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Publisher's Summary

From Erika Robuck, bestselling author of Hemingway's Girl, comes a brilliant new novel about a literary couple. The unlikely marriage between Nathaniel Hawthorne, the celebrated novelist, and Sophia Peabody, the invalid artist, was a true union of passion and intellect....

Beset by crippling headaches from a young age and endowed with a talent for drawing, Sophia is discouraged by her well-known New England family from pursuing a woman's traditional roles. But from their first meeting, Nathaniel and Sophia begin an intense romantic relationship that despite many setbacks leads to their marriage. Together, they will cross continents, raise children, and experience all the beauty and tragedy of an exceptional partnership. Sophia's vivid journals and her masterful paintings kindle a fire in Nathaniel, inspiring his writing. But their children's needs and the death of loved ones steal Sophia's energy and time for her art, fueling in her a perennial tug-of-war between fulfilling her domestic duties and pursuing her own desires.

Spanning the years from the 1830s to the Civil War, and moving from Massachusetts to England, Portugal, and Italy, The House of Hawthorne explores the tension within a famous marriage of two soulful, strong-willed people, each devoted to the other but also driven by a powerful need to explore the far reaches of their creative impulses. It is the story of a forgotten woman in history, who inspired one of the greatest writers of American literature....

©2015 Erika Robuck (P)2015 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved. Recorded by arrangement with NAL Signet, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Interesting novel, awful narration

Everyone in my book club who read this book really liked it. Those of us who listened to it had a hard time getting through it because of the narration. If Ms. Kowal was just reading with appropriate feeling, it was fine. Each time she attempted a male voice or a female voice with more drama, it was very distracting from the story. The male voices were overdone, hollow, and poorly executed.

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Narrator hard to take

I liked the book but the performance was hard to listen to. I will not get another audiobook narrated by her.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful