Library Ed. BBC Audiobooks America 2009
CD ISBN 978-0-7927-6400-7 $74.95 Seven CDs
Fay Weldon has a wicked sense of humor and a sharp eye for social folly. Here she applies them to a fairly coruscating portrait of a marriage, from hopeful beginning to horrible smash. The stepmother of the title is a young playwright called Sappho. The story is told alternately through her diaries and a novel manuscript that she asks her mother to hide—and through her Freudian-analyst mother Emily's commentary as she reads them, though she has promised not to. Jan Francis's marvelously droll performance is lighter and younger for Sappho than for the more alto Emily. She’s so effective as piping teenage step-horror Isabelle that the way she cries "Deddy!" when demanding her father's attention makes you want to punch her. A splendid production. B.G. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine [Published: APRIL 2010]
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