A Fine Imitation

A Novel
Narrated by: Julia Whelan
Length: 10 hrs and 2 mins
4 out of 5 stars (151 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Set in the glamorous 1920s, A Fine Imitation is an intoxicating debut that sweeps readers into a privileged Manhattan socialite's restless life and the affair with a mysterious painter that upends her world, flashing back to her years at Vassar and the friendship that brought her to the brink of ruin.

Vera Bellington has beauty, pedigree, and a penthouse at The Angelus - the most coveted address on Park Avenue. But behind the sparkling social whirl, Vera is living a life of quiet desperation. Her days are an unbroken loop of empty, champagne-soaked socializing while her nights are silent and cold, spent waiting alone in her cavernous apartment for a husband who seldom comes home.

Then Emil Hallan arrives at The Angelus to paint a mural above its glittering subterranean pool. The handsome French artist moves in to the building, shrouds his work in secrecy, and piques Vera's curiosity, especially when the painter keeps dodging questions about his past. Is he the man he claims to be? Even as she finds herself increasingly drawn to Hallan's warmth and passion, Vera can't suppress her suspicions. After all, she has plenty of secrets, too - and some of them involve art forgers like her bold, artistically talented former friend, Bea, who, years ago at Vassar, brought Vera to the brink of catastrophe and social exile.

When the dangerous mysteries of Emil's past are revealed, Vera faces an impossible choice - whether to cling to her familiar world of privilege and propriety or to risk her future with the enigmatic man who has taken her heart. A Fine Imitation explores what happens when we realize that the life we've always led is not the life we want to have.

©2016 Amber Brock (P)2016 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Told from the inside of the gilded cage, A Fine Imitation explores one Manhattan socialite's growing realization that who she's been brought up to be is increasingly at odds with who she is. Although set in a rarified corner of the early 20th century, this lush, incisive debut novel explores the universal choice between doing what is right versus what is expected." (Miranda Beverly-Whittemore, New York Times best-selling author of Bittersweet)
"An absorbing tale of art, deception, romance, and forbidden desire." ( Publishers Weekly)
"Rich in color and drama, A Fine Imitation is a sharp and absorbing period piece that skillfully portrays the tensions of social class and love. Fans of Amor Towles and Laura Moriarty will adore Amber Brock - a spellbinding new voice in historical fiction." (Erika Robuck, national best-selling author of Hemingway's Girl)

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What listeners say about A Fine Imitation

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great Summer Listen

Would you listen to A Fine Imitation again? Why?

I loved this book. Thought the story was great and the narrator did an excellent job with all the voices. It was relaxing to listen too and not like some others where it seems the narrator practically screams to change voice sounds.

2 people found this helpful

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easy listen

easy listening story about the rigid expectations of a young woman in the 1920s... How easily we forget. I think it leaves one being happy to be living today where we have so much more freedom.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • :)
  • 06-14-16

A Fine Imitation

I enjoyed this story very much as it was set in old days. And loved the author.

1 person found this helpful

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Transporting

I chose this book based on the fact the Julia Whelan was the narrator. Every book she narrates is wonderful so I knew it must be good. I did not expect to truly feel transporting back into the 1920’s and to feel such a connection with Vera. This is a lovely book and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end!

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Wonderful story, wrong ending

It was a great plot and story but the ending was wrong for the times and it was the wrong choice for her

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Terrible characterization ruined the story

This started out quite well, and I liked the alternating time frames (1913 and 1923). Unfortunately, the main character, Vera, was not sympathetic IMHO. And the supporting characters, particularly her dreadful mother, were characticures. The only person who was interesting is Bea, the friend that emotionally cold Vera betrays. Sorry, these are unpleasant people.

1 person found this helpful

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Don't bother

This book was so cliche & so predictable and lacked any depth . I was very disappointed. The narrator was fine for the female parts but I cringed every time she read the male parts.

1 person found this helpful