The Breakdown Lane

Narrated by: Anna Fields
Length: 12 hrs and 39 mins
4 out of 5 stars (68 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Where can a woman turn when her own life threatens to overwhelm her ability to keep her children safe? New York Times best-selling author Jacquelyn Mitchard takes the readers of her newest novel on a wry and moving journey of loss and healing.

Giving advice is what Julieanne does for a living; every Sunday she doles it out in a column in her local Wisconsin paper. But when it comes to her personal life, Julie herself seems to have missed some clues. Having worked creatively to keep her 20-year marriage to Leo fresh and exciting and to be a good mother, she is completely caught off guard when he tells her he needs to go on a "sabbatical" from their life together, leaving Julie and their three children behind. But it soon becomes clear that his leave of absence is meant to be permanent. Things take a turn for the worse when Julie is diagnosed with a serious illness and the children undertake a dangerous journey to find Leo...before it's too late. As the known world sinks precariously from view, the clan must navigate their way through the shoals of love, guilt, and betrayal. Together, with the help of Leo's parents and Julie's best friend, they work their way back to solid ground and a new definition of family.

No one illuminates modern love, marriage, and parenting better than Jacquelyn Mitchard. Written with her trademark poignancy, humor, and insight, The Breakdown Lane is her most moving, eloquent, and life-affirming work yet.

©2005 Jacquelyn Mitchard (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Rousing melodrama, fluid, often funny, dialogue, and the convincing portrayal of children involved in the collapse of a marriage add up to another page-turner from Mitchard." (Publishers Weekly)
"An astute observer of family dynamics, Mitchard renders her characters flawlessly, endowing them with a humanity that is both accessibly grounded and astonishingly deep." (Booklist)

What listeners say about The Breakdown Lane

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

A So-So Story

I was dissappointed in this book. It started out "fair" and continued at that level. I found the husband-bashing to be a little much, or was it that the wife could actually be that dumb? The children characters were not any more realistic.

The narration was also so-so. I found her male voices disturbing (typical of many female narrators).

There could have been so much more to this story, but it was a come-again hippie, mid-life crisis, coming-of-age tale that has been told too many times.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

The narrator grows on you

I enjoyed this book a great deal. I found the narrator a little jarring at first, but soon became accustomed to her voice. She does a good job of differentiating the characters--her adolescent girl voice is excellent.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable

I enjoyed listening to this book. It took a while to get used to the narrator's voice when she does the husband and son's voices. My mom also listened to it and really liked it.