For readers of The Glass Castle and Wild, a stunning new memoir about family, loss and the struggle for a better future
#1 International Bestseller
Tara Westover was seventeen when she first set foot in a classroom. Instead of traditional lessons, she grew up learning how to stew herbs into medicine, scavenging in the family scrap yard and helping her family prepare for the apocalypse. She had no birth certificate and no medical records and had never been enrolled in school.
Westover’s mother proved a marvel at concocting folk remedies for many ailments. As Tara developed her own coping mechanisms, little by little, she started to realize that what her family was offering didn’t have to be her only education. Her first day of university was her first day in school—ever—and she would eventually win an esteemed fellowship from Cambridge and graduate with a PhD in intellectual history and political thought.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Like Mary Carr’s The Liar’s Club and Jeannette Walls’ The Glass Castle, Educated is a beautifully written testament to human resilience: the story of a seriously messed-up childhood and an against-all-odds journey toward empowerment. Tara Westover grew up in rural Idaho, where her family stockpiled supplies and weapons for the end days. Instead of going to school, young Tara worked alongside her father salvaging scrap metal (resulting in harrowing near-misses) and assisted her isolated herbalist mother. Westover has a rare talent for writing about both grace and horror—her story of starting her formal education at age 17 and finding her calling imprints itself in the imagination.
Actor Whelan chooses a simple, straight reading of Westover's memoir about growing up in a dysfunctional, abusive fundamentalist family. It's a wise choice, partly because there are so many dramatic scenes throughout the book that it would exhaust the listener to have them dramatized, and partly because Westover portrays herself as a passive and compliant family member until the day she enters a classroom for the first time at the age of 17. Whelan creates an angry, gravelly voice for Westover's paranoid, fundamentalist Mormon father, a controlling and abusive man terrified of the influence of teachers and doctors. While preparing for the imminent end of the world, he homeschools his children and keeps them ignorant of all events outside their isolated Idaho home. Some family members are maimed by hideous accidents, and physical fights are common in the household. Still struggling with the ingrained need to be loyal to her family, Westover eventually attends college and earns a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. Whelan smoothly guides listeners through Westover's physical and emotional traumas as she powerfully conveys Westover's transform from "a wicked thing" to a scholar. A Random House hardcover.
This book was amazing to read. Read it in just a few days as I couldn’t put it down. Good job on the writing part.
I finally read this book that was calling to me. I have to be honest, while I admired Tara’s story to her quest for education, I did not like the violence in this story that came from her brother. It was really disturbing to read that a family member wants to kill you and your parents and other sibling are siding with this psycho and disowning you and not believing you. I know that Tara did not come from a conventional family, the youngest of seven from Mormon upbringing with a father who didn’t believe in the government, hence didn’t put his kids into school system and didn’t believe in the help of doctors. His wife who was a midwife, was supporting his ideas with natural oils and remedies. They were able to thrive financially because of their beliefs in the miracle of their oils. However, there were many accidents that the family went through because of negligence or pure ignorance. It is surprising or not from their upbringing that 3 PhDs came out of this same family, with Tara being one of them, scoring an education from Cambridge and Havard. If from this book you don’t believe in the power of education being transformative, I don’t know what to tell you. Tara is proof that you can transform your life and beliefs from being exposed to knowledge. I loved that throughout the book she showed how she grew and transformed her beliefs from the narrow viewpoint presented by her father from her early age. That part of the book I really liked! It comes to show the complexities of rural communities where traditional way of thinking is the rule and where you can open up beliefs by being exposed to just a little bit of education.
This book was not a typical book that I would read. However, it was very moving for me. It helped me reconcile the feelings I experience when reflecting on my childhood.