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Publisher's Summary

A southern region ABA and Book Sense best-selling author, Elizabeth Musser sets this coming-of-age novel in 1960s Atlanta.

Sixteen-year-old Mary Swan Middleton is devastated when her artistic mother is killed in a plane crash. The family maid, seeing Mary's loneliness and desperation, suggests she volunteer to help the poor. Soon, Mary realizes there is more to life, love, and faith, than she ever knew.

©2001 Elizabeth Musser (P)2005 Recorded Books, LLC

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Performance

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Story

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

I cried & laughed!

What did you love best about The Swan House?

A friend recommended this book to me and I wasn't sure about starting the book, but once I started the audible download and read the first chapter- I was hooked! I am from and live in Atlanta. I am 25 years old. I learned so much Atlanta history and really have such a better understanding of what and where my mom grew up. The story starts out with the main character talking to her daughter who is about to have child and then flashes back to her sophomore year. I really didn't know if I could get into a book with a character of my mom's generation and then following that character in her teens. I was hooked! I have never cried so hard and laughed out loud with a book as I did this audible listen. A must read!!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Oh boy, I don't know. I would have to say Mary Swan, the main character, for just that reason. I experienced so much with her through this story that I feel like we were high school friends.

What does Linda Stephens bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Wow, Linda Stephens attention to each character and her ability to give each character, even the least important, a distinct dialect and tone. I felt as if I had watched the characters in a movie and even felt myself catching the southern twang of the main character, Mary Swan.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

BOTH!! and it was very spiritual. My faith grew. If your not Christian faith based, I wouldn't say that would be a reason not to read this book- it is more about living life more kindly and boldly.

Any additional comments?

Especially with Linda Stephens as the narrator.. a must read! The storyline is surprising to the end.. I never knew where this story would end up and it was a wonderful ride! As soon as I finished it, I immediately started it over and am enjoying it all over again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • B
  • FAYETTEVILLE, AR, US
  • 02-12-18

Friendship, determination and love can create change

One of my all time favorite stories of how friendship, determination and love can create a safe place for changing the culture. I have read this book 2 times, but listening to it was my favorite!

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

Must read

I absolutely loved this book. It is now one of my favorites. I would recommend this book to anyone who would enjoy a story that you don't want to put down.

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

Waste of a good plot!

What did you like best about The Swan House? What did you like least?

What started out as a great story took a hard turn about a third of the way in. From there it became a platform for evangelical Christian doctrine. Then the author tossed in large doses of guilt, aimed at the white community for leaving the city of Atlanta during the early '60's. I found myself rolling my eyes! The story wobbles back on track, and after the author makes her agendas more than abundantly clear, she FINALLY wraps it up. Ugh! What could have been a great book turned into a transparently predictable diatribe filled with cliches and trite writing! I was over the name Mary Swann, too! It must have been used 1000 times!

Which character – as performed by Linda Stephens – was your favorite?

Trixie

Any additional comments?

Read it in paper form so you can skim through the parts that drag!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bettie
  • HURST, TEXAS, United States
  • 04-28-15

character of Sean changed from a spoiled self

self centered girl to a kind and loving individual through the medimorohis of Jesus Christ. At first I wanted to shake her, for her insensitive behavior and in the end embrase her. She was a very real character to me. Great Book

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

An ugly duckling matures

What did you like best about The Swan House? What did you like least?

Coming of age story, thick with personal, familial and community challenges. Well developed, but too long.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Felt it wound up nicely, not rushed and made sense.

Have you listened to any of Linda Stephens’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not listened to Stephen's other performances, but was pleased with this book--well done!

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

As long as it were artistically abridged. Not if it were Titanic length.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lisa
  • Barre, VT, United States
  • 08-15-10

Lisa

Maybe I just wasn't relaxed enough, but I just couldn't finish this one. I will try again at another time. It just didn't stick with me so I lost track of what was going on.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful