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Publisher's Summary

On a hot summer day, Joanna Mason's family slowly wanders home along a country lane. A moment later, Joanna's life is changed forever.

On a dark night 30 years later, ex-detective Jackson Brodie finds himself on a train that is both crowded and late. Lost in his thoughts, he suddenly hears a shocking sound.

At the end of a long day, 16-year-old Reggie is looking forward to watching a little TV. Then a terrifying noise shatters her peaceful evening. Luckily, Reggie makes it a point to be prepared for an emergency.

These three lives come together in unexpected and deeply thrilling ways in the latest novel from Kate Atkinson, the critically acclaimed author who Harlan Coben calls "an absolute must-read".

©2008 Kate Atkinson; (P)2008 Hachette Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    376
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    299
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    114
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    30
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Performance

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    36
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    12
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    20

Story

  • 4.4 out of 5.0
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    168
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    10
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    5
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Love this writer

Atkinson starts with a mishmash of people's lives and slowly weaves them together. This book is simply enjoyable, start to end.

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Worth buying...

Good story. A little too much 'prose' initially and slow to bring characters together but worth the wait

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  • Polly
  • Philadelphia, PA, United States
  • 05-02-16

Interwoven Stories of Past Lives

I loved this book. First of all, the central characters (Reggie and Joanna) are so well drawn that I feel I know them. The tone, the language, their relationship were all believable and engaging.

In the title, I refer to past lives. I don't mean "as in reincarnation;" I mean as in childhood tragedies and wasted years. An overarching sadness colors all of their lives, but they struggle to create newer, better ones.

The narrator was perfect.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Ahhhhhh.....

Having made a few missteps lately in my selections, I was becoming fearful that a major over-indulgence in reading had resulted in a jaded, impossible-to-please appetite. Then I read this one by Kate Atkinson and was hooked from the first paragraph. Whew! I have reached a point where a book needs to be well-done in all aspects to hold my attention and earn my respect, and this one delivers on all fronts. Plot, narration, and ending all totalled up to equal a happily satisfied me.

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LOVE!

The best book in the series so far. Loved the strong, vividly imagined female characters, especially Reggie. The narration was perfect, with one narrator giving each character their own distinct voice. Was over way too soon!

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  • Story

Accent was too irritating

What did you like best about When Will There Be Good News?? What did you like least?

Great story, but horrible English accent that I could barely stand

What didn’t you like about Ellen Archer’s performance?

Her English accent was not good - lots of weird vowels and mispronunciations that were very irritating

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  • Tawney
  • Dash Point, WA, United States
  • 04-14-14

I really enjoy this author.

Several reviewers commented on the narrator's accent. Since I'm not British I don't know from correct accents, so it sounded great to me. I got hooked on Kate Atkinson after I read Life After Life, which I think was a work of genius.

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  • Heather
  • Brentwood, MO, United States
  • 05-19-12

Kate Atkinson is a fun read

Would you listen to When Will There Be Good News? again? Why?

Probably not. It's not that deep. But it is fun

What was one of the most memorable moments of When Will There Be Good News??

none in particular

Which scene was your favorite?

None in particular

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

no

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  • Story
  • B.J.
  • Minneapolis, MN, United States
  • 05-01-12

A great story ruined by horrible narration

I love Kate Atkinson's complex characters and the twisty plots she creates. This was the first time I listened to one of her books and was too distracted by the narration to appreciate the quality of her writing. It's truly cringe-worthy narration. What a pity.

4 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Kate
  • Saco, ME, United States
  • 12-17-11

Enjoyable listen

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Not really, it was a very light thriller in that it was enjoyable to listen to but if you perfer more intense ones you may not like it that much. It was kind of quirky but in a light and pleasant way. I liked the 'British

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

I liked it. Its hard to say more wihtout giving it away. I am glad Reggie wound up ok.

Which character – as performed by Ellen Archer – was your favorite?

I liked Reggie the best. Archer did an excellent job with all the characters and personalities. You could always tell who was talking.

Did When Will There Be Good News? inspire you to do anything?

No.

Any additional comments?

There were a lot of subplots in the story and many things that should be really intense. It managed not to be, but it was still nice to listen to.