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Publisher's Summary

This is her story. About the end of her marriage. About what happened when Christopher went missing and she went to find him. These are her secrets; this is what happened....

A young woman has agreed with her faithless husband: It's time for them to separate. For the moment it's a private matter, a secret between the two of them. As she begins her new life, she gets word that Christopher has gone missing in a remote region in the rugged south of Greece; she reluctantly agrees to go look for him, still keeping their split to herself. In her heart she's not even sure if she wants to find him. As her search comes to a shocking breaking point, she discovers she understands less than she thought she did about her relationship and the man she used to love.

A searing, suspenseful story of intimacy and infidelity, A Separation lays bare the guilt that divides us from the inner lives of others. With exquisitely cool precision, Katie Kitamura propels us into the experience of a woman on edge, with a fiercely mesmerizing story to tell.

©2017 Katie Kitamura (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"A slow burn of a novel that gathers its great force and intensity through careful observation and a refusal to accept old, shopworn narratives of love and loss." (Jenny Offill, author of Dept. of Speculation)
"A novel so seamless, that follows its path with such consequence, that even minor deviations seem loaded with meaning. Wonderful." (Karl Ove Knausgaard, author of My Struggle)

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Not a Thriller, but Still Great

This book is billed in a number of places as a literary thriller, and it definitely does have a good degree of mystery and intrigue but no in the sense that you might expect from a thriller. So, if that's what you're looking for, something more action-oriented with a crazy plot this is not your book.

That being said, this book is excellent in many ways and is definitely worth a credit. The voicing is superb and the narrator does a great job of diving into Kitamura's hypnotic tone. It is incredibly slow though, I was playing this at X1.4 speed and it was ideal but when I went down to normal speed it sounded ridiculous.

It is a literary exploration of grief, marriage, identity and infidelity. Kitamura is a master at exploring her character's (only one real character to speak of - the protagonist) emotions. She does so subtly, very subtly; tip-toeing around the immense tension and conflict inherent in this books primary situation. She doesn't confront the conflict head on, and that's where some listeners may be put-off, waiting for a big reveal or a titanic moment where it all clicks.

It doesn't click plot-wise like a twisty thriller would, but it did hit me hard somewhere more subterranean, maybe spiritual, maybe existential.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not worth the price of admission

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

This book would be for someone who likes a very, very slow narrative with lots of description and inner rumination.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator read the book v-e-r-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y and it was not unusual for it to be obvious that she was caught off guard that the sentence had not ended. So it sounded stilted.

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

The book was mostly annoying. If I were reading it, I don't think I would have finished it. I kept hoping that something would happen at the end to create an element of surprise, but it just plodded along until it finally petered out at the end.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Anemic and emotionless performance

How could the performance have been better?

I am not sure if I can finish this book I am so put off by the performance. At 1.25 speed it is still slow, emotionless and uninteresting! Can't focus on the story. The worst reading of a book I have heard so far and I am not even getting into the atrocious Greek accent.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

underwhelming

This story felt too small and too unbelievable to hold much sway with me. The mispronunciation of "Stefano" as stef-fawn-oh drove me crazy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Not what I expected

Although this book was very well written, it was a bit too introspective for me. I think I had expected this to be more of a mystery about finding the estranged husband....more action, etc. Instead, there was so much inner dialogue that I felt myself wishing the author would move on and get to what was going to happen next in the story. I realize now that her intent was to be philosophical and not entertaining.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Very disappointing

This had potential, but the story line was weak and excruciatingly slow. Very disappointing.
Don't waste your time.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

A Separation

The narrator had a most boring, monotone voice. I almost stopped listening but was curious enough in the outcome to keep listening.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

For Lovers of Hemingway and Bowles...

This is an exquisite book. I sometimes forget in my typical trudge through the brambles of popular fiction that some writers are still interested in probing the enigma of the human condition. It's hard to compare Kitamura's striking tone to anything I've read from recent writers, but after finishing a chapter or two, I knew I would love this book. It tickles those same sensibilities I have in reading Farewell to Arms or The Sheltering Sky - that setting of "foreigner among locals," that interior voice that observes without sentimentality. I never highlight anything in books, but there were some ideas here so finely written and considered that I had to stop and note them. Kitamura's writing seems to compel the reader to stop and ponder all the absurdities we find ourselves in, to think about our own foolish choices.

Katherine Watterson makes all the right choices with her narration - nothing showy, nothing inauthentic - and her quiet storytelling adds to the tension and feeling of the story. She is superb and intelligent. This was a truly special listening experience.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Descriptive and Deep

While I did enjoy this audiobook, I don't think it is for everyone. The author spends a lot of time describing everything- places, objects, relationships and most importantly, feelings. I found myself losing interest a few times when the descriptions got particularly lenthy. While I did enjoy the narrator's performance, this is definitely not an uplifting story and best to be enjoyed while you are alone.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Richard B
  • Ladue, MO, United States
  • 06-21-17

Incredibly boring

One of the worse Audible books I have ever purchased. The story line is very slow and the plot non-existent. The narrator should be thanking her lucky stars over what happens and instead she is swamped by self pity. The reading takes a monotonous plot and makes it far worse using an unrelenting monotone. I am extremely sorry I spent good money purchasing this terrible reading of a self serving story.