MEDIA

Educated

10 CDs. 12:10 hrs. Books on Tape. Feb. 2018. ISBN 9780525528074. $40. digital download. MEMOIR
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As the youngest of seven children born to fundamentalist parents in remote Idaho, seven-year-old Westover realized it was unusual that her siblings didn't go to school. Her father's distrust of government, education, and doctors meant Westover didn't have a birth certificate, medical records, or school records. Neglect and abuse were common, especially at the fists of one of her older brothers. Encouraged by another brother who got out, Westover begins the process of getting "educated" when she entered her first-ever classroom at 17 as a freshman at Brigham Young University. Basic history—the Holocaust, the civil rights movement—was yet unknown to her, but she progressed to Cambridge, Harvard, and back to Cambridge for a PhD in history. Narrator Julia Whelan embodies Westover's steely almost detached resolve, maintaining modulated control even amid desperate, dangerous situations—broken bones, third-degree burns, gruesome accidents. She reserves her growls and bellows for the Westover men determined—yet who fail—to keep their women down.
VERDICT A Mormon metamorphosis memoir is such a rarity that readers will undoubtedly be drawn to getting Educated. ["Explicit descriptions of abuse can make for difficult reading, but…Westover's writing is lyrical and literary in style": LJ 2/1/18 review of the Random hc.]

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