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Publisher's Summary

On the eve of an unusual voyage, a young woman reviews her life. Her story begins with a 'beautiful visit' to friends in the country which serves as an awakening experience. What follows is an account of her struggle to retain the mood of her visit.
©1950 Elizabeth Jane Howard; (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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Profound

This is not for people who love action packed narrative, but if you enjoy deepening your knowledge and understanding of the human condition, come to this book. The narrator is The Best. No contest.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

I loved this

If you could sum up The Beautiful Visit in three words, what would they be?

Well, first of all I refuse to "sum up" this book in three words. That really is ridiculous. Any work deserves more respect than that. <br/><br/>This is really what I call a "vertical" novel. There is relatively little horizontal or chronological "action" that propels the plot. It's not that kind of book. The development goes downwards, (or upwards, depending on your perspective) deeper into the people and places that inhabit the story. Think Graham Greene. Think Gaskell.

What did you like best about this story?

Howard is fantastic with character and place. I love her people. I care about them and even the enigmatic, keep me interested.

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

Well, she is, hands down, THE BEST. I would listen to anything she cared to read.

Any additional comments?

I don't think this is for everyone. Certainly not for those who must have something "happen" every moment. There are relatively few "dramatic" instances. Like Gaskell, she often examines quiet lives/

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

depressing and boring

I've always liked this narrator, which is why I gave this a try. Mistake. I listened to over half of it expecting something to catch on but finally skipped to the end to see if there was any kind of ending. I just don't get what the author was aiming for. The central character's life is so joyless and hopeless. Her way of resolving this is to take a big risk on something and then the book ends. All I could think is, I hope that works out for her.

11 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Shifted on the inside

If you could sum up The Beautiful Visit in three words, what would they be?

Elegant, Decent, Poetic.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Beautiful Visit?

When she demonstrated the art of being herself finally.

What about Juliet Stevenson’s performance did you like?

Her pure ability to be there and yet be able to allow a reader to disappear from her presence simply because her performance is the transportation right into the atmosphere of another world.

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

Absolutely, it's worthy of the journey.

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  • Story

Juliet Stevenson saves this story...

Is there anything you would change about this book?

The main character is so lifeless and a too much of a malcontent. If my favorite narrator had not been reading it I would have stopped. All the life in this book comes from Ms. Stevenson's incredible talent.

Has The Beautiful Visit turned you off from other books in this genre?

No.

What about Juliet Stevenson’s performance did you like?

She is simply marvelous. I will listen to anything she reads.<br/>

Any additional comments?

I have all of the Austen's Ms. Stevenson has read...but please...where is Pride and Prejudice???

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  • Debbie Rowe
  • 09-11-17

Never judge a book by its summary.

What did you like best about The Beautiful Visit? What did you like least?

I liked best the sense of adventure at the start and the protagonist honesty, up to a point. I liked least the microscopic and cringe worthy self consciousness and the mostly dull story.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

If it started where it ended.

What about Juliet Stevenson’s performance did you like?

She kept interested and consistent throughout.

Do you think The Beautiful Visit needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No, most of the characters have been exhausted and a follow up book may do the same to the next lot of characters.

Any additional comments?

I was expecting a kind of Brideshead Revisited type story where the house and the characters would be strong and charismatic, with depth and make me care about what happened to them.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anna Spencer
  • 01-12-17

A Beautiful Story

I really enjoyed The Beautiful Visit, Juliet Stevenson's impressive reading of the story, as well as her brilliant interpretation of the various voices.

The story is well crafted, the characters are believable and well developed and the story is beautifully written. I am not surprised it won an award!

This book would appeal to anyone who likes stories set in the early part of the last century, or who enjoys this author's other works.