The Maze at Windermere

A Novel
Length: 12 hrs and 58 mins
4 out of 5 stars (170 ratings)

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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
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Performance
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Story
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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.

15 people found this helpful

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

Review

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

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Tedious

This book goes back and forth to four different stories, different eras (1066's to present), different characters. Two are good. Two scenarios are wordy and tedious to listen to. If I were reading the book I could skip over them but on audio I had to persevere to get back to to the two good stories. Also one of the stories' focus is derogatory re Jews without contrast. I realize prejudice is part of history but it left me feeling the distaste of hate. The one story about the tennis pro and the entitled girl, that I did enjoy, leaves off with no hint of resolution to the ongoing situation.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Do not buy.

Ridiculous book. The narrators are trite and silly overshadowed by the writing which is worse.