara watched the insanity and chaos of her parents poor choices, she had one example of life beyond the mountain One older brother left home and went to college He encouraged her to do the same This book is about her quest to get out from under her father s control first physically, then emotionally and eventually spiritually This process didn t happen overnight As anyone who has grown up under a narcissistic parent and knows what it s like to be bullied and gaslighted will find it easy to relate to Tara s journey.This memoir is the story of a girl who was thirsty for knowledge, got a sip of real truth and refused to drink the kool aid any longer It s the story if being scapegoated and gaslighted until she questions her sanity It s sad, but this book is also about the loss of siblings who would prefer to vote the family line than treat their sister as a friend It s also a story of triumph about the girl who escaped the box she was expected to stay in and become the one who got away from all the drama and insanity of her family of origin.It s incredible that Tara Westover succeeded in getting a doctorate from Cambridge, but even amazing is her social education and how she eventually transformed like Pygmalion and was able to self differentiate from her parents and choose the life she desired for herself.This book is an exciting read I read it around the clock within two days It s also complicated enough to provoke intellectual discourse about what it means to be faithful to oneself and how loyalty to family plays out against self worth and self knowledge.This memoir is the fourth book I ve reviewed about a woman raised in a fundamentalist Mormon family The first three were all brought up in polygamous households, but Tara only had two parents who kept their family in the local ward despite her father s concerns about the Illuminati infiltrating the mainstream Mormon church This family looks Mormon from the outside, but a sinister agenda lies under the surface She makes it clear this is NOT a book about Mormons but rather the head spinning tale of a dysfunctional family She reminds us that most Mormons send their children to public school and go to the doctor when it seems necessary The fundamentalist vibes which are all there, under a cloak of self righteousness, could be manifested within any denomination or cult.The only thing that made this book uncomfortable for me to read was the descriptions of the terrible injuries this family continually sustained due to the father s stupidity I constantly cringed at these stories much like I would while watching a show about life threatening emergencies Even worse, her father truly believed all these near death injuries were ordained by his arbitrary version of God It was all I could do to keep from screaming Such vivid descriptions were necessary though for the reader to understand what Tara had to endure.It s not much of a spoiler to say Tara is eventually going to go no contact with some of her family members She has told this in interviews What is impressive about Tara is that she shows no bitterness She loves her parents and family but has chosen to separate from them as a boundary for her sanity Or did they shun her first As in most narcissistic family survivor stories, it s often hard to tell.This memoir is a true survival story about surviving a survivalist mindset This book is the tale of narcissistic, emotional and spiritual abuse and one girl s victory in becoming herself despite being vilified and gaslighted My favorite quote from the book sums up Tara s journey, I am not the child my father raised, but he is the father who raised her Tara WestoverTara s story is a victory of education, but even , it s a triumph of her courage to rise up beyond the mountain the only home she ever had to find her authentic home within herself Bravo Tara Westover You are an amazing survivor Thank you for documenting your often painful journey so the rest of us can know that although our stories may vary, we are not alone.

  9. Vasundhra Gupta Vasundhra Gupta says:

    I read this book on my birthday eve I couldn t put it down I was waking up extra early to read this, delaying meals, delaying gym, putting life on hold, literally I really, REALLY loved every page.There s a LOT to get from her memoir But the crux, the power of education It s awe inspiring Her transformation can be experienced first hand through this account.This is one of my top three memoirs, all time Highly recommended

  10. Rubyvee Rubyvee says:

    Unfortunately thousands of adults mainly women could write autobiographies about living with enabling mothers controlling fathers, and being enablers themselves Maybe with less medical emergencies thrown in There was no insight into why women live this way Why women with a chance to leave abusive destructive relationships, families, stay Why women, her mother , live with, stay with and enable abusive, mentally ill, men More importantly how to change, how to leave.The book begins with Tara as a young child so she knows no other way However she is, I believe, around 28 years old with a PhD in history from Cambridge by the end of the book Absolutely no insight as to why, even as an adult, she continually returns home and tolerates, allows, family, young children, relatives, to be harmed living in this horrible family dynamic.

  11. earthygirl17 earthygirl17 says:

    I loved this book because it mirrors my own life so much and was so validating My mother has borderline personality disorder, I ran away from home to get a medical degree never believing I could, and still I am often shocked with how my family makes me out to be a terrible person when I get along with the rest of the world besides them so well My whole life I had wondered what was wrong with me, until I moved away and realized it was my family, not me, and I grew up in severe dysfunction Ditching narrow minded religion of the Catholic variety was the best thing I ever did for myself I thoroughly enjoyed this because I have lived a similar story and it is always nice to hear you are not alone Fantastic read Thank you for writing this Dr Westover It was so nice to hear it s not just me.

  12. K. Bruce Florence K. Bruce Florence says:

    If you believe this so call memoir, then I have a bridge She is a clever writer, left home to pursue an education because like millions of others she found life at home difficult at times The difference They didn t decide to turn a nontraditional childhood into a fortune and use her family as rungs on a ladder to riches and fame I don t buy a word of it.

  13. Just Me Just Me says:

    Very powerful I usually use reading before bed to relax my mind to sleep but this book often had me contemplating many things It brought up memories of a family life that didn t always make sense as a child but you did what you did because that is all you knew As an adult it has been a struggle to navigate what I learned growing up on a farm with strong male values and reconciling this in a world where I have become educated and am a professional and self sustaining women You gave me lots to think about Very admirable life and proud of how vulnerable you had to be to write this story Amazing first bookdefinitely a profound journeythanks for sharing.

  14. jackie moore jackie moore says:

    Was one of the best books I have ever read Reminded me of the Poisonwood Bible but this was a memoir so true as her memory recalls The world of loving your parents and siblings but coming to the realization that they were her scourge and trying to find her place in all of this I hope this will not be her last book.