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Publisher's Summary

A richly layered novel of love, ambition, and duplicity, set against the storied seascape of Newport, Rhode Island

A reckless wager between a tennis pro with a fading career and a drunken party guest - the stakes are an antique motorcycle and an heiress' diamond necklace - launches a narrative odyssey that braids together three centuries of aspiration and adversity. A witty and urbane bachelor of the Gilded Age embarks on a high-risk scheme to marry into a fortune; a young writer soon to make his mark turns himself to his craft with harrowing social consequences; an aristocratic British officer during the American Revolution carries on a courtship that leads to murder; and, in Newport's earliest days, a tragically orphaned Quaker girl imagines a way forward for herself and the slave girl she has inherited.

In The Maze at Windermere Gregory Blake Smith weaves these intersecting worlds into a brilliant tapestry, charting a voyage across the ages into the maze of the human heart.

©2017 Gregory Blake Smith (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"A dazzling high-wire act. I turned every page with a sense of wonder and excitement." (Richard Russo)

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What listeners say about The Maze at Windermere

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    71
  • 4 Stars
    61
  • 3 Stars
    31
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    14
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    8
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    100
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    49
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    11
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    6
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Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    62
  • 4 Stars
    59
  • 3 Stars
    26
  • 2 Stars
    14
  • 1 Stars
    10

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Wished it was longer

I bought the Audible version of this book after reading a review of the print edition in the Washington Post 14-Jan-2018. The narration is flawless. The people we follow, foolish or tragic or triumphant, are well-developed and interesting. The times they live in are interesting, too. The book is like four separate historical novels with a common geography. It was entertaining for me; I hope it will be for you, too.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

read this book

each character and time period has an authentic voice & brings up thought provoking ideas... read it!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Connected

I picked this up because it was mentioned as a Man Booker possible last year. I didn't read the description or anything, so I thought it was about Windermere in the Lake District in England. But Windermere is actually the name of an old estate in Newport, Rhode Island. So there you go.

It was a multistory book all centering around Windermere in various points in time. Though I don't recall the earliest story mentioning it, I could be wrong. I thought it might be too complex for audio, but actually think it was well-suited to multi-narrator audio.

I suppose at the core it was love stories. I really enjoyed the stories and the characters

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Multiple stories without resolution

Even good narrators couldn't make this story work. I appreciated the attempt by the author to present (5) different stories of Newport, RI, through a historical perspective. Unfortunately these diverse stories never quite connected ( or maybe I'm too dense to see the connections) and none of them had a clear resolution.

5 people found this helpful

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

5 stories leading nowhere and ending no place.

The Maze at Windermere is comprised of five separate storylines, taking place in 2011, 1896, 1863, 1788, and 1692, all set in Newport RI. The connections among the tales are place, history, and allegory, but the stories themselves are boring. Mostly just people being a-holes to other people (with the exception of Prudence's set in 1692), one in particular is disturbing to the point of being sociopathic.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Confusing and no real endings

Perhaps reading from a paper book might have helped. The book is really should have been 4 short stories. The only thing the stories had in common was the location. The narrators were great. They tried to make the changes in time and characters more coherent. The best part of the book was that the writer seemed to really catch speech mannerisms from each time period.
However, the worst thing was that I would just get into one of the four stories, then the time period would switch. This was just a hot frustrating mess to listen to. It might have been better to read each story separately. Still the stories did not have endings. Perhaps the writer just got tires of writing this drivel This was a total waste of a credit. The only reason I finished it was because it was one on my book club's selections.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Hard to follow

Due to the 5 different story lines. It became quite difficult because the story lines kept switching. Audible did a good job with having very distinct voices for each part, but I still had a difficult time following.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Well written, plot was too drggy for me

I thought the writing was beautiful but I Just couldn't get into this one. Usually, I love multiple story line novels but I couldn't get past the first 6 chapters.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

Confusing with no clear ending

This book jumped between too many time periods with no real connection between them. Some stories did not even mention the Maze at Windermere. The ending of one of the stories was OK, but the others basically had no ending. I kept thinking it would get better, the stories would tie together, but they never did.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Review

Too complicated to follow the different centuries. It was hard to follow, the transitions were not clear.