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The Very Marrow of Our Bones

Narrated by: Allison Riley
Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
4 out of 5 stars (28 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Defiance, faith, and triumph in a heartrending novel about daughters and mothers

On a miserable November day in 1967, two women disappear from a working-class town on the Fraser River. The community is thrown into panic, with talk of drifters and murderous husbands. But no one can find a trace of Bette Parsons or Alice McFee. Even the egg seller, Doris Tenpenny, a woman to whom everyone tells their secrets, hears nothing.

Ten-year-old Lulu Parsons discovers something, though: a milk-stained note her mother, Bette, left for her father on the kitchen table. "Wally," it says, "I will not live in a tarpaper shack for the rest of my life."    

Lulu tells no one, and months later, she buries the note in the woods. At the age of 10, she starts running - and forgetting - lurching through her unraveled life, using the safety of solitude and detachment until, at 50, she learns that she is not the only one who carries a secret.

Hopeful, lyrical, comedic, and intriguingly and lovingly told, The Very Marrow of Our Bones explores the isolated landscapes and thorny attachments bred by childhood loss and buried secrets.

©2018 Christine Higdon (P)2018 Audible, Inc.

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

Unanswered questions, plot holes, poor narration

I didn’t care much for this book. A major development left unexplained; unlikable characters; and a timeline that made no sense spoiler whatever enjoyment I might have had. I didn’t like this narrator either; there were several mispronounced words, and most unforgivably, she mispronounces a character’s name wrong several times and then re-reads the sentence to correct it, but the wrong pronunciation was never deleted. Where was the editor on this one? A couple of times I could have overlooked, but it happened so many times it became like nails scraping down a chalkboard.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Tough One for an Audiobook

I had a challenging time being drawn in to this story. Factors include the non-linear nature of the narrative, which jumps around in time and perspective, and the narrator, who in my opinion lacked timing, inflection, and any sort of ability to differentiate different characters from one another. She may as well have been reading stereo instructions. Narration improved towards the end a little but I was already invested by then. It may improve on repeat listens.

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

Great story, glitches with reading at the end

Loved the detail in this story, I really got into it. In the last quarter of the book the reader mispronounced a name and the editor didn't remove the error so many lines were reread and it became annoying. I'd still recommend the book though I truly loved the story. The ending could have had way more, the author brought it to a close too fast.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • W
  • 12-14-18

Sloppy audio production

Issue with the audio recording. During the last portion of the book, many of the sentences are repeated with the name “Bette” and again with “Betty.” It’s quite annoying.