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 .
The House of Closed Doors Audiobook

The House of Closed Doors

Regular Price:$19.95
  • 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 -

Publisher's Summary

In Nell Lillington's small Midwestern town of the 1870s, marriage is the obvious fate of a young woman of some social standing. Yet Nell is determined to elude the duties and restrictions of matrimony. So when she finds herself pregnant at the age of 17, she refuses to divulge the name of the father and even her childhood friend Martin is kept in the dark.

Nell's stepfather Hiram sends Nell to live at the Poor Farm of which he is a governor, to await the day when her baby can be discreetly adopted. Nell is ready to go along with Hiram's plans until an unused padded cell is opened and two small bodies fall out.

Nell is the only resident of the Poor Farm who is convinced that the unwed mother and her baby were murdered, and the incident prompts her to rethink her decision to abandon her own child to her fate. But the revelations to which her questions lead make her realize that even if she manages to escape the Poor Farm with her baby, she may have no safe place to run to.

©2012 Jane Steen (P)2014 Jane Steen

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (24 )
5 star
 (8)
4 star
 (13)
3 star
 (1)
2 star
 (2)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.2 (23 )
5 star
 (9)
4 star
 (10)
3 star
 (3)
2 star
 (1)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.7 (23 )
5 star
 (15)
4 star
 (8)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Maggie Tuliver 09-12-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A pleasing surprise!"

    The book The House of Closed Doors, by Jane Steen, tells the story of Nell Lillington and her quest for independence. Nell is only 17 years old and lives with her mother and stepfather in a small town near Chicago circa 1870. Nelly’s experience taught her the lack of autonomy a married woman suffers and her skill with the needle gives her the idea of a plan of escape: staying single and independent – which an unexpected pregnancy threatens. This is the outset of a deeply interesting story of personal growth and of the pursuit of one’s own female identity, particularly at a time when women hardly had any space for themselves. Nell’s opposition to marriage is a choice, a desire to be able to choose her own ways and not to be in bondage, and this makes her very relatable. But, at the same time, she is very young, innocent and protected from the world, so she will make mistakes, and she will discover that marriage is not the only kind of bondage she has to face in her search for independence. It is the story of a very naïve person starting to build her character, choosing links that are important to her and trying to get rid of those that are imposed, with all the difficulties the time and the environment imposed on her.
    When I first read the summary of The House of Closed Doors, some time back, I got the very wrong idea that story would be a sort of gothic tale about the terrors visited on a pregnant girl took away in a hospice and her struggle to survive. Nothing like that. When I saw that Nell's story would be told in a trilogy I revised my initial idea (learning how the story would somehow progress) and decided to listen to the book as a historical fiction with some mystery, which is much closer to the truth. Even the mystery, in my opinion, takes second place in relation to Nell’s personal story and the historical reconstruction of the time, which is quite nice. In the end, I was very pleased to listen this book and I am anxious to know how it will continue, since the characters’ stories are indeed captivating.

    I was given a copy of the audio book in exchange for an honest review and I would recommend it to everyone who likes historical fiction. Jane Steen’s prose is really good and the narration is outstanding with an excellent range of voice and tone, improving the listener experience.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JJLarson 09-26-16
    JJLarson 09-26-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    34
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Historical Mystery"

    The House of Closed Doors wasn't what I expected. I thought it was going to be a gothic romance or something similar. It turned out to be so much more. I cannot wait for the next books in the series.
    Nell is a tough young woman who doesn't want to strap herself down to a marriage. Unfortunately she finds herself pregnant, but refused to give the father's name. So she is sent to Poor Farm. In this place she really grows up. She is not afraid of hard work, and luckily forms easy friendships. After falling in love with her new baby, Nell is afraid to give her up to strangers. She ends up discovering another unwed mother and her baby dead in an unused cell, making her more nervous about her own fate and that of her baby.
    Jane Steen is a brilliant writer. I was excited to see where her story would take me next. Elizabeth Klett was the perfect choice for narrator.
    This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    LilMissMolly 09-23-16

    LilMissMolly

    HELPFUL VOTES
    362
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    323
    296
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    20
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Murder mystery set in 1870's Chicago suburb."
    Any additional comments?

    The House of Closed Doors by Jane Steen is an interesting tale about a 17-year-old girl from a small town near Chicago in the 1870s. Although at first I thought it was a romance novel, it's actually a murder mystery. The story centers around Nell who finds herself pregnant after a few sweet kisses goes a little too far with a distant cousin from the East Coast. Nell's cousin is much older and more experienced than Nell and he takes full advantage of Nell's innocence and naivety; then, he wants nothing to do with her as he soon departs to travel back East.

    After Nell is sent to live at a poor farm for the duration of her pregnancy and "confinement," Nell discovers in an unused part of the farm the bodies of an unwed mother and her baby who were murdered. As Nell investigates the murders, a few other residents start to die under suspicious circumstances. Because Nell's Puritan stepfather practically runs the poor farm and demands that Nell give her baby up for adoption, Nell runs away fearing for their lives.

    The rest of the story is primarily about Nell's determination to remain independent as she refuses to name her cousin as the baby's father and the restrictions of matrimony. She even refuses marriage to her long-time neighbor and childhood friend Martin, who stands by her side and helps her out on several occasions, even hiding her and her baby for awhile when she runs away from the poor farm. Her refusal to even consider marriage to Martin when it was clear he loved her and the baby is actually the most unbelievable part of this story. I loved Martin's character and felt so sorry for him!

    I listened to the Audible version of this story narratedg by Elizabeth Klett who did a fantastic job. She really brought the characters to life, giving each character their own distinct voice. She was very believable and helped me become totally engrossed into the story. Elizabeth Klett has quickly become one of my favorite narrators. Bravo!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cafurg 09-15-16
    cafurg 09-15-16

    Cindy

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    102
    10
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoyable listen"
    If you could sum up The House of Closed Doors in three words, what would they be?

    Enjoyable, fast-paced story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The main character Nell. Very strong, independent young lady.


    What does Elizabeth Klett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The narration by Elizabeth Klett was a big part of making this story enjoyable to listen to.


    Any additional comments?

    I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Patterson 09-14-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    118
    118
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "So glad to be born in our times."
    What made the experience of listening to The House of Closed Doors the most enjoyable?

    I enjoyed Nell's independent streak. She was very brave in such a time that she lived in.


    What other book might you compare The House of Closed Doors to and why?

    Downton Abbey. Prim and proper with a dose of reality.


    What does Elizabeth Klett bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Her gentle voice lulled you to keep listening to the story.


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

    Be strong and independent and true to your dreams.


    Any additional comments?

    "I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom."

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marla 09-14-16
    Marla 09-14-16 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    124
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    539
    152
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Waiting for More"
    What did you love best about The House of Closed Doors?

    I loved the dialogue and the characters. You could feel the love and the hate between the characters.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The House of Closed Doors?

    When they talk about Jo and her baby. I will not forget the moment when they talk about how she died.


    Have you listened to any of Elizabeth Klett’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I do not think so but she does a terrific job on the characters on this one. You lose yourself in the book


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

    I cried when someone died. I cried because she was so young. In those long ago days they did not live very long. So many died at a young age.


    Any additional comments?

    This audiobook was provided by the author/narrator/publisher free of charge in exchange for an unbiased review.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mrmeeka 09-27-16
    mrmeeka 09-27-16
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    123
    40
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Most Enjoyable"

    I received a free audio version of this book to write a review.

    Nell is a young woman in the 1890s that ends up pregnant and unmarried. She is shunned by her step-father and sent to a poor farm to have the baby. While settling in at her new home and new family bodies are being discovered and friends die.

    It is well written and held my attention throughout the book. While I would have preferred a different ending this one was unique.


    The narrator did an excellent job strong and even through the book. I look forward to more from both of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Mulder 09-25-16 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    179
    70
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "the house of closed doors"
    If you could sum up The House of Closed Doors in three words, what would they be?

    unwed, pregnant, family


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    Yes and no. I feel the description of the story wasn't true to what it was really about. I was thinking it was more of a murder mystery than what it was. It was a great book, but not what i was expecting from the description


    Which character – as performed by Elizabeth Klett – was your favorite?

    I don't have a favorite but i did like the people at the farm


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    When they returned to the farm after the fire.


    Any additional comments?

    "This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of Audiobook Blast."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    April H. Lyons, Ks USA 09-12-16
    April H. Lyons, Ks USA 09-12-16 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    215
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    403
    376
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The House of Closed Doors"

    “This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.”

    The House of Closed Doors is a romantic?, historical fiction with mystery and intrigue and coming of age drama. A naive 17 year old in the 1870's is comprised by a distant cousin. She refuses to name the father when her parents find out, as she doesn't wish to marry him. Her step-father sends her to a Poor Farm to stay until the child's birth and adoption. This is where the story begins to twist in unusual directions. By the end the listener wonders if there will be more.




    The narration was well done.The characters were well portrayed.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melisa 09-10-16
    Melisa 09-10-16 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    187
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    390
    48
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    4
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Some genre confusion, but a very good read"

    This book was listed as Mystery and Suspense but I think Historical Fiction is a better fit. There is a small mystery and maybe some suspense but not the kind modern readers would expect from those genres. That's OK, because the real star here is the story of Nell herself. The story moves along quickly and never feels slow or boring. Nell is charming and naive and strong and obstinate at the same time. The characters feel real and I enjoyed my time with them. I'd love to read a sequel because I am left wanting to know what the future holds for Nell and her two closest friends. This narrator was new to me but she did an excellent job. I'm very picky about narrators. I see she has narrated other books here on Audible and I'll be looking at some of those.
    This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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.