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Publisher's Summary

Edna Pontellier is married, twenty-eight, and at the cross road of her life. She is passionate and artistic, but has no one who understands her deep yearnings. She jumps at the chance to spend a summer away from her husband and the heat of New Orleans at a small costal retreat.

Here she is enveloped in a small circle of friends where she can begin to throw off the strictures and moires of the 1890s bourgeoisie. Stepwise Edna renounces her obligations, takes a lover, and is propelled in a course that frees, consumes, and eventually destroys her.

In what was to be her last novel, Kate Chopin shocked the readers of her day, by showing a woman fulfilled by throwing off the ties of marriage and children.

(P)2005 Tantor Media, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Interesting and timely...Chopin's oracular feminism and prophetic psychology almost outweigh her estimable literary talents." (Newsweek)

What members say

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  • Overall
  • Lucy
  • Baltimore, MD, USA
  • 11-02-06

Amazing Story with So-So Narration

It really struck me that for a book published in 1899, the story is still so fresh and resonates with emotion that is easily understood by the modern reader (or listener). The author excelled at both capturing elusive internal feelings and descriptions of the Louisiana coast and New Orleans of days gone by. It is a real page-turner, and although I had read it years ago, I couldn't wait to hear the story play out. The narration, however, leaves A LOT to be desired. The narrator affects a truly awful southern drawl when characters are speaking which can be extremely distracting. She also mispronounces most French place names and given names repeatedly as well as numerous english words.
Listen and love it for the story, and try to ignore the bad narration.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Love Chopin and Frasier

I absolutely love Kate Chopin--everything she writes is thought provoking and intense, full of double-voice discourse. Personally, I don't think anyone can understand Edna Pontellier unless she is at least 25 and has been married. The book speaks to me each and every time I read/listen to it--in fact, as I become older, I read and react to the book differently (Bakhtin's chronotope). The Awakening is one of my all-time favorite books.

If you are into traditional romances, like Harlequin, you would likely not like this book.

Shelly Frasier is fantastic. Her laid-back rhythm and cadence really evokes the New Orlean vibe and feeling.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

The Awakening (unabridged)

Exquistely narrated by Shelley Frasier, who captures the accents, cadence, and tone of the New Orleans Creoles with near perfection. Her timbre and languid pacing vividly recreates the atmosphere and sense of culture of that unique corner of the South called New Orleans.

The book, itself a classic, is almost painterly in its use of language and is abundantly reviewed elsewhere including an excellent annotated version of Cliff Notes! Suffice it to say this review is about the narration; listening to this version is worth every minute of time spent tethered to your computer, ipod or parked car (I did all three)!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Benedict
  • San Francisco, US, Canada
  • 07-10-08

A book for men And women awakening....

I am personally undergoing "an awakening" in other aspects of life besides dealing with the opposite sex. This book is interesting for both sexes enduring a predicament of choices life presents that may have unpleasant consequences, and possibly impossible to make.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Compeling story set in an interesting background.

What did you love best about The Awakening?

Timeless with interesting ,complex characters. Great narrator with perfect dialect. Having lived in New Orleans, I can appreciate the culture and the genteel refinement. I garantee' you will get the flavor of the location, smell the flowers, and indulge the characters.

What other book might you compare The Awakening to and why?

Gone with the Wind. The similaity between Scarlet and Edna. Both strong in different ways, but both rebels with a cause, (themselves)..

What about Shelly Frasier’s performance did you like?

Her tone, her pace, and especially the accent. I'm glad I chose this narrator. She made it became real.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Will you love her or disapprove of her or did she or didn't she? --- Oh what it means to miss New Orleans as it lingers with you.

Any additional comments?

Wonderful discriptions, rich vocabulary and sentences. Vivid settings. A Classic. You will think about it and probalby listen to it several times and get different impressions at every read (listen).