Author: Tara Westover
Audiobook Narrator: Julia Whelan
Publisher: Windmill Books
Publication Date: November 2018
Summary: from Amazon
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 sixteen, 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.
I feel like there was a point last year when everyone seemed to be reading this book and it was receiving buckets of praise. Because it’s hype was so massive I was somewhat put off reading it because I just didn’t think it could possibly live up to expectation. Then, a month or so ago, I was looking for an audiobook to spend my audible credit on and I decided to give Educated a try. I tend to prefer memoirs in audiobook form for some reason, maybe because someone telling their story lends itself more to the medium. For whatever reason, it just works, and Educated was no exemption.
It’s a story so outside of what is ‘normal’ to me that I almost can’t comprehend people like the Westover’s exist. I’m so used to the idea that as a child school is crucial and, frankly, not really debatable but apparently not! Listening to Tara’s bizarre, fascinating and often pretty horrifying tale of her highly unusual life and education was eye-opening and so interesting. There is a constant push and pull she feels between her family and her self propelled academic career. It is so affecting to hear her desperation to not lose the people she loves but find herself at the same time.
The audiobook is really well done, Whelan does such a great job with an incredibly personal story and makes it feel like you are experiencing every tense moment along with Tara. I didn’t think this book could live up to it’s hype but I have to eat my words because it is absolutely fantastic and I feel like it’s the sort of book anyone could read and get something out of – even if it’s just an understanding of a different perspective.
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