This is a novel about performance—dialogue, inner dialogue, and imagined dialogue—making it perfect for audio. Narrator Nicole Arumugum’s lovely voice is both languid and lively. The plot weaves between two simultaneous stories and jumps back in forth in time—which is difficult to follow on audio. But somehow this complication suits a book that is full of ambiguity, interchangeable characters, and the questionable use of authority. At the center of the novel is a saxophone teacher who grills her students on a school sex scandal, learns their secrets, and engineers relationships between the girls. Arumugum captures the manipulations of the teacher as well as the insecure tones of the teenagers and the college students next door. Eleanor Catton may want us to think about adolescence as a rehearsal for adulthood, but Arumugum’s performance is the real thing. A.B. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine [Published: NOVEMBER 2014]
Trade Ed. Hachette Audio 2014
DD ISBN 9781478954668 $22.98
Library Ed. Blackstone Audio 2014
CD ISBN 9781478957515 $90.00 Eight CDs
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