Educated: A Memoir

Tara Westover, read by Julia Whelan. Random House Audio, , unabridged, 10 CDs., 12 hrs., $40 ISBN 978-0-525-52805-0
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. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 03/26/2018
Release date: 02/01/2018
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-525-52806-7
Ebook - 400 pages - 978-1-4434-5250-2
Pre-Recorded Audio Player - 978-1-987146-12-7
Hardcover - 352 pages - 978-0-399-59050-4
Paperback - 512 pages - 978-0-525-58998-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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