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Publisher's Summary

An AudioFile Earphones Award-winning production

For fans of The Hours and Fates and Furies, a bold, kaleidoscopic novel intertwining the lives of three women across three centuries as their stories of sex, power, and desire finally converge in the present day. 

Lily is a mother and a daughter. And a second wife. And a writer, maybe? Or she was going to be, before she had children. Now, in her rented Brooklyn apartment she’s grappling with her sexual and intellectual desires, while also trying to manage her roles as a mother and a wife in 2016.

Vivian Barr seems to be the perfect political wife, dedicated to helping her charismatic and ambitious husband find success in Watergate-era Washington DC But one night he demands a humiliating favor, and her refusal to obey changes the course of her life - along with the lives of others.

Esther is a fiercely independent young woman in ancient Persia, where she and her uncle’s tribe live a tenuous existence outside the palace walls. When an innocent mistake results in devastating consequences for her people, she is offered up as a sacrifice to please the King, in the hopes that she will save them all.

In Anna Solomon's The Book of V., these three characters' riveting stories overlap and ultimately collide, illuminating how women’s lives have and have not changed over thousands of years. 

An NPR Best Book of the Year - 2020
Kirkus Reviews Best Books of the Year - 2020

A Macmillan Audio production from Henry Holt and Company 

©2020 Anna Solomon (P)2020 Macmillan Audio

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What listeners say about The Book of V.

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Don’t waste time

Initially I was excited about this book as I am a lifelong fan of the red tent. I thought this is biblical fiction. It turns out to have ruined this biblical story of Esther and I found a little offensive. There were really graphic sex scenes unnecessary to the storyline. Save your time don’t read this!

10 people found this helpful

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amazing

I listened to the Audible production of “The Book of V” by Anna Solomon, narrated by Dara Rosenberg, Eva Kaminsky, and Gabra Zackman. The narrators are brilliant. After I finished the audio, I immediately started it again, as I wanted to rehear. There are so many nuances and layers to the story. In a way, I wished I would have purchased the novel so I could go back and read. For me, this is a reading book more than one to listen because of the prose of author Anna Solomon. For me, this is an incredibly moving novel.

Solomon explores women’s struggles through the ages, beginning with the biblical story of Esther of ancient Persia. I am not a bible scholar, so this is my introduction to Esther and Vashti. Solomon caused me to google the story, of which biblical scholars have differing views. I like Solomon’s view. Esther becomes queen when Vashti doesn’t produce an heir and refuses her husband’s demand of a degrading act. Esther doesn’t want to be queen, is forced into the fray by her Uncle. So, Esther is the only woman who parades in front to the King for his choice in a new Queen. Esther choses to be without any makeup or adornment, attempting to look plain because she doesn’t want to be selected. The King picks her because he likes that she was “natural”. Esther is not pleased, but it provides her an opportunity to save her people.

Meanwhile, in another century is Vee Kent whose husband is a Rhode Island Senator in 1973. Vee is on the cusp of the woman’s right movement. Her ideals of her place in society clashes with the old boy network. Although Vee has a generational pedigree, making her the perfect politician wife, she is banished when she refuses to do something her husband demands. This is part of the story that I found enraging. Vee decamps to an old friend’s (Rosemary) home where she tries to find her equilibrium.

Lily is a contemporary mother living in 2016 Brooklyn. She struggles with her role as a mother and woman. Her mother, Ruth, uses innuendo to ridicule Lily for wanting to be nothing but a mother. Ruth is perplexed as to why Lily isn’t becoming a full-time feminist. Lily questions herself as being relevant and worthy, for not becoming what she was meant to become.

These three main characters have their specific chapters, and Solomon weaves a story that provides illumination that women are fighting the same fights through the centuries. Vee’s story is humbling in her strength to find independence. Lily learns about the complexities of her mother after her mother dies.

This is a feminist tale that provides insight of the same yet changing women struggles for independence and self-worth. Male debasement may be less, but the fight for self-realization continues.

2 people found this helpful

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Very Disappointing

As soon as I read the A- review in Entertainment Weekly magazine I was anxious for its release. As far as I am concerned I wasted an Audible credit. I tend to enjoy Biblically based or connected fiction stories. I could not follow this one. I could not connect the dots if there were dots to connect. Perhaps it would be easier to follow in the printed format.

2 people found this helpful

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I listened to it...now I'd love to read it

I listened to this while there was chsos outsjde ...June of 2020...its momentarily escape was delightful. I highly recommend it.

1 person found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I’m so over unfulfilling endings

There just seems to be this rush to the end in most books lately. There’s a sharp downward vex after what seems to be a coming climax. This book could have easily had 200 more pages. Just ugh. Lazy.

1 person found this helpful

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Confused and pointless

This is an example of a talented writer working away without a plot or story line or interesting characters. Her writing skills are great but her subject matter is vacuous. The characters Ms. Solomon describes are boring. The “Vashti story” is ridiculous. This book is a complete waste of time.

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really

I thought the book didn't hold together well. I did not find the characters engaging.

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Annoying.

The narrator of Lily's story sounds like she's taking a hit off of an oxygen tank between each sentence. I should have gotten the print version, it's a good story but that really killed it for me.