The Ones We Choose

Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
4.2 out of 5 stars (1,302 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Lisa Genova meets 23andMe in this exploration of the genetic and emotional ties that bind, as debut author Julie Clark delivers a compelling story about a young boy desperate to find his place in this world, a mother coming to terms with her own past, and the healing power of forgiveness.  

The powerful forces of science and family collide when geneticist Paige Robson finds her world in upheaval: Her eight-year-old son Miles is struggling to fit in at his new school and begins asking questions about his biological father that Paige can’t answer - until fate thrusts the anonymous donor she used into their lives.  

Paige’s carefully constructed life begins to unravel as the truth of Miles’ paternity threatens to destroy everything she has grown to cherish. As Paige slowly opens herself up - by befriending an eccentric mother, confronting her own deeply buried vulnerabilities, and trying to make sense of her absent father’s unexpected return - she realizes breakthroughs aren’t only for the lab. But when tragedy strikes, Paige must face the consequences of sharing a secret only she knows.  

With grace and humor, Julie Clark shows that while the science is fascinating, solving these intimate mysteries of who we are and where we come from unleashes emotions more complex than the strands of DNA that shape us.

©2018 Julie Clark (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about The Ones We Choose

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

Puzzled

I would probably have given this a much higher rating except for one major problem. I cannot even remotely begin to understand the hyper reaction to someone being a sperm donor. Maybe there something I don’t know, but I just don’t get what the stigma is. How could it “devastate” a woman to find out her husband donated sperm before they’d even met? The way everybody reacted, you would think they had discovered he was a serial rapist! Since this was one of the major themes of the book, it really decreased my enjoyment of what was otherwise a fairly well written story. Did I like the main character? Not especially, but surprisingly enough, that did not bother me, perhaps because there were so many other characters in the book I think I would have enjoyed meeting “for real.” I actually was hurt by somebody who had a very similar “dad reaction,” so in many ways, that theme rang very true for me and probably contributed strongly to my dislike of the lead character. I think my very favorite part was learning so much about DNA in an understandable way. I actually got online and did some more research off and on while reading the story as well as afterwards!

21 people found this helpful

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I never write reviews

This is an amazing book. The insight into genetics, a world so complex, is made easy to understand. It is far from dry science and is woven into a beautiful story.

164 people found this helpful

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As Meh As Can Be

It is a favorite topic of mine--genetic searches, parentage issues, search for unknown biological parents. How could I go wrong? Overall, this story was a disappointment. Meh story, unlikable character (the mother), mediocre narrator--did she really say nuke-U-lar?? I hated her mens' voices in particular. Sometimes unbelievable, often predictable, irritating behavior, and just plain disappointing for me. On the other hand, it got alot of positive reviews . . . .

5 people found this helpful

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Been done before and then some

Sorry I paid a full credit for THE ONES WE CHOOSE. For smart PhD type, main character did some really ridiculous things -- she wasn't the typical head in the clouds academic, so her inner "turmoil" just didn't fly. How could she possibly feel inferior to gadfly school PTA-organization types? What school does genealogy trees today -- nice private practice perhaps, but it is too much of a loaded topic for many kids. Sperm bank plot / horrific disease old and tedious. About half way through I skipped to the end. Narrator ok. 5/8/19

10 people found this helpful

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Excellent!

Easy listening, engaging, Informative, and well constructed, this book is smart and brings up important issues worth considering. I really enjoyed it and will look for more from this author. (I have already loved the narrator from past listens.)

6 people found this helpful

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Chick Novel

This is DEFINITELY a chick novel. I have a Y chromosome and am cis normal, so I found it hard to stay focused on the story as my wife and I drove. She liked it. She said it was far better than many we have listened to. IMHO, the story ended all wrapped up with too many cute bows. The reaction of the sperm donor’s wife was wholly unrealistic. Normal people do not react that way. The male characters of the story were basically doormats who occasionally functioned as warm blankets. The genetic information inserted between chapters was interesting.

5 people found this helpful

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Just ok

As I listened, I kept thinking about the probability of things happening as they happened in this book. I am familiar with the donor sibling registry and it has impacted my family significantly since we found found a half sibling and the biological father of my children, but I found it difficult to relate to this book. The story is very unlike the stories and mindset of donor children we know.

2 people found this helpful

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Painful narration

I hung in for a few hours but ultimately it was just too forced to enjoy.

2 people found this helpful

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  • G
  • 06-17-19

Narration Ruins an OK Book

A book set in Santa Monica and Malibu should not be narrated using a New York Accent. Also the male characters sound the same no matter which man is speaking...robotic and monotone in a harshly grated voice. The irritating narration gets in the way of the story. I liked the genetic blurbs at the end of each chapter. I found the main character to be unlikable in addition to her stealing a dna sample without the subject's permission. Why offer the end of chapter blurbs to educate us but have her blase about laws? She deserved to be fired or at least accountable for her lack of judgment. I also agree with a few other reviews the book resolved very quickly. If out of place accents and poorly done male voices don't annoy, go ahead with this version, otherwise try the Kindle or paperback. Audible studios are in Newark according to their website and I don't think they travel far to select narrators which is too bad for those who expect the narration to match the location of the story. Side Comment: I notice the blurb on the photo says: Only From Audible. You can also get the paperback and Kindle at Amazon, I guess this means Audible has the only recorded version of the book. If that blurb hadn't been on the photo I would have returned it and read the book instead. I love Audible, The narration is a performance so it's important to me for that to be well done and this one wasn't,

1 person found this helpful

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Too logical?

I didn’t care for this one. I thought the whole book too... something. Serious? Melodramatic? Melancholy? I don’t know. I never felt attached to the main character. Or even to the kid. I did learn some interesting facts, though. Mostly I was just wanting to see how it ended so I could move on to something more entertaining.

1 person found this helpful