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The Practice House Audiobook

The Practice House

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Publisher's Summary

Nineteen-year-old Aldine McKenna is stuck at home with her sister and aunt in a Scottish village in 1929 when two Mormon missionaries ring the doorbell. Aldine's sister converts and moves to America to marry, and Aldine follows, hoping to find the life she's meant to lead and the person she's meant to love.

In New York, Aldine answers an ad soliciting a teacher for a one-room schoolhouse in a place she can't possibly imagine: drought-stricken Kansas. She arrives as farms on the Great Plains have begun to fail and schools are going bankrupt, unable to pay or house new teachers. With no money and too much pride to turn back, she lives uneasily with the family of Ansel Price - the charming, optimistic man who placed the ad - and his family responds to her with kind curiosity, suspicion, and, most dangerously, love. Just as she's settling into her strange new life, a storm forces unspoken thoughts to the surface that will forever alter the course of their lives.

Laura McNeal's novel is a sweeping and timeless love story about leaving - and finding - home.

©2017 Laura McNeal (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (340 )
5 star
 (178)
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3 star
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1 star
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Overall
4.3 (300 )
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Story
4.6 (301 )
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3 star
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Performance
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  •  
    NMwritergal 05-06-17
    NMwritergal 05-06-17

    Reader and writer!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Well, written, interesting, different family saga"

    I wasn’t sold till Scotland and NY was behind Aldine—those parts felt almost superfluous to the story. But I kept listening because Angela Dawe is my favorite female audio narrator. As soon as Aldine gets to Kansas, the story picks up.

    I could have listened to an entire book about Aldine, but the book takes a turn and we end up with the POVs of all the Price family members. I was especially impressed how McNeal took unlikeable characters seen from Aldine’s POV, who became much more sympathetic when we were in their heads. Nevertheless, it did not make Aldine an unreliable narrator, the reader just understands the character’s motivation better.

    I don’t want to give any spoilers, but the book went in many directions that I didn’t expect, all of which were interesting and satisfying. Also loved the historical details of time, place, and events.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lzos Annapolis, MD 07-02-17
    lzos Annapolis, MD 07-02-17 Member Since 2014

    road tripper

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "I want my 13 hours back"

    This is one of those books that tricks you into thinking it's going to get better, but it never truly does. Chapter after chapter I was waiting to get to know the characters more, and finally get the sense of emotion from any of them, but nothing! Don't expect it either if you decide to invest your time into a book that really goes no where.

    I didn't find any of the characters likable, and no matter what bad thing happened to them, they responded to their circumstances coldly and without emotion. They ended up driving me crazy. The one redeeming factor to this was the narrator - she was very good and nailed her accents. I bought this after reading the reviews and I'm really surprised that people found this book 'gripping'. It's intriguing but leaves you empty for wanting a lot more.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mistyrose 07-17-17
    Mistyrose 07-17-17
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "depressing and boring"
    What disappointed you about The Practice House?

    The story was not interesting. I kept waiting for it to get that way and it never did. None of the characters was I ever invested in their welfare, most I found terribly annoying making one bad decision after another or just having an endless string of bad luck. The writing style to make each character a point of view character was unnecessary. Knowing the boring lives of all the characters did not make it more interesting and sometimes just made it difficult to follow.


    Has The Practice House turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Yes. I used to read this type of book more so perhaps i'm just finished with this type... Sad, uneventful stories about everyday life and mistakes. I read to escape normal life, however, my life is a party compared to these characters.


    Have you listened to any of Angela Dawe’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. her performance is well done. Her voice is sad as suits the characters. Only her reading of the youngest child was a bit grating and loud.


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

    Disappointment and annoyance. I can't really even say sadness because the characters were not compelling enough to cause me to feel their pain.


    Any additional comments?

    I really feel bad giving such a harsh review but I take other's reviews seriously. I'm sure the author worked hard on this book and others may really enjoy it. Sadly, for me it was an experience of waiting too long for it to get interesting and then just wanting it to be over but not feeling I could just stop because by then I had too much time invested to not finish it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    lili kopala 05-30-17
    lili kopala 05-30-17 Member Since 2015
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    "An outstanding tale of the 'dirty 30ies'"

    The author spins what at first seems to have a predictable next step but then she swerves. This occurs throughout the novel. all the while whetting your appetite for more. A long novel, there are many twists and turns, narrated expertly. The character development is complete. At times you can almost catch the odours of the folk or the lemon meringue pie many enjoy with coffee at the town cafe.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kindle Customer 04-07-17
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    "Greatread"

    Great story line. I couldn't get enough of it and yet it was so simple. Refreshingly different

    6 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JoAnne Halada 04-19-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Simplicity"

    Thoroughly enjoying A complex story told brilliantly I couldn't put it down. Listened in two sittings

    4 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    g Los Angeles, CA, United States 06-21-17
    g Los Angeles, CA, United States 06-21-17 Member Since 2014

    I am an audio book addict. Love staging the drama in my head, especially psychological intrigue and mysteries.

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    "outstanding story and narration"

    I couldn't put it down. This drama should become a major motion picture. can't wait to see it.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Petrea 06-19-17
    Petrea 06-19-17 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "What a great story"

    I stayed up late to get to the end of this captivating drama. It would make a great mini-series! The writing is very good. My only criticism is with the narrator, a woman who makes many of the women sound like little girls.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    04-26-17
    04-26-17 Member Since 2015
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    "Really enjoyed! Well wtitten and preformed! Didn't"

    well written and preformed - didn't want it to end!! excellent history and heart felt!

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathryn MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 07-26-17
    Kathryn MINNEAPOLIS, MN, United States 07-26-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Loved this book!"

    The story was wonderful. The writing is clever and smart. The narrator is amazing! I enjoyed every minute of it. My only question is - why this title? Very odd. Don't let that stop you. You should listen to this book!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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