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Hannah Coulter

A Novel
Narrated by: Susan Denaker
Series: Port William, Book 6
Length: 8 hrs and 2 mins
Categories: Fiction, Contemporary
4.5 out of 5 stars (305 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In the latest installment in Wendell Berry's long story about the citizens of Port William, Kentucky, readers learn of the Coulters' children, of the Feltners and Branches, and how survivors "live right on."

"Ignorant boys killing each other," is just about all Nathan Coulter would tell his wife about the Battle of Okinawa in the spring of 1945. Life carried on for the community of Port William, Kentucky, as some boys returned from the war while the lives of others were mourned. In her 70s, Nathan's wife, Hannah, now has time to tell of the years since the war.

©2005 Wendell Berry (P)2008 christianaudio.com

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Marie
  • Calgary, AB, Canada
  • 01-23-12

Very sweet story!

Where does Hannah Coulter rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It was very enjoyable. The story flowed. It made me want to live on the land with a community or as they would say, become a

What other book might you compare Hannah Coulter to and why?

It reminded me of Mrs. Mike in how a young girl moves to a new place and finds love and a sense of community.

What does Susan Denaker bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

She has the beautiful older woman voice that reminds you of a full life.

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

It did evoke emotion. The war was very sad, but the family had such a sense of togetherness that it was heartwarming. Grandmam was such a loving character for an abandoned girl that it was heartwarming as well.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Wendell Berry Needs no "Help"

Wendell Berry is a profoundly beautiful writer. Though I haven't read all of his books, those I have read were thoughtfully provoking, sensitive, subtle, and genuine, with true, memorable characters. In my opinion, Hannah Coulter is among his best, with a narrative that speaks particularly to me as a woman but is not exclusive to men. The story is sensitively drawn, and while it spans decades from before WWII, it gives me as a younger woman a sense of belonging while simultaneously understanding our differences. I feel a great deal of gratitude to Mr. Berry for urging me to my best both as reader and life participant.

Having said this, I reluctantly add that this reader, while dramatically gifted, does not mesh well with Berry???s style. I believe I would have been fine with her as reader of some other literary works, but for Wendell Berry--well, she nearly ruined the book. In trying to figure out why, I can only conclude that Berry's prose contains its own subtle drama and poignancy. Hanna Berry is a simple woman, though possessing a lifetime of wisdom which she speaks in her direct way. Because her character has no artifice, it is jarring for the listener when the reader adds dramatic emphasis, pause, and affectation that were never intended by the author and would never be uttered by Hannah Coulter--unless she were ridiculing for some purpose the very type of "fancy" and pretentious voice inflection this reader imposes on her. It doesn't work. After 10 chapters I had grown so weary of this narrator's false interpretation of Hannah???s character that I quit listening. I waited a few days, then borrowed a copy of Hannah Coulter in print and read the book fresh. To my relief, what I had suspected turned out to be true: Hannah Coulter is a profoundly entertaining and enlightening read, and I would recommend it (with a simple, non-overly-dramatic reader) to anyone.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Elegantly narrated and beautifully written

Elegantly narrated and beautifully written . . . another wonderful book by Wendell Berry. Susan Denaker's understated Hannah is utterly believable and deeply moving. Even though I'm not Southern, I heard my grandmother's voice and was glad.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • Phoenix, AZ, United States
  • 03-14-11

Wonderfully Written

I gave this novel only 3 stars as I have really mixed emotions about the narration of this book. Although well executed the maudlin tone throughout made the book tiresome to listen to for long periods. I kept thinking I would enjoy this book more if I was reading it myself. That said, Wendell Berry's thought provoking story brings to question the changing American culture from rural to city life, and the horrors of war, in the mid-1900's. I would recommend this as a read, not a listen.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Wow what a read

Take your time and enjoy this book. It is long and full, easy to start and stop. A real joy to hear a agrarian story from a farm wife’s perspective. I put off reading this book by Berry for others but I assure you it’s one of his best.

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Wonderful story of strong loving woman in a small town

I liked hearing the great detail of the old towns farm life families and love as well as heartache and strength of a woman living during hard times and remaining so positive.

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Great Book

This book was a great read. As a widow times two and a mother, I laughed and cried!

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Beautiful

This is a beautiful story of a life of love, for family, for place. There is sadness in seeing old ways of life changing but also strength and hope.
Susan Denaker spoke Hannah's voice with feeling and I can't I was actually listening to Hannah share her story.

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Thoughtful

I listened to this in April/May. It is now December & I still think about this book often. It is slow, but sweet & thoughtful. A most thought-provoking story!

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Wonderful story of real life!

This is a captivating story with lots of calm emotion . A reminder of days gone by that need to be remembered; a retelling of times past with its lessons and priorities. It touches many times in my own life.
My only disappointment was some bad language that wish had not been a part of the book.

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  • MH
  • 12-29-18

beautiful beautiful, just wonderful

Put me in mind of Marilyn Robinson's Home. Just pages and pages of wise loveliness

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  • David Taylor
  • 10-24-19

Beautiful memories

I loved listening to this book on audible as Susan’s voice beautiful fit the era and nature of the story. Reminded me of how my grandparents and their parents would have lived.