Regular price: $41.99

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

In 1631 Elizabeth Winthrop, newly widowed with an infant daughter, set sail for the New World. Against a background of rigidity and conformity she dared to befriend Anne Hutchinson at the moment of her banishment from the Massachusetts Bay Colony; dared to challenge a determined army captain bent on the massacre of her friends, the Siwanoy Indians; and, above all, dared to love a man as her heart and her whole being commanded. And so, as a response to this almost unmatched courage and vitality, Governor John Winthrop came to refer to this woman in the historical records of the time as his "unregenerate niece".

Anya Seton's riveting historical novel portrays the fortitude, humiliation, and ultimate triumph of the Winthrop woman, who believed in a concept of happiness transcending that of her own day.

©1958 Anya Seton Chase (P)2014 Tantor Media

Critic Reviews

"The Winthrop Woman is that rare literary accomplishment-living history. Really good fictionalized history [like this] often gives closer reality to a period than do factual records." ( Chicago Tribune )

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    217
  • 4 Stars
    132
  • 3 Stars
    55
  • 2 Stars
    9
  • 1 Stars
    9

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    231
  • 4 Stars
    116
  • 3 Stars
    30
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    7

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    208
  • 4 Stars
    111
  • 3 Stars
    51
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    10
Sort by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Historical Fiction that Aged Very Well

Anya Seton's historical fiction seems to age very well. I read Green Darkness many years ago and it remains one of my all time favorites, in my favorite genre. I listened to Katherine several years back and became impressed with Ms. Seton's talent once again.

The Winthrop woman tells the story of Elizabeth Winthrop, the daughter-in-law/niece of John Winthrop, a strict Puritan and a founding governor of the Massachusetts Colony in the first half of the 17th Century. While Elizabeth actually existed, and due to her relationship to John Winthrop whose life was well documented, we know many of the "facts" of her life - her parentage, her move to the new world, her marriages - we don't have the knowledge of the details of her life like we do Elizabeth I or Marie Antoinette. In many ways she was a "nobody" and the details of their lives seldom survive. But somehow, in a time when women were definitely "background" and men made history, there are a few incidences in her life that stood out at the time and have survived. These set her apart from the thousands of faceless women who lived her same life.

Ms. Seton took the few facts at hand and built a readable romance novel. If that is all it was, I would say this was an adequate book. But she then added layers of facts about the time Elizabeth lived and the larger than life historical figures she knew and created a strong work of historical fiction. She breathed life and sympathy into historical figures that are typically seen as caricatures or cardboard cutouts of real people. Especially John Winthrop. She made a man historically portrayed as cold and unlikeable, into a man with flaws who constantly doubted himself and struggled to live the life he preached. We will never know how accurate her interpretation of the man was, but by making him more human, it mad me more curious to learn more of the truth about the man. This is what elevated my overall rating of the book.

Elizabeth Winthrop lived and survived in a critical period of history. The mere fact that she survived and thrived an adventure that most who attempted it did not, makes her worthy of remembering. The fact that as a woman of the time, she was visible and vocal enough that her name was written down and her life remembered at all, makes this book worth reading.

The narrator did an excellent job.

45 of 46 people found this review helpful

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

This book has everything

This book has everything you could ever want in an epic novel. It contains historical fact Prada live by irresistible characters. You will fall in love with the main character, Elizabeth, who endures all kinds of adventures and challenges throughout her life. There is love, jealousy, heartbreak, joy, and everything in between. Clearly, one of the best books I've ever read. I can't wait to read / listen to another book from this author.

17 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Wren
  • Texas
  • 02-22-16

Such unexpected EXCELLENCE

After enjoying my listening experience so much after a few chapters, I actually looked up this book to buy a paper copy to add to my collection. I was flabbergasted to find it was written in the 50s. It is so well written and researched (with maybe a couple of surprising period references to the Indians) that it seems a modern book. Highly recommended. The performance was first rate. Her elegant manner and multiple dialects suit each character.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

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

Powerful story about a powerful woman

I love Anya Seton and this is just another example of her epic story telling abilities. The narrator did an excellent job of capturing the essence of the novel! Great read or listen!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Loved it!

Would you listen to The Winthrop Woman again? Why?

Yes, it was a really good book. The historical details were well researched and thorough and performances were good.

What did you like best about this story?

The historical aspects. I learned a lot about Puritan New England. Many of the characters were real people so you can research them and see how the book compared to real life.

Any additional comments?

I read and re-read all of Anya Seton's books years ago but had not read this one. Even though it was written in the 1950's, I think, it didn't seem dated at all. Great historical fiction. I was so interested, I even looked up many of the characters to see what became of them in real life.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Entertaining book

I, like a lot of people who find our way to this book and read it, can trace my ancestry back to the Winthrop family. The book started very slowly for me and I probably would’ve returned it if it hadn’t been for my connection to the family and pure interest in the workings (even though this is fiction) of their lives.
But once I was a couple hours in I found myself wanting to hear more. While this is not the best book I’ve ever read it definitely was interesting and insightful. The lives of the puritans of the time was while on the one hand full of hypocrisy, on the other, their devotion to their god was also very real and what they truly thought he wanted of them. That’s something that really comes through in this book. Especially from John Winthrop senior.
Elizabeth, the Winthrop woman herself, chafed against everything her uncle Winthrop believed in. Her struggle in life and her struggle against this belief is what this book is all about.
It’s worth the read and picks up pace a couple hours in.
The narrator did a good enough job, but I wish that she had more variety in her man voices. The men, especially the younger ones all sounded the same. Otherwise she narrated it well.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Beautifully Narrated

I learned of this book from my father who for many years suggested I read it being our ancestors are a major part of this story. Not having the time or mental energy at the end of the day to read, was delighted to find it narrated on audible. Corrine made the characters come alive with their accents - gender and temperament s - marvelous book

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Not fond of narrator

I found the narrator a distraction from the story. This story would benefit from an updated version.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Detailed look into early America

This was a long, but beautifully written and detailed look into the early colonies, and how they were created and formed by the Puritans and others who came to America. Elizabeth Winthrop's life was definitely colorful and scandalous for her time period and I enjoyed hearing about her struggles with her position, her new life in America and her faith. Anya Seton was so good at immersing you in a place, and her detailed descriptions of the different colonies, and the identities and the daily tasks of the people living in them were realistic and wonderful. However, unlike with Katherine (the first Seton book I read), which I never wanted to end, I have to admit I did start becoming restless towards the last third of the book, and began wishing it was a paperback and I could skip a few pages here and there. I did listen to the end and it was a good book, but I just thought it was a tad too long. Also, out of all of the characters, Elizabeth is the one that did annoy me the most, as she was very rash throughout the book, and then blamed others for the things that happened to her, most of which were at least a little self-inflicted. However, as the point of the book is to show you Elizabeth's growth throughout her life, I think we are supposed to become a bit frustrated by her backslides and impulsiveness, and Seton does write her as a very well-rounded character, with very obvious strengths and flaws.

As for Corrie James' narration, I found it to be well-paced, clear and easy to follow, as far as different character voices go. It was nothing wonderful but also nothing that took away from the book.

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

good but slow

it was slow to start but I was pulled in by the time I was on chapter 12. overall it was a great story but not very steamy.