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What She Left Behind Audiobook

What She Left Behind

Ten years ago, Izzy Stone's mother fatally shot her father while he slept. Devastated by her mother's apparent insanity, Izzy, now 17, refuses to visit her in prison. But her new foster parents, employees at the local museum, have enlisted Izzy's help in cataloguing items at a long-shuttered state asylum. There, amid piles of abandoned belongings, Izzy discovers a stack of unopened letters, a decades-old journal, and a window into her own past.
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Publisher's Summary

Ten years ago, Izzy Stone's mother fatally shot her father while he slept. Devastated by her mother's apparent insanity, Izzy, now 17, refuses to visit her in prison. But her new foster parents, employees at the local museum, have enlisted Izzy's help in cataloguing items at a long-shuttered state asylum. There, amid piles of abandoned belongings, Izzy discovers a stack of unopened letters, a decades-old journal, and a window into her own past.

Clara Cartwright, 18 years old in 1929, is caught between her overbearing parents and her love for an Italian immigrant. Furious when she rejects an arranged marriage, Clara's father sends her to a genteel home for nervous invalids. But when his fortune is lost in the stock market crash, he can no longer afford her care and Clara is committed to the public asylum. Even as Izzy deals with the challenges of yet another new beginning, Clara's story keeps drawing her into the past. If Clara was never really mentally ill, could something else explain her own mother's violent act? Piecing together Clara's fate compels Izzy to re-examine her own choices - with shocking and unexpected results.

©2014 Ellen Marie Wiseman (P)2014 Tantor

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1503 )
5 star
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4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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Overall
4.1 (1360 )
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Story
4.2 (1356 )
5 star
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4 star
 (433)
3 star
 (186)
2 star
 (54)
1 star
 (43)
Performance
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  •  
    Maryellen 09-24-14
    Maryellen 09-24-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    90
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    70
    41
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    Story
    "Bad Italian accent ruins narration"
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    The story was decent. The narrator was horrible! The male lead sounded like Count dracular. I was interested in the characters.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Tavia Gilbert?

    Anyone would be better. She gave a terrible Italian accent to the male lead. Her voice was whiney and breathy.


    Any additional comments?

    Very disappointed with this author. It was my first book. Not sure if I would try another.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marina 12-30-14
    Marina 12-30-14 Member Since 2012

    Eat, sleep, breathe, listen to Audible.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "Ug."

    Through this whole book I was just waiting for something good to happen. The story drags on and the writing is so boring and tedious. I caught myself groaning audibly several times at the lame descriptions and comically bad dialog. The story tries so hard to be suspenseful, but by the middle I was over the "twists and turns". Overall, it was just depressing. I actually skipped the last few chapters just to get to the end for the sake of finishing the book. I love suspense novels, but this one was just ridiculous. I've actually never even written a review, but this one was just too bad , I couldn't pass up the opportunity to warn others.

    23 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca C. Schwarz 04-11-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    Story
    "Ugh."
    How could the performance have been better?

    The narrator over-enunciated and the way she read was too distracting. The Italian guy's voice was like a goofy cartoon. Nothing subtle about it. I wanted to feel something for the girl at the beginning, but the way she narrated the story all I felt was annoyed.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    At first I was too distracted by the terrible narration to pay much attention to the writing. Then I realized how cliche the story was. Really, you met a guy at a club at age 16 and fell madly in love because he kissed you? You've "never felt this way before?" Honey, it's been ten minutes since you met him. I got about 1 hr in and had to quit. I'm not wasting 11 hours of my life and 1 credit on it. It's too frustrating.


    10 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennye NEW HAVEN, CT, United States 02-20-15
    Jennye NEW HAVEN, CT, United States 02-20-15 Member Since 2011

    book addicted

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    5
    3
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    Story
    "Couldn't listen"
    Would you try another book from Ellen Marie Wiseman and/or Tavia Gilbert?

    A story by this author, but never one told by this narrator.


    Has What She Left Behind turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No


    Would you be willing to try another one of Tavia Gilbert’s performances?

    Never -- you never hear the story, just her reading. Her voice and pronunciation is very distracting.


    What character would you cut from What She Left Behind?

    I didn't get that far.


    Any additional comments?

    I only listened to a couple of hours of this book and had to stop -- the narration was so distracting that I couldn't pay attention. I might try to read this book instead.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    jill oakland, CA, United States 02-04-15
    jill oakland, CA, United States 02-04-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    36
    ratings
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    85
    6
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    "DONT WASTE YOUR TIME NOR MONEY"

    The narrator was so annoying and whiny I could barely muster the empathy it took to invest in the main characters. I can't believe they even suggested this slow moving, predictable story to me. THE WORST!!! I wish I could have returned it!

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Diemut McLean, VA, United States 11-09-14
    Diemut McLean, VA, United States 11-09-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    5
    FOLLOWERS
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    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Insults my intelligence"
    Would you try another book from Ellen Marie Wiseman and/or Tavia Gilbert?

    No


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ellen Marie Wiseman again?

    No


    How could the performance have been better?

    She reads too dramatically......much too eager.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    Maybe a teenage girl would be thrilled by it.


    Any additional comments?

    Audible should warn listeners when a book is meant for teenagers who like horror. This book certainly is not for adults.

    19 of 20 people found this review helpful
  •  
    DC REEDVILLE, VA, United States 07-31-14
    DC REEDVILLE, VA, United States 07-31-14 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
    ratings
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    42
    7
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    0
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    Performance
    Story
    "STICK WITH IT, YOU WON'T BE DISAPPOINTED!"
    What made the experience of listening to What She Left Behind the most enjoyable?

    Women who preserve.


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

    After a little bit of a slow start, I could not stop listening!!!!


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

    Really enjoyed the female characters but the male characters a little less; hence, the 4 starts. Overall very good.


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

    Thank GOD it is 2014 and mental institutions are somewhat better managed and mental conditions are better treated.


    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carie in NJ 08-17-15
    Carie in NJ 08-17-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    4
    2
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    "The WORST narration EVER ruins this good book."
    What did you love best about What She Left Behind?

    I enjoyed the story. I'm not sure if it's supposed to be a YA book but it certainly read that way. It kept me interested till the end which, while lovely, was sad too.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Tavia Gilbert?

    Anybody else. Seriously anybody else. If it wasn't for a book club that forced me to finish this book I would have returned it 20 mins in. Her narration is so over the top - it's like she's in a child's pantomime. Every single word is over pronounced and dramatic. Don't even get me started on the Italian accent which sounds exactly like Count Von Count from Sesame Street.


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

    The end was sad. And moving. I may have shed a tear.


    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marsha Tierra Verde, FL, United States 07-31-14
    Marsha Tierra Verde, FL, United States 07-31-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    91
    ratings
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    103
    46
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    3
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    Story
    "Good story, not great. Very different reader."

    The story moved along at a pace which is about my cup of tea. I thought more of the mysteries were going to tie together than they did, but...if I want that I guess I should write a book. It was easy to follow and distracting enough for the commute to work and back. The reader was very unusual. Ms Gilbert has perfect diction, I mean, when she read the line, "I liked to go there," you could clearly hear both the 'd' in 'liked' and the 't' in 'to' separately. She doesn't seemed strained at the level of perfection. But one character was read as continuously anxious. Every line of the character was worried and fearful and nervous. I supposed there was a slight difference between scared and terrified, but it got very old for me - like listening to a whiny child - because it was a main character. I suppose that if Sandra Bullock hyperventilating for 2 straight hours in the movie Gravity didn't bother you, then this won't either. It just diminished my enjoyment of the book a bit.

    14 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    N. Lee Conway, AR United States 12-04-15
    N. Lee Conway, AR United States 12-04-15 Member Since 2014

    ski429

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    3
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    0
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    Story
    "Mostly boring"
    What would have made What She Left Behind better?

    Better editing, not using the word "said" upwards of 45x in 10 minutes, not using the same cliche phrases over and over, getting rid of Izzy's story line.


    What was most disappointing about Ellen Marie Wiseman’s story?

    That it felt very amateurish and unpolished.


    Would you be willing to try another one of Tavia Gilbert’s performances?

    No. She reads with a strange pacing and inflection that is distracting. Her Italian accent sounds like the Count from Sesame Street.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The real-life suitcases and patient stories are a fascinating stage for a great tale. Unfortunately this isn't it.


    Any additional comments?

    Skip this one, read the nonfiction book about the suitcases.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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