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Educated: A Memoir

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Julia Whelan

12 Hours 11 Minutes

Random House (Audio)

February 2018

Audio Book Summary

#1 NEW YORK TIMES, WALL STREET JOURNAL, AND BOSTON GLOBE BESTSELLER • One of the most acclaimed books of our time: an unforgettable memoir about a young woman who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University
“Extraordinary . . . an act of courage and self-invention.”—The New York Times
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW • ONE OF PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA’S FAVORITE BOOKS OF THE YEAR • BILL GATES’S HOLIDAY READING LIST • FINALIST: National Book Critics Circle’s Award In Autobiography and John Leonard Prize For Best First Book • PEN/Jean Stein Book Award • Los Angeles Times Book Prize
Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Her 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. When another brother got himself into college, Tara decided to try a new kind of life. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge University. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
“Beautiful and propulsive . . . Despite the singularity of [Westover’s] childhood, the questions her book poses are universal: How much of ourselves should we give to those we love? And how much must we betray them to grow up?”—Vogue

ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The Washington Post, O: The Oprah Magazine, Time, NPR, Good Morning America, San Francisco Chronicle, The Guardian, The Economist, Financial Times, Newsday, New York Post, theSkimm, Refinery29, Bloomberg, Self, Real Simple, Town & Country, Bustle, Paste, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, LibraryReads, Book Riot, Pamela Paul, KQED, New York Public Library

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  • Gary G.

    Frustrating, aggravating, educating--I could not stop listening once I started. It is so well written and narrated that it totally absorbs you. There are many useful insights to be gained by Westover's evaluation of her tragic relationship with her family and her radical religious upbringing. Those relationships affected every aspect of her life for more than 30 years. I am grateful that the author was able to set that tortured life aside to share this with us.I have recommended this book to women of all ages. It should be required reading for everyone.

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  • Mihai S

    Read it or listen to it, doesn’t matter - absorb this superb work one way or another. It’s a brilliant work that will go far - I could easily imagine turning it into a movie to reach even more people. Tara is a writer of great potential with an intelligence that is shining on every page.

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  • Ken S.

    Outstanding memoir. I can see why it has received the attention and awards it has. Very much deserved. My heart just ached for Tara for what she endured the whole way through the book. I am in awe of the physical and emotional strength she developed from the time she was very young. The narrator is compelling, as well. I imagine that Tara sounds very much like her.

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  • Maggi B.

    A well written reflective story. It brilliantly illustrates, through this personal story, how we develop our perceptions and beliefs over time and how difficult it is to change misconceptions. Through Tara’s insights and perseverance we understand why there are many different beliefs in this country and the world and how education and varied life experiences open the mind to a safer more accepting reality.

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  • Cari A

    This is an amazing story that’s well written with a great narration. Highly recommend!

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  • Angela P.

    Fantastic memoir! A MUST read!

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  • Fernanda M.

    I thought this would be an inspiring morning read, but it was more a story of struggle with very descriptive physical and mental abuse that doesn’t diminish through the end of the book. An incredible story nonetheless, but I felt I carried the weight of the story with me all day. Not for the lighthearted reader.

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  • Hope B.

    This book was very interesting. In the climate of advancement and technology who would think that there are some children out there not receiving an education due to having zealots for parents. Great topic and written beautifully.

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  • Marianne L.

    This book was very human. I could feel the unique family dynamics and narrow mindedness of religious beliefs. I enjoyed every second of it.

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  • Lisa B.

    I absolutely loved this book and the narration. I even downloaded a kindle addition so I could actually experience reading Tara’s words directly. A stunning story about almost every aspect of the human condition!

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