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The Yellow House

Narrated by: Sarah M. Broom
Length: 14 hrs and 30 mins
4 out of 5 stars (18 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times Best Seller
A brilliant, haunting, and unforgettable memoir from a stunning new talent about the inexorable pull of home and family, set in a shotgun house in New Orleans East. 

In 1961, Sarah M. Broom’s mother Ivory Mae bought a shotgun house in the then-promising neighborhood of New Orleans East and built her world inside of it. It was the height of the Space Race and the neighborhood was home to a major NASA plant - the postwar optimism seemed assured. Widowed, Ivory Mae remarried Sarah’s father Simon Broom; their combined family would eventually number 12 children. But after Simon died, six months after Sarah’s birth, the Yellow House would become Ivory Mae’s 13th and most unruly child. 

A book of great ambition, Sarah M. Broom’s The Yellow House tells a hundred years of her family and their relationship to home in a neglected area of one of America’s most mythologized cities. This is the story of a mother’s struggle against a house's entropy, and that of a prodigal daughter who left home only to reckon with the pull that home exerts, even after the Yellow House was wiped off the map after Hurricane Katrina. The Yellow House expands the map of New Orleans to include the stories of its lesser known natives, guided deftly by one of its native daughters, to demonstrate how enduring drives of clan, pride, and familial love resist and defy erasure. 

Located in the gap between the “Big Easy” of tourist guides and the New Orleans in which Broom was raised, The Yellow House is a brilliant memoir of place, class, race, the seeping rot of inequality, and the internalized shame that often follows. It is a transformative, deeply moving story from an unparalleled new voice of startling clarity, authority, and power.

 Copyright includes:

Tracy K. Smith, excerpt from “Ash” from Wade in the Water. Originally from the New Yorker (November 23, 2015). Copyright © 2015, 2018 by Tracy K. Smith. Reprinted with the permission of The Permissions Company, Inc. on behalf of Graywolf Press, Minneapolis, Minnesota, graywolfpress.org; LeAlan Jones, Public Domain; Yance Ford, excerpt from the film Strong Island; John Milton, excerpt from Paradise Lost. Public Domain; Unified New Orleans Plan, Public Domain; Lil Wayne, excerpt from AllHipHop.com interview in early 2006; Adrienne Rich, the lines from “Diving into the Wreck”. Copyright © 2016 by the Adrienne Rich Literary Trust. Copyright © 1973 by W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., from Collected Poems: 1950—2012 by Adrienne Rich. Used by permission of W. W. Norton & Company, Inc; Joan Didion, excerpt from “In the Islands” from The White Album by Joan Didion. Copyright © 1979 by Joan Didion. Reprinted by permission of Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Sam Hamill, excerpt from Narrow Road to the Interior: And Other Writings (Shambhala Classics). 

©2019 Sarah M. Broom. Recorded by arrangement with Grove Press, an imprint of Grove Atlantic, Inc. Kei Miller, excerpt from The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion (Carcanet Press Ltd); Peter Turchi, excerpt from Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer (Trinity University Press); excerpt from The Poetics of Space by Gaston Bachelard, translated by Maria Jolas, copyright © 1958 by Presses Universitaires de France, translation copyright © 1964 by Penguin Random House LLC. Used by permission of Viking Books, an imprint of Penguin Publishing Group, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved (P)2019 Audible, Inc.

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Unlistenable

The author's stultifyingly monotonous drone on this audio recording is so bad, I couldn't go on. I'm going to have to buy the Kindle version and actually read it. It won the National Book Award. It must be worth reading, but listening to this audio version is some sort of torture. I've been buying audio books for years, and I've never listened to a sample before purchasing before. I'll never make that mistake again.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Wanted to like this...

I heard a very enthusiastic review so really wanted to like this. However, it was very slow. Also, it was read by the author which is usually a plus. In this instance she was so monotone that I found myself bored.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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disapointed

Not sure which is more flat, the narration or the story. The author's voice is very monotone while the story is just a recitation of events and facts without much personality woven in. Surprised that this was so highly reviewed.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An epic, beautiful narration

An epic, beautiful narration of a large and scattered family with intimacy and strength in spite of constant chaos in their lives. The chaos is self imposed in many instances, yet almost always the result of systemic discrimination and carelessness of those who hold power. Loved this story.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful