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Publisher's Summary

Meg Wolitzer brings her characteristic wit and intelligence to a provocative story about the evolution of a marriage, the nature of partnership, the question of a male or female sensibility, and the place for an ambitious woman in a man's world.

The moment Joan Castleman decides to leave her husband, they are 35,000 feet above the ocean on a flight to Helsinki. Joan's husband, Joseph, is one of America's preeminent novelists, about to receive a prestigious international award, and Joan, who has spent 40 years subjugating her own literary talents to fan the flames of his career, has finally decided to stop. From this gripping opening, Meg Wolitzer flashes back to Smith College and Greenwich Village in the 1950s and follows the course of the marriage that has brought the couple to this breaking point - one that results in a shocking revelation.

With her skillful storytelling and pitch-perfect observations, Wolitzer has crafted a wise and candid look at the choices all men and women make - in marriage, work, and life.

©2003 Meg Wolitzer (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

A bit of a downer

This author knows how to write. I found myself Amazed by her clever descriptions, interesting choice of words and her ability to create such vivid visuals for the reader. Her writing has an interesting and unique rhythm. Where the disappointment came, for me, was how most everything in the story felt like enduring a negative one sided conversation. It was like listening to a negative friend who enjoys being a martyr, who enjoys going on endlessly about how awful her life is. I finished the book and was grateful for the long awaited twist at the end. The novel felt intelligent. I appreciated the snippets of history and being reminded what it must have felt like, for some, to be a mid-century women. However, I became tired of the negative pity party the main character indulged herself in and I was relieved and glad when the story came to an end.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

Would rather have read this in print

Brilliant story, but the director and reader made a few hammy choices (drunken conversation, accents, general aggrieved tone) that distracted me from a sense of the authors voice.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

Great read for every smart woman who has subordinated her professional aspirations to those of a man ...

On some level, this story has been experienced by so many women of my generation (Boomers), especially those who excelled in college and graduate school, but marrying along the way and, ultimately, dropping or pursuing with less vigor realization of their potential. That said, I appreciate how this author makes it clear that this injustice cannot be ascribed to the husbands of these women - but, rather, was part of a more complicated equation. For those of us who managed to hold on and, to the extent possible for women born in the late 40s and early 50s, achieve success, this novel serves as a great reminder of how lucky we were, despite the many personal sacrifices required to do that.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • M. Consol
  • Livermore, CA, United States
  • 05-15-17

Sexy, confrontational, colorful

Terrific book, beautifully written by Meg Wolitzer, taking readers on the journey of a marriage. Dawn Harley does an outstanding job interpreting and vocalizing the prose.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Worst book I've ever read

No joke. This book was terrible. I can't recall one that I've ever read that was a worse way to spend my time. The characters were unlikeable, the story was slow and was entirely painful. 7 hrs of my life I will never get back.

6 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

Boring

This book just drugs on and on. I did not glimpse any new insights while listening to it. A talented woman gives all to not-so-talented husband, sacrificing her needs. He is unfaithful and vane, and she spends a lifetime catering to his needs. Then she decides to leave him. So what?! I failed to finish this book, stopped listening after 4 and 1/2 hours. I just didn't really care about the main characters.The narrator did a decent job, but cannot save the book.

5 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

Not a great narration.

Mostly ok but with numerous mispronunciations - which is enormously distracting - especially in a tale of literary genius. But definitely worth a listen.

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

great performances by the read er

As a fan of Wolitzer once again she drew me in to the lives of these interesting people. Excellent reader, perfect for this story.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful