We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
One True Thing | [Anna Quindlen]

One True Thing

A young woman sits in jail, accused of the mercy killing of her dying mother. She didn't do it, but she thinks she knows who did. In the last months of her life, Ellen Gulden's mother revealed startling secrets that challenged everything Ellen believed about her family. Now, in jail, Ellen believes those secrets will tell her who had the courage to end her mother's suffering.
Regular Price:$26.60
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

For years, Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist Anna Quindlen has been admired for her extraordinary intelligence, insight, and honesty.

A young woman sits in jail, accused of the mercy killing of her dying mother. She didn't do it, but she thinks she knows who did. In the last months of her life, Ellen Gulden's mother revealed startling secrets that challenged everything Ellen believed about her family. Now, in jail, Ellen believes those secrets will tell her who had the courage to end her mother's suffering.

©1994 Anna Quindlen; (P)1995 Recorded Books

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (214 )
5 star
 (91)
4 star
 (71)
3 star
 (35)
2 star
 (14)
1 star
 (3)
Overall
4.1 (126 )
5 star
 (56)
4 star
 (44)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (6)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.2 (126 )
5 star
 (56)
4 star
 (47)
3 star
 (18)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (2)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Christina Z. CT, USA 05-09-08
    Christina Z. CT, USA 05-09-08 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    80
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Danger!"

    Don't listen to this while your driving unless you have a large pile of tissues nearby! This was my first book by Anna Quindlen; she is a beautifully descriptive writer. A few times I found myself really disliking the main character, and I'm not sure if that was the intended reaction; however, it was a touching and emotional story and I highly recommend this audiobook.

    14 of 14 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bonny 08-26-13
    Bonny 08-26-13 Member Since 2015

    Mother, knitter, reader, lifelong learner, technical writer, former library assistant & hematologist.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    553
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    143
    66
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    97
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quindlen's writing skills shine in One True Thing."

    Anna Quindlen is a genius with words and using those words to describe family dynamics; she does this masterfully in One True Thing. It's a story about a daughter, Ellen, caring for her dying mother, Kathy Gulden, with a subplot about mercy killing, but it's Quindlen's writing skill that makes it far more than a simplistic page-turner. While caring for her mother, and even long after her mother's death, Ellen sheds her illusions about her family, and learns how to truly know and understand their personalities and not just their preconceived character traits that she has oversimplified. In the process, Ellen becomes a person "with a heart", and Quindlen explores this beautifully. I wish I had read this book ten years ago when my mother was in a similar situation; it has shown me that there were things I could have and should have done.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wendi Overland Park, KS, United States 03-06-15
    Wendi Overland Park, KS, United States 03-06-15 Member Since 2012

    Canadian girl in Kansas, love audible, books on kindle or kindle fire, and old fashioned books! I enjoy fiction most, mostly books with strong female leads. Favourite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Stephen King, Jodi Picoult, Wally Lamb, Pat Conroy, Andre Dubus III, Lisa Genova, many more!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    250
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    117
    48
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    25
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Quindlen is a True Story Telling Artist"

    I've never read a Quindlen book that didn't sneak up on me with a resounding shock wave- I know they are coming, yet I read them anyway. It's like watching a movie that you know isn't going to end well more than one time- and hoping to see the same movie, yet wanting the ending to change..just once.. Like why did Jack have to die in Titanic- why couldn't Rose have moved over to let him on the floating piece of wood?

    Anyway, One True Thing is a beautiful novel about human compassion, and important subjects that seem taboo to discuss at dinner parties. When our loved ones get cancer and hospice comes to help in their dying days, more often than not a morphine overdose speeds along their death, decreases their horrible pain, and enables them to peacefully fall asleep.. forever.

    Our main character in One True Thing puts her life on hold and takes care of her dying mother. During the horrific process, she learns so much about her mother and father, and family- she is overwhelmed by the close feelings she develops and she is devastated when her mother passes from this world to the next. She is more surprised however, when she is arrested and put in jail for killing her mother- with a morphine overdose. She did not commit this crime- but she thinks she knows who did- and yet she finds the 'crime' an act of bravery as she recalls how her mother begged her to help her die, to help her ease her pain.

    This novel is beautiful and literature at it's very best. I would keep a box of kleenex nearby to go on this journey, which will most definitely hit far too close to home for many readers.

    4 stars across the board, I love Quindlen.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Charlotte Grants, NM, United States 12-19-10
    Charlotte Grants, NM, United States 12-19-10 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    78
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Two Good Books"

    Very sad and too realistic.Good twist at the end. If you are trying to decide between this book and Every Last One (also by Anna Quindlen) I would go with Every Last One. In this book I feel like the narrator is a little tedious but very clear and understandable.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn Bangor, ME, United States 06-23-10
    Kathryn Bangor, ME, United States 06-23-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Loosing your mother"

    I listened to this after loosing my mother in December of 2009, at the age of 92. Although she did not die of cancer, I had to fight with her doctor to let her "die in peace". Her doctor wanted to "send her to the hospital" to do everything for her. Death with dignity has many levels. This is a subject that needs to be addressed.

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pam A. 04-22-15
    Pam A. 04-22-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "EXCELLENT!"

    Thought provoking story. Very descriptive characterization throughout. Loved the narrator's ability to give full emotional and dramatic range to the different characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aditi Bedford, VA, United States 04-13-15
    Aditi Bedford, VA, United States 04-13-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Deeply moving"

    I wondered if this was based on a true story-- it was so realistic. So much insight into human nature and it reflected many of my own thoughts and feelings after my mother's death. Excellent writing as usual and well performed.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tina Sacramento, ca, United States 05-23-14
    Tina Sacramento, ca, United States 05-23-14 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    11
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Tedious and Disappointing"

    I usually love Anna Quindlen but this book never got off the ground. Maybe it was the narrator, but I found the writing tedious, the character development shallow and ho-hum and had to force myself to keep going - hoping all the while that I'd come to that magic moment when sticking with it becomes worth the effort. That never happened. The topic could and should have provided a rich landscape for exploring the meaning of life and death, of families and how we create boxes for each other that do a disservice to all. But the whole thing fell flat. I wouldn't bother with this one.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    krazum 03-17-15
    krazum 03-17-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So boring."

    Did not like the book at all but really didn't like the narration. Won't listen to other books if she is the narrator. I can't get those hours back. :-(

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-9 of 9 results

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.