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Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Audiobooks~December 2013

SUMMARY :

Poignant, raw, and insightful, Jennifer Gilmore's third novel is an unforgettable story of love, family, and motherhood. With a "voice [that is] at turns wise and barbed with sharp humor" (Vanity Fair), Gilmore lays bare the story of one couple's ardent desire for a child and their emotional journey through adoption.

Jesse and Ramon are a loving couple, but after years spent unsuccessfully trying to get pregnant, they turn to adoption, relieved to think that once they navigate the bureaucratic path to parenthood they will have a happy ending. But nothing has prepared them for the labyrinthine process - for the many training sessions and approvals; for the constant advice from friends, strangers, and "experts;" for the birthmothers who contact them but don't ultimately choose them; or even, most shockingly, for the women who call claiming they've chosen Jesse and Ramon but who turn out never to have been pregnant in the first place.

Jennifer Gilmore's eloquence about the human heart - its frailties and complexities - and her razor-sharp observations about race, class, culture, and changing family dynamics are spectacularly combined in this powerful novel. Suffused with passion and fury, The Mothers is a taut, gripping, and satisfying book that will stay with readers long after they turn the last page.


*I'm just finishing this fabulous Audiobook and highly recommend it.  The narrator is just awesome...very relatable and speaks like I would think Jesse does.  I love the story!  Jennifer Gilmore is a little known author who really deserves more recognition.  She's a wonderful author.

I borrowed this Audiobook from my local library through the Overdrive sharing method.




SUMMARY :

The bestselling author of The Madonnas of Leningrad returns with a breathtaking novel of love, madness, and devotion set against the extravagant royal court of eighteenth-century St. Petersburg.
Born to a Russian family of lower nobility, Xenia, an eccentric dreamer who cares little for social conventions, falls in love with Andrei, a charismatic soldier and singer in the Empress's Imperial choir. Though husband and wife adore each other, their happiness is overshadowed by the absurd demands of life at the royal court and by Xenia's growing obsession with having a child—a desperate need that is at last fulfilled with the birth of her daughter. But then a tragic vision comes true, and a shattered Xenia descends into grief, undergoing a profound transformation that alters the course of her life. Turning away from family and friends, she begins giving all her money and possessions to the poor. Then, one day, she mysteriously vanishes.

Years later, dressed in the tatters of her husband's military uniform and answering only to his name, Xenia is discovered tending the paupers of St. Petersburg's slums. Revered as a soothsayer and a blessed healer to the downtrodden, she is feared by the royal court and its new Empress, Catherine, who perceives her deeds as a rebuke to their lavish excesses. In this evocative and elegantly written tale, Dean reimagines the intriguing life of Xenia of St. Petersburg, a patron saint of her city and one of Russia's most mysterious and beloved holy figures. This is an exploration of the blessings of loyal friendship, the limits of reason, and the true costs of loving deeply.



*Just starting this one tomorrow!!  Love anything having to do with Russia...love story...tragedy.. 





OVERVIEW :

National Book Award Finalist
Shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author of The Namesake comes an extraordinary new novel, set in both India and America, that expands the scope and range of one of our most dazzling storytellers: a tale of two brothers bound by tragedy, a fiercely brilliant woman haunted by her past, a country torn by revolution, and a love that lasts long past death.

Born just fifteen months apart, Subhash and Udayan Mitra are inseparable brothers, one often mistaken for the other in the Calcutta neighborhood where they grow up.  But they are also opposites, with gravely different futures ahead. It is the 1960s, and Udayan—charismatic and impulsive—finds himself drawn to the Naxalite movement, a rebellion waged to eradicate inequity and poverty; he will give everything, risk all, for what he believes. Subhash, the dutiful son, does not share his brother’s political passion; he leaves home to pursue a life of scientific research in a quiet, coastal corner of America.

But when Subhash learns what happened to his brother in the lowland outside their family’s home, he goes back to India, hoping to pick up the pieces of a shattered family, and to heal the wounds Udayan left behind—including those seared in the heart of his brother’s wife.

Masterly suspenseful, sweeping, piercingly intimate, The Lowland is a work of great beauty and complex emotion; an engrossing family saga and a story steeped in history that spans generations and geographies with seamless authenticity. It is Jhumpa Lahiri at the height of her considerable powers.


*Note:   This is the next Audiobook I'll be starting hopefully at the end of December...I'm now on the waiting list for it at my library.  It's supposed to be fabulous, but I don't have time to read it otherwise, so I'm choosing this method.  Once I start it, I'll report back.  I may end up buying the hard copy if I get into it!  I didn't read "The Namesake" but I know this author is well-loved and her books are awarded, obviously.


 

Are you listening to any books over the holidays?  Please let me know if you've heard these, above.

Deb

8 comments:

JoAnn

I plan to read or listen to The Lowlands soon, too. Am currently listening to The Signature of All Things by Elizabeth Gilbert and enjoying it very much!

MK McClintock

Thank you for the recommendations. I have such a difficult time finding good e-books. There are always a lot of miles to drive in Montana, and audiobooks are a great way to pass the time. All three of these sound great!

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