Can't Take It Back

A Novel
Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (170 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A perfect next listen for fans of Abbi Waxman and Katherine Center, Can't Take It Back is a fast-paced and relatable debut telling the interconnected stories of four women over the course of a kindergarten school year.

Huddled on their favorite park bench in a quiet Seattle suburb, Holly, Avery, Zoe, and Sasha might look like they've got it all figured out - but there’s more to their stories than meets the eye. When Avery’s husband Carter suggests they open up their marriage, she’s shocked and appalled - but could this new arrangement be the breath of fresh air she never knew she needed? Zoe and Aaron, whose connection has long been the standard by which their friends measure their own relationships, feel that their lives are taking them in different directions, but worry over how a divorce might affect their two young boys. Zoe turns to her best friend Holly for guidance, but as it turns out, this year has tested her own marriage to Jake in ways neither of them ever anticipated. And meanwhile, Holly’s sister Sasha - the no-nonsense PR executive and eternally single girl of the group - must decide if joining the ranks of motherhood is the right step for her. 

Captivating and immersive, Can't Take It Back is a deeply emotional novel that celebrates the complex bond of female friendships.

©2020 Kelly Duran (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC.

Critic Reviews

Can’t Take It Back is the perfect escapist listen. From the first chapter, I was completely drawn into the story world. This plot is full of secrets, lies, and delicious twists...I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen. Duran does a great job of capturing the nuanced complexities of both romantic and platonic relationships.” (Ashley Sands, author of A Terribly Private Club)

“Nicely balanced with real heart and substance, Can’t Take It Back deftly explores the beauty of female friendships and the nuance of marriage.” (Alex Kiester, author of In Her Skin)

“A wonderfully written, complex story about love and friendship with relatable characters that support and uplift each other.” (Anita Kushwaha, author of Secret Lives of Mothers and Daughters)

“Duran’s debut is full of humor and heart. It’s a thoughtful, honest exploration of the female friendships that ground us through the ups and downs of life. How else could you get through an open marriage, a pending divorce and a budding relationship? A great listen for book clubs!” (Alison Hammer, author of You and Me and Us

What listeners say about Can't Take It Back

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WOW

This book was incredibly written and remarkably performed. I felt I was able to connect to every single character in a different way, which is not often. Additionally, I loved the theme of friendship and the way it was conveyed in the story. The different story lines made this book a book that I did not want to put down! Thank you so much for an wonderful book!

8 people found this helpful

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Surprisingly Excellent Read

I saw this as an included title, and I thought that I had nothing to lose by checking it out. I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed this book. It looks like Kelly Duran is fairly new on the scene, and I look forward to more from her. This read like a Liane Moriarty novel, with all of the characters and their stories intertwining. The performances were well-done with the right amount of inflection and variance between the characters.

5 people found this helpful

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Fun read with lots of heart!

With its alternating points of view and smooth, crisp writing, this book is easy to sail through! I listened to it in only a few days and loved the time I spent with each different character. While it's light and fun, it's nicely balanced with real heart and substance, exploring the beauty of female friendships and the nuance of marriage. Five stars!!

5 people found this helpful

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Great Story

Really enjoyed the storytelling with this one! Great job of weaving characters in and out of the story by their perspective. Kept it very interesting. Wasn't expecting the few scenes of 50 Shades-esque encounters, so listeners should probably be aware of some adult situations/language lightly interspersed throughout the book. Not overly so, but enough to warrant headphones or a solo listening environment. As others have said, wonderful escapism.

4 people found this helpful

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So accurate. So honest. So difficult to hear yet impossible to turn off

Friendship, relationships, marriage, trust, betrayal. I only wish I'd have had a group like this in my life during some of my most difficult moments. The emotions we're so fresh and accurate. Believable characters. Never a dull spot. The story allowed you to clearly see many different sides to the challenge of marriage and child-rearing. Amazingly well written.

3 people found this helpful

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couldn't stop listening

finally, a book about real life marriage problems, so true so genuine. Loved every moment of listening

2 people found this helpful

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Loved It!

I enjoyed this book so much that I would still be giving it 5 stars even if it hadn't been a free Audible Original! I was a big fan of Big Little Lies and several other books similar to it, so I was not surprised to find that I really liked this as well. I cared for all of the characters....some more than others! I didn't always care for their life choices, but they always made sense in the context of the storylines. All of the narrators were excellent, adding depth and often extra warmth to the characters. This was well worth my time, and I found myself giving up my normal talk radio during my drive time in order to listen to the book in my car!

2 people found this helpful

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Highly recommend!

I couldn’t stop listening to this novel and finished it in a day! CAN’T TAKE IT BACK is the perfect escapist listen. From the first chapter, I was completely drawn into the story world. This plot is full of secrets, lies, and delicious twists…I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen. Duran does a great job of capturing the nuanced complexities of both romantic and platonic relationships. Highly recommend!

2 people found this helpful

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Lovely story, perfect escapism

This was the perfect quarantine listen/read! It was like hanging out with friends, in a time when that's what I've really been missing!

2 people found this helpful

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One of my favorites

Interesting storyline that shows the dynamic relationships between husbands and wives and men and women. How different we all are and the choices that define us and affect those we live.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tina
  • 05-03-20

Couldn't stop listening!

I loved this book from the moment I hit play - the characters are each so relatable in their own way, and the author really made you feel like you knew them. I started it on a Thursday and finished on Sunday - I couldn't stop listening! Can't wait for the next book by Duran!