Only One Life

A Novel
Length: 9 hrs and 19 mins
4.4 out of 5 stars (502 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A reunion between an estranged mother and daughter opens a world of secrets in a poignant novel by the bestselling author of Magnolia Nights.

Julia Martin grew up wealthy, but it wasn’t until she met her husband, Jack, that she knew true happiness. He made her feel worthy and loved. Their marriage was also an escape from her sister’s bullying, her father’s scrutiny, and her chilly and enigmatic mother. But when tragedy strikes on the night she gives birth, Julia’s happiness is shattered. She has no choice but to return home to her family’s South Carolina mansion, where the grief and guilt buried in her mother’s past await her. 

As a young woman trapped in a bitter marriage, Julia’s mother, Iris, once needed her own means of escape. In Lily, she found a best friend. In the flower shop they opened, she discovered independence. Then came a transgression - unforgivable, unforgettable, and unresolved - that changed Iris’s life forever.

Now, in Iris’s most desperate hour, her only hope is to regain the trust of the daughter she loves - and to share the secrets of the heart that could rebuild a family’s broken bonds.

©2019 by Ashley Farley. (P)2019 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What listeners say about Only One Life

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
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Amazing Book

Only One Life is exactly s the title describe, Julia is trying to build her life again after everything she ever knew was ripped in just a minute. Her parents dishonor her and made her live in a terrible situation, but she is so determined to finally find a life where she will be happy without needed the money or the help of these people who have become more like strangers than her own family. Julia is working hard to keep her baby, a baby that is changing her life in so many ways, she was lost for a few weeks after losing the love of her life, now she is ready to save herself and her newborn child. Iris is living a lie, she had to stay quiet for such a long time, lurking around Julia's life just getting glimpses making sure she is good and making it through life. Life and circumstances will give a twist to this story that will leave you with your mouth hanging open but it will make it so much worth it and enjoyable. Only one life started with a very different story and change in a way that will keep you wanting more, it has love, drama, faith, and trust. it has so much to give that you will enjoy every minute of the characters and the story. many of the secondary characters were great, some of them were really evil and terrible with the main characters but it was necessary to make this book so deep and even more entertaining. A great story that really takes you up and down a few times, it will keep you wanting more and ready to know more and more of each character. The narrations by Sophie Amoss and Elizabeth Wiley made a huge difference to the story, I really enjoy so much the way they brought so much depth to the characters wonderful story, I really wasn't expecting this and I really enjoy it so much.

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A great “read”

Lovely book. I enjoyed the story and the performance. I’m glad to see there are more audible books by this author.

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Wonderful read

wonderful book. I loved this book from begining to end! I laughed cried and felt joy with the characters

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Enjoyable

There were a lot of twists and turns, and joys and hardships that kept me listening to this family saga. I enjoyed the different voices in the narration. I am glad the story ended well.

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only one life

I enjoyed the story it was relevant to the choices we make for ourselves amd others.

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Secrets

A prime example of the impact secrets can have on people. I loved the friendship between Iris and Lilly. I would have loved to have known more about Alex but was pleased with Julia's ending after all her tragic events.

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Depressing

Could not even finish listening. Just too depressing. I want to feel a bit more uplifted when I listen to a story, and this one just made me sad and want to cry so definitely a no.

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Enjoyable

The reasons for 4 stars and not 5 is because of the abrupt ending. Like there has to be a part 2 because there was no closure to many of the characters stories. It was great up till then.

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Glued

Started slow but took off by the 3rd chapter. Nothing too extraordinary but a good story.

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Disappointing & I wanted to love it!!!

‘Only One Life’ should be called every soap opera that were on TV! This should have been called the good old ABC “ONE LIFE TO LIVE”! I will try to NOT give away any spoilers..it’ll be hard but I’ll use hints..so they’re not REALLY spoilers. First , the so called Romance books that have come out lately make a woman look like they are idiots! I hated a few characters & other characters, they just didn’t have a real sense of who they were by the author either. The book never came out as I expected. I never really liked anyone! Also with all woman’s convictions these days about abusive mentally, physically men who think they’re gods, made me sick! My biggest pet peeve...I had an abusive husband weekly, he was arrested but should have been kicked out by ME for ‘reasons only known by abusive women’! sooner than later! So I was a single mom of 3 children under 4 years old, but in ‘Only One Life’ I was disgusted that one of the characters was not only ridiculed by her husband’s family for NOT being ‘their kind’, never had any sense of an enjoyable sexual relationship due to his 1 minute of enjoyment & then, literally ABUSED her for 41 years..physically, mentally, and more than one rape! I was so angry listening to her having a nervous breakdown because the ‘straw that brought her back’ came after the 41 years! 41 years of being ABUSED?! Why was it necessary for the author to make this character look like she had no mind?! And was completely in ‘his power’ I didn’t expect a book where in the summary it describes a mother & daughter finding each other again—well they did, but I hated listening to the anger, and control by a MAN!!Unfortunately I’m ahead of myself..and will now slow down. I am also not exaggerating either, it was a complete Soap Opera beginning, middle, and the usual ‘predictable’ ending, that literally ENDED in the Epilogue! “5 months later...blah blah blah..oh I’m so happy Mom! We’re best friends & everything worked out in the end!” This was not the exact wording but you get my drift. The abuse, the anger from the other nasty character related to the main character was the biggest bitch ever! I mean it was like a bad 1800’s ‘I am man and will make you pay..’ even though his anger was unjustified! Another thing...the story went on & on & on and if you broke down each chapter, maybe, 3 out of 10 were okay, the rest I couldn’t stand that these intelligent WOMEN were NOT using their INTELLIGENCE! Sorry I won’t give you the details where I was really angry..except this one *hint* If you were accused of cheating & saw someone about to kill that person or you..would you: 1. Run and get help or call 911... or 2. Never report that person for fear..?! Just read if you’re not sure...but I was very unimpressed! And I wanted to love it!