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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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Not what it’s billed to be

The review should have read, “story of author trying to find the true identity of her characters in the story but failing because she focused one-dimensionally on their sex lives.” Anyone who has been a mom of young kids know that most of this story is implausible and if readers think this is how moms should do life, they are being led very much down an irrational path. Could have been a good story if the characters had talked about more things than who they were and weren’t sleeping with. Life is more than just sex and had the book reflected that, the relationships between the characters could have been real. Skipped to the end after a disappointing few hours just to see if it improved. Didn’t. Not even a good escape novel.

17 people found this helpful

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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!

14 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!!

10 people found this helpful

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Borderline trash

This was pretty awful. It stared off pretty well, but then it turned into a sleazy soap opera. I had no patience or sympathy for these self-absorbed characters. The narrators were all good, such a waste of their talents.

9 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.

7 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.

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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.

5 people found this helpful

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The Book is PHENOMINAL!

THIS STORY IS PHENOMINAL.
I can not believe this is Duran's debut novel, it's that fantastic. The multiple POV, twists and turns and unexpected character connections made this a binge listen for me. I am dying to get my hands on more books from Kelly Duran. If you enjoy books that are part family drama, part "what the actual Hell", this book is for you. You will be sucked in from page 1 and will be blown away by the end.

4 people found this helpful

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Pretty Good

This book was very well written and the narration was on point. This had me searching for other books by the author, but looks like this is her first audible. Definitely worth the listen. Great Job!

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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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  • 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!

6 people found this helpful

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  • pickles08
  • 11-01-21

Predictably a simple book

I was quite disappointed with this book. I had high hopes but unfortunately it just didn’t meet them.
The predictable open marriage/separation/affairs could have been so much more. Then it just…..ended with no development.

Well written and read just a simple story which I guess is great if you just want to sit and listen, however I like to become involved in my books, feel for the characters and I didn’t here.

It’s a shame as it has potential.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-07-21

Nice insight to married life

Good characters, and interesting plays on different marriages.
I liked how things progressed and felt I understood many of the characters. Good listen

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 10-20-21

amazing, addictive

I loved the book, the way Kelly Duran writes is amazing ,I couldn’t stop .
the stories feel so real so us. Keep the good work and I can't wait for more books

2 people found this helpful

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  • Kirsten Carlyle
  • 05-29-22

Loved this

Such an enjoyable listen. Characters were believable and relatable. Great narration too. Would highly recommend.

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  • Rachel
  • 03-28-22

Fantastic!

Absolutely loved this book. Kelly I hope you're writing more. I'll be waiting for your next book release.

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  • Jenhen
  • 01-13-22

Enjoyed it from start to finish

This could have been a kind of sickly chick-lit type of book, but was actually quite gripping, with great (but reassuringly flawed) characters, and had comic moments even in the serious situations. Really enjoyed it 😃

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  • Duronic ISIOW Capacitive Stylus Pen
  • 12-06-21

Engrosing

Great storyline. Loved every minute of this. Quite a few characters but all easy to tell apart. Some amorous scenes but tastefully done. I tend to prefer British English but this book narrated by American English speakers was very easy on the ears.

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  • M.certified
  • 11-20-21

Pretty good

Takes a while to get to grips with whose who but great story line and excellent overlap in story telling.

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  • M Wong
  • 11-04-21

loved it

This is my first chick flick book. I find the performance amazing. I'll definitely going to explore more books of this genre.