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Publisher's Summary

An unforgettable memoir in the tradition of The Glass Castle about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University
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 Random House Audio
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Critic Reviews

"Powerful, moving, brave, naked, and completely at home in its form, Tara Westover's Educated gives us homegrown American originals, who find their Mormon congregation too conventional, and raise their children on a western mountain, refusing them birth certificates and not allowing them to attend school. This is a daughter's story of how she grew into herself and comes to understand her home. This book would be far less harrowing if it were a novel." (Mona Simpson, author of Casebook and Anywhere But Here)
"A punch to the gut, a slow burn, a savage indictment, a love letter: Educated somehow contrives to be all these things at once. Tara Westover guides us through the extraordinary western landscape of her coming of age and in clear, tender prose makes us feel what she felt growing up among fanatics." (Claire Dederer, author of Love and Trouble)
"Narrator Julia Whelan's performance is outstanding. She expresses author Tara Westover's naïve trust in her father's conviction that the world will end at Y2K; incredulity at the constant freak accidents of children being gashed, set on fire, or concussed while working in a junkyard (God will protect); and mortification at discovering her ignorance of the Holocaust and Martin Luther King in her freshman year at Brigham Young University. Whelan conducts a master class in the fear, dread, and self-doubt wrought by domestic violence as Westover recounts her older brother's terrorizing all while spewing religious righteousness." (AudioFile)  
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By W. K. Caldwell on 02-23-18

Couldn't stop listening!

I finished this book in two days flat. Tara's writing transports you into the story completely. Her vulnerability and downright astonishing history of her life is unforgettable. I recommend this book for anyone struggling in relationships dominated with control and abuse. Her bravery is catching.

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12 of 13 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Bruce C. on 02-24-18

I highly recommend this book!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I just finished listening to Educated. Parts of the book left my crying. I grew up in the same high-demand religion. While my family was not as fundamentalist, isolated or controlling, the similarities were there. As a gay man, I didn’t fit in and had to make my break from the culture and set up appropriate boundaries with family. I also had to develop my family and friends of choice.

Any additional comments?

Tara tells the story of fundamentalism, patriarchy and an apocalyptic view of the world intertwined with bi-polar mental illness. The story is inspiring but shows how hard it is to separate yourself from the world view of your childhood and family. She overcame some very limiting views of how the world works.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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