• A Family Romance

  • By: Anita Brookner
  • Narrated by: Fiona Shaw
  • Length: 8 hrs and 14 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (39 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

As the solitary child of mild and gentle parents, Jane is fascinated and astounded by her exotically European aunt, Dolly.

Dolly’s ways are certainly not her parents’ ways, yet she is an object of interest and dread to her beleaguered relatives. It is clear that they have nothing in common: Jane feels no affection for Dolly, and Dolly clearly dislikes children.

Yet the two are fated to go through life in uneasy harness, until such time as their alliance is accepted by both as not only inevitable, but as something of great value.

Read by Fiona Shaw.

©1993 Anita Brookner (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about A Family Romance

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hello, Dolly.

Jane Manning is a characteristic Brookner protagonist: rather shy, intelligent, sensitive, and by design and circumstance, rather alone in the world. Her aunt, Dolly, is a great contrast to her: maddeningly self-absorbed, designing, intriguing, and glamorous. Her many faults do not keep her niece from caring very much what happens to her.

In a culture of oversharing, where the facile observation is mistaken for wit, I find myself looking to writers like Brookner more often. Her depth of psychological wisdom and beautiful voice shine all the brighter by contrast.

Of course, she is not for everyone. But she may be for you.

13 people found this helpful

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One of Brookner's Best

A beautifully written story of loss and loneliness that is at times funny and as always with Brookner, tremendously
Insightful and witty. Fiona Shaw brings it to life with her vivid, restrained narration.

7 people found this helpful

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Very true to novel

I have read all of the Brookner canon. The narrator of this novel is wonderfully British and authentic. A poignant escape.

2 people found this helpful

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A very fine writer

Beautifully read, this is a story of what it is to learn to love those who are before us. Anita Brookner travels meticulously with her characters through time, revealing changes through time, uncovering qualities expected and unexpected.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Cogito Ergo Sometimes
  • 05-19-20

Both Classic & Standard Brookner.

Fiona Shaw is a good actress and s good reader, she really makes this.

1 person found this helpful

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Profile Image for M. M. Ellis
  • M. M. Ellis
  • 12-04-21

Very enjoyable

I found this book very enjoyable because I felt so damned annoyed with Dolly and her nasty selfishness, whilst happily listening to Jane (the main character and narrator) moving from shy child to self-confident young woman, despite many setbacks, and finally coming to terms with Dolly as the book came to an end.
I don't believe the author ever married and I feel sure that she doesn't particularly like men, as none of her male characters seem to come out of her story's well.
This is the first narration by Fiona Shaw that I have listened to and I found her very clear and lovely to listen to, and to be honest, it can totally ruin a good story for me if the narration is poor. Highly recommended.