Three or four times in her reading of Quindlen’s latest family drama, Hope Davis, as the novel’s protagonist, Mary Beth Lauren, pronounces the word “astonishing.” She gives the second syllable a slight extra oomph, but that tiny emphasis delivers a potent charge. The word comes alive not only with meaning but also with sensory force. This is just one small example of how much in command this gifted actress is in a novel that moves from the subject of ordinary discontentment in family life to devastating loss. The novel is wholly interior, told from the perspective of Mary Beth, who assesses with a surgeon’s precision the minor frictions in her affluent, loving marriage and family and then struggles to hold onto meaning when everything changes. Davis not only captures a full-blooded, flawed woman but also makes listeners care deeply about her as well. M.O. 2011 Audies Finalist © AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine [Published: MAY 2010]
Trade Ed. Simon & Schuster Audio 2010
CD ISBN 978-1-4423-3400-7 $39.99 Eight CDs
DD ISBN multiple sources
Library Ed. Recorded Books 2010
CD ISBN 9781449810221 $92.75 Eight CDs
DD ISBN 978-1-4618-2637-8 $83.00
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