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Publisher's Summary

The bestselling author of Stones From the River delivers her most ambitious and dramatic novel yet, the unforgettable story of an endearing, but flawed, Italian American family.

In December 1953, Anthony Amedeo's world is nested in his Bronx neighborhood, his parent's Studebaker, the Paradise Theater, Yankee Stadium, and in his imagination, where he longs for a stencil kit to decorate the windows like all the other kids on his street. Instead, he gets a very different present: his uncle Malcolm's family.

Malcolm is in jail for stealing, once again, from his latest new job, and Anthony's aunt and twin cousins settle into the Amedeos' fifth floor walk-up. Sharing a room with girls is excruciating for Anthony, despite his affinity for the twins. But the real change in Anthony's life comes one evening when he causes the unthinkable to happen, changing each family member's life forever.

Evoking all the plenty and optimism of postwar America, Sacred Time spans three generations, taking us from the Bronx of the 1950s to contemporary Brooklyn. Keenly observing the dark side of family, and its gracefulness, Hegi has outdone herself with this captivating novel about childhood's tenderness and the landscape of loneliness.

Hegi reveals how the transforming power of a singular event can reverberate through a family for generations.

©2003 Ursula Hegi (P)2003 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"[Hegi] vividly evokes the Italian-American community of the Bronx, and readers will recognize her skill at capturing the complex dynamics of large families." (Publishers Weekly)
"The dialogue is stripped down and funny; the family's problems are increasingly absorbing....expressed in language that often floats above the page....Sacred Time becomes more structurally intricate and more satisfying as it progresses." (The New York Times Book Review)

What listeners say about Sacred Time

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MP
  • 02-20-05

Wonderful Story and Narration

This is a wonderfully rich story, interweaved with unique characters possessing fears, quirks and frailities that meld together to form a complex tale of ethnic family life in the Bronx. The narration is wonderful and the ending poignant.

8 people found this helpful

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Just lovely

An extraordinary way of telling this story, with multiple characters telling their story, but in sequence--the story moves along with each new narrator. Ursula Hegi has a lovely ear for the language. I'm confused by the reviewer who had a problem with the "narrator's sardonic tone" since there are three narrators and they are all award-winning actors; I found them captivating.

2 people found this helpful

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Another Hegi masterpiece

Would you listen to Sacred Time again? Why?

Yes, The readers/voices are wonderful. Very engaging. I was sorry it was over.

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

Their voices are better than the ones in my head - I don't do too many good accents I am from Northern California !

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

awfully depressing and constant tone of narration

It's difficult listening; I've discarded it before finishing. The narrator has been reading in the same sardonic tone from the first sentence. I'll avoid this author and narrator in future.

2 people found this helpful