Better Than I Know Myself

Narrated by: Lisa Renee Pitts
Length: 19 hrs and 29 mins
Categories: Fiction, African-American
4.5 out of 5 stars (846 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

The beloved #1 Essence best-selling authors of Tryin' to Sleep in the Bed You Made now deliver a novel in which you'll meet their most unforgettable characters yet. Carmen, Jewel, and Regina could not be more different. When they meet as freshmen at Columbia University, they're pretty confident that a friendship among them isn't in the cards.

Jewel is Hollywood royalty; as the teenage star of the TV show Daddy's Girl, her face is instantly recognizable all across America. Now, though, she wants two things: to get a serious education and to leave her controlling stage-mother behind. Regina is the definitive upper-middle-class African-American girl. Her picture-perfect parents are what she calls "black Ward and June Cleavers", and their goals for her are like a stranglehold. No one can see, though, how far Regina's rebellious side will take her, or how treacherous it will become. Carmen is just trying to get by. A child of the projects whose father is dead and whose mother has vanished, Carmen has been raised by her abusive brother. Columbia is the way for her to get a better life, if she can hold down two jobs and keep her grade point average up.

When the three of them meet, their lives are at a crossroad. And as the years progress, from the 1980s to the present day, they are challenged by drug addiction, fame, secrets from the past, sickness, betrayal, and the darkest things women can face. One of them won't survive. But what will be the lasting legacy of their friendship? Better Than I Know Myself is a novel of heartache, triumph, tears, and the unshakeable bonds among women.

©2004 Virginia DeBerry and Donna Grant (P)2004 Blackstone Audiobooks

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • 3 Stars
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    29
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    19

Performance

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    49
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I loved it

Slow in the beginning but it picked up and when that happened I couldn't put it down. I related to all of the women for different reasons and still even knowing that it is fiction and the story is over, I often think of these three sister-friends. My only problem with this book and most other audiobook is the lack of diversity when it comes to character voices. Athough they try to use different inflections to portray a different character, it is so not convincing and to some extent annoying. Women can't sound like men and men can't sound like women, what you have is exactly that, "sounding like". Because the narrator is a female for this book, her voice portrayal of the male characters left me with a very cloudy and distorted vision of who these men really are. There's so much in a voice. But overall, a great listen.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A great listen!

A great listen! At first I was intimidated by the length of the story but like any great book I could not put it away and the time flew by. A must have for your listening pleasure!!!

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

excellent...

This was my first audio book and I loved it. I couldn't put it down. I listened to it at my desk, in my car, in my bed. It was excellent.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Live life as if it is your last

Very good book, the characters were very good and I love the narrators. This book has laughs, and sorrows. Very good reading. Next to the best book, I have listened to from Audible.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great

Bravo!!! Loved the characters and wished them a happy life. The storyline shows that life goes on with all its joys and hardships and friendship endures forever.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Choose this one!

Terrific plot and characters, plus beautiful writing and narration. Impossible to put down! Audible, please offer other books by the authors.

4 people found this helpful

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

I fell into their world

Would you consider the audio edition of Better Than I Know Myself to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version. The audio version, read by Lisa Renee Pitts, was so well done I can't imaging anything coming close.

What did you like best about this story?

The fact that the authors drew my into the book. Very few authors have that ability - these 2 women do. What a gift for the reader! I am so sad the book is over, I feel a loss. That is true talent!

Which scene was your favorite?

I can't pick one. The book as a whole, each chapter, every character, each story, they are all my favorite.

Who was the most memorable character of Better Than I Know Myself and why?

I liked all the characters as I do all my friends, but if I had to pick Jewell was my favorite.

Any additional comments?

I am so grateful the authors wrote this book, the narrator did such a brilliant job bringing it to life and that I had the good fortune to listen. Many hours of pleasure, and laughs, and sorrow.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Good Story; Bad Narration

I liked the story of the three women and found their characters very believable if I focused on what the authors wrote and not on the narrators voice, diction and stereotypical intonation. This narrator sounded very much like a 14 -15 year old girl attempting to do a professional narration. In the beginning when the main characters were fresh out of high school on their way to college, it was not so bad to have them all sound like a 13 or 14 year old from a black television sitcom. When they were grown up it was quite annoying. The narrator also made one of the male characters sound like he was retarded to portray his lack of street smarts and another she made sound slimy to portray his knowledge of the streets and city life. Her diction was poor; likewise her pacing of words for emphasis and to give significance to statements was very poor. She mispronounced words and kept the characters so stereotyped that it was work to listen. I got so very tired of hearing supposedly intelligent people saying things like ?choo? instead of ?you?. One gets the feeling this narrator is young and inexperienced. At one point she read that a character had secreted a paper away (authors meaning: the person concealed it or put it away) the narrator pronounced the word as if the word meant secretion, i.e. the person oozed the paper away. I just felt as if this narrator did not do the story justice and did not know how to read for the characters as black people without using stereotypical intonation. I would not listen to another book read by this narrator.



14 people found this helpful

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

Don't stop til you're finished!

This book captured the inner feelings, struggles, and desires of three friends from totally different backgrounds. You fall hard for their determination to get out of 'the box' and prove to themselves that people aren't defined by where they came from, but by how well they face the challenges that try to "remind them' where they came from. Jewel, Regina, and Carmen are REAL characters who love hard. Read and enjoy...you won't be disappointed

2 people found this helpful

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

Great Read!

The reviews I read before purchasing this audiobook did not let me down. This was a great read for someone like me in thier mid 30s who have dealt with the trials and tribulations of life.

2 people found this helpful