We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Ma Speaks Up Audiobook

Ma Speaks Up: And a First-Generation Daughter Talks Back

Regular Price:$21.00
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

The acclaimed actress and author of Jesse: A Mother's Story tells the story of her outspoken, frequently outrageous Italian immigrant mother.

Marianne Leone's Ma is in many senses a larger-than-life character, one who might be capable, even from the afterlife, of shattering expectations. Born on a farm in Italy, Linda finds her way to the United States under dark circumstances, having escaped a forced marriage to a much older man, and marries a good Italian boy. She never has full command of English, especially when questioned by authorities, and when she is suddenly widowed with three young children, she has few options. To her daughter's horror and misery, she becomes the school lunch lady.

Ma Speaks Up is a record of growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, with the wrong family, in the wrong religion. Though Marianne's girlhood is flooded with shame, it's equally packed with adventure, love, great cooking, and, above all, humor. The extremely premature birth of Marianne's beloved son, Jesse, bonds mother and daughter in ways she couldn't have imagined. The stories she tells will speak to anyone who has struggled with outsider status in any form and, of course, to mothers and their blemished, cherished girls.

©2017 Marianne Leone (P)2017 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

"I can think of few writers, alive or dead, who can make us laugh out loud in one sentence only to wipe the tears off our cheeks in the next. Marianne Leone achieves this brilliantly in this enduring love song to her Italian mother, illuminating themes as wide ranging as social class, immigrant life, the Catholic Church, the agony of adolescence, marital and maternal and paternal love, and far more. And like all of the best memoirs, Ma Speaks Up carries us back to the fragmented and sometimes elusive beauty of our own lives. This is an exquisitely rendered book by an immensely gifted writer, and I cannot recommend it highly enough." (Andre Dubus III)

"In this entertaining and moving memoir, Marianne Leone has crafted an indelible portrait of her immigrant mother. Like her daughter, Ma is a formidable person - salty, tough-minded, funny, and full of unexpected wisdom." (Tom Perrotta, author of The Leftovers)

More from the same

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.6 (5 )
5 star
 (3)
4 star
 (2)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Overall
4.8 (5 )
5 star
 (4)
4 star
 (1)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Story
4.6 (5 )
5 star
 (3)
4 star
 (2)
3 star
 (0)
2 star
 (0)
1 star
 (0)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Deborah Doucette 07-07-17 Member Since 2017

    Author of The Forgotten Roses and more. Avid reader of women's literary fiction.

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A fun, hilarious, raucous, read!"
    What did you love best about Ma Speaks Up?

    A well written, lovingly told story about the mother/daughter bond and rift, healing and humorous. All so familiar!


    What did you like best about this story?

    A pitch perfect tale of the immigrant Italian experience and the tightness of family, community and the strenght of love.


    What about Marianne Leone’s performance did you like?

    No one else could have told this better. She hits each note with perfection!


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

    It is hilarious, touching and true! I Loved it!!


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Voracious Reader 05-12-17

    Voracious Reader

    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Author's reading is incredible!"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Ma Speaks Up to be better than the print version?

    Hearing the story read by Marianne Leone--an actress as well as an incredible writer--added to my experience.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Ma! Hearing her expressions brought her to life.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    When Ma comments on Marianne's appearance, complimenting her by saying she 'looks like a prostitute."


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

    The relationship between Ma and Marianne's son, Jesse, when she holds him.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith E. Shea 05-06-17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Ma Speaks Up"

    What a wonderful story and a plus to hear it read by "MA's" daughter. A great one to listen too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.