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The English American Audiobook

The English American

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Publisher's Summary

When Pippa Dunn, adopted as an infant and raised terribly British, discovers that her birth parents are from the American South, she finds that "culture clash" has layers of meaning she'd never imagined. Meet The English American, a fabulously funny, deeply poignant debut novel that sprang from Alison Larkin's autobiographical one-woman show of the same name.

The very English Pippa knows how to make a proper cup of tea, has attended a posh English boarding school, and discusses the crossword rather than exchange any cross words with her proper English family. Yet Pippa - creative, disheveled, and impulsive to the core - has always felt different from her perfectly poised, smartly coiffed sister and steady, practical parents, whose pastimes include Scottish dancing, gardening, and watching cricket.

When Pippa learns, at age 28, that her birth parents are from the American South, she feels that lifelong questions have been answered. She meets her birth mother, an untidy, artistic, free-spirited redhead, and her birth father, a charismatic (and politically involved) businessman, and she moves to America to be near them. At the same time, she relies on the guidance of a young man with whom she feels a mysterious connection - a man who discovered his own estranged father and who, like her birth parents, seems to understand her in a way that no one ever has before. Pippa feels she has found herself and everything she thought she wanted.

But has she? Caught between two opposing cultures, two sets of parents, and two completely different men, Pippa is plunged into hilarious, heart-wrenching chaos. Her birth father turns out to be involved in neoconservative activities she hates, and the mesmerizing mother who once abandoned her now refuses to let her go. And the man of her fantasies may be just that.

Larkin's compulsively readable first novel unearths universal truths about love, identity, and family with wit, warmth, and heart.

©2008 Alison Larkin; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Author and narrator Alison Larkin lights up the earphones with her portrayal of Pippa Dunn, an English young woman who discovers that her birth parents are Americans. Pippa decides to go to America to meet them and ends up finding herself—and true love. Larkin's heartfelt narration conveys Pippa's mixed up feelings of confusion and guilt—as well as the story's humor. Larkin moves delightfully between the various British and American accents. With gentle humor, she pokes fun at both American and British cultures while making it clear she loves them both. This audio experience is like watching a great romantic comedy. Have the tissues ready at the end—the romance is that good! Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award." (AudioFile)

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What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (1063 )
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4.1 (413 )
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Performance
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  •  
    E Chapel Hill, New Caledonia 04-20-08
    E Chapel Hill, New Caledonia 04-20-08 Member Since 2011
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    "really enjoyed this one"

    Alison Larkin's performance is wonderful on this. She has a lovely voice, and is such a pleasure to listen to. This is one of those books that I think might be best in audio. The characters are engaging, interesting - a bit exaggerated, but because it's a first person work - we're seeing all of this from Pippa's view - it was ok and really very funny. In particular, the character of her (real) mother is funny and maddening, and also destructive but I see a lot of reality in there too.

    The story is good too - we often try to understand ourselves by looking at our family and our environment. Pippa is neither perfect nor omniscient, and she tries to understand herself better by seeking out her birth parents, but she learns that there aren't any easy answers, and that we are a product of nature and nurture.

    As a first novel, I found this excellent, and I hope Alison Larkin will continue Pippa's story.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cecelia Saunders Fairfax, Virginia, United States 04-11-08
    Cecelia Saunders Fairfax, Virginia, United States 04-11-08 Member Since 2015
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    "Loved it!"

    This was such a funny, sweet, amusing and sometimes sad story. I enjoyed every minute of it!
    The narrator is also the author and she did an excellent job on both counts. Highly recommended!

    9 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LilMissMolly 11-16-16

    LilMissMolly

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    "Excellent chik-lit book that is superbly narrated!"
    Any additional comments?

    I simply loved The English American by Alison Larkin. I laughed, I cried, and I exhibited several other emotions while listening to this chick-lit story about one woman's journey of self-discovery.

    The story revolves around 28-year old Pippa who is successful in her job and who is in a long term relationship with a boyfriend who wants to marry her. However, Pippa can't help but feel something is missing in her life. Although she always knew she was adopted and adores her parents, she can't help but feel like a clumsy fish out of water in a prim and proper London family. Pippa believes that if she knows who her birth parents are, she may be able to move forward in her life rather than feeling like she's merely treading water.

    The rest of the story is about Pippa's slow maturation while she searches for and gets to know her American birth parents. While at first I didn't really care for Pippa's character because she seemed too naive and mousey at the beginning, by the end I felt she had moxy and refused to do what her manipulative birth parents wanted her to do. While Pippa made several mistakes, I loved her loyalty to her adoptive parents and friends, and the ending is a perfect "happily ever after" and all I hoped for while my heart was breaking for Pippa near the end.

    Besides writing this engaging story, Alison Larkin also narrated the audiobook version I listened to. [One of the reasons I wanted to listen to this book is that Alison has been a favorite of mine for many years as I've enjoyed dozens of her narrations of historical romance and classics.] What I especially enjoyed in this particular narration is that you could hear the regret and disappointment in Pippa's voice when she realizes her birth parents are probably just as self absorbed in themselves now as they were when they conceived her and gave her up for adoption. In conclusion, The English American is an excellent book that is superbly narrated!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    elly bresz pittsburgh pa 10-29-13
    elly bresz pittsburgh pa 10-29-13 Member Since 2015

    I love all things British especially books written by British writers.

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    "very enjoyable"
    Would you listen to The English American again? Why?

    No, I enjoyed it very much but it's not the type of story that I re-read.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I wanted to keep listening to find out how it turned out. Character development is excellent.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Didn't laugh or cry, but LOVED the ending and it made me sigh with joy.


    Any additional comments?

    very enjoyable read. it provides an interesting perspective into someone who has been adopted and the whole "nature vs nuture" concept.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine 04-24-13
    Catherine 04-24-13
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    "Funny and light"

    I got a kick out of this funny book. While some of the characters were a tad stereotypical, the situation was unusual in the juxtaposition of British vs. American culture. The issue of adoption and wanting to know where you came from was thoughtfully handled.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    HIII 04-21-13
    HIII 04-21-13 Member Since 2016
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    "Happy ending"

    This is the story of a young adult who is adopted. She is dealing with needing to meet her birth parents through getting to know them. They are not traditional parent child relationships but starting with adult child getting to know her natural parents. Pippa, the daughter, is almost 30 but some of the emotions she expresses sound similar to teenage drama. Pippa is a singer and it was interesting to hear the variety of music from rock to religious. At one point I thought the book was more light opera than audio book! The English American is a coming of age book with a heroin who just seems to old to fit the part.,

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mon San Francisco, Ca 06-03-12
    Mon San Francisco, Ca 06-03-12 Member Since 2010

    12 step program please. I am addicted to Audible! I love trashy sexy books, award winning novels and everything between. Bring it!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Slow, really slow, then really Great!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of The English American to be better than the print version?

    Yes because Alison Larkin's voice is so wonderful. I have to admit that at the beginning of the book I was annoyed by what felt were too many competing main characters. But as the story unfolded and I began Pippa's journey I was able to ease into the characters and their unique voices.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved Pippa. She is charming, funny and sweet. She embarks on a very personal journey to discover her bio parents and gets an education in reality vs. expectation. I have friends who were adopted and I even traveled with a close friend when she met her bio mom for the first time. It was a nerve wracking experience that covered every emotional base. She and her bio mom formed an amazingly close bond. This book made me think of how strong my friend was to go in search of her bio parents and to uncover her own history not knowing what she would find on the other side. Pippa's story starts off slow and I didn't really know where it was going and I even thought of giving up but then Pippa started to grow and change. She confronted many insecurities and had to find her way in a new city with a new family. It became a very interesting story. Pippa has a wonderful family in England and **spoiler**** I think in meeting her bio parents she was able to appreciate the family she had. Her bio parents are narcissistic, selfish and all around awful. I just didn't care for them and so wanted Pippa to grow a spine and tell her bio mom in particular to f*&^-off.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Oh i'm all about the hook up, so I loved it when Pippa and the guy (he will remain unnamed) hook up! There aren't many details, just enough to let you know "IT" happened. You have to use your imagination for the rest.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Not sure, but I think this would make a fun film...a rehash of Bridget Jones Diary except with Pippa living in the US and learning American culture. This is actually one of the funnier elements to this story.


    Any additional comments?

    if it starts off slow for you too, give it a chance. It does pick up. I found myself smiling on my walk today listening to it. It is a fun sweet sentimental listen. Total chic lit with some light romance. Worth the credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    beth LEAGUE CITY, TX, United States 04-04-12
    beth LEAGUE CITY, TX, United States 04-04-12 Member Since 2011

    I am easily amused!

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    "A Nice Surprise!"

    This book was a delightful suprise. The author narrates the book and does a wonderful job. A cute story that had unique characters that took place in both England and America. I laughed a lot and couldn't wait to hear what happened next.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    L. Swartz tucson, az 04-01-12
    L. Swartz tucson, az 04-01-12 Member Since 2007

    bikesue

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    "A Totally Delightful Book!!"

    I loved the story and I loved the narration. I could not stop listening!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amy Spearman 06-10-11 Member Since 2008
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    "De-Lightful"

    Not only is the narration absolutely delightful, the character development is more than expected for a chic lit book. I highly recommend this easy-to-listen to audiobook.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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