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Those Who Knew

A Novel
Narrated by: Kirsten Potter
Length: 4 hrs and 56 mins
3.5 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

A New York Times Editors' Choice 

"Read this now, because everyone you know will be talking about it by early 2019." (Washington Post)

From the award-winning author of Ways to Disappear, a taut, timely story about what a powerful politician thinks he can get away with and the group of misfits who finally bring him down.

On an unnamed island country 10 years after the collapse of a US-supported regime, Lena suspects the powerful senator she was involved with back in her student-activist days is taking advantage of a young woman who's been introducing him at rallies. When the young woman ends up dead, Lena revisits her own fraught history with the senator and the violent incident that ended their relationship.

Why didn't Lena speak up then, and will her family's support of the former regime still impact her credibility? What if her hunch about this young woman's death is wrong?

What follows is a riveting exploration of the cost of staying silent and the mixed rewards of speaking up in a profoundly divided country. Those Who Knew confirms Novey's place as an essential new voice in American fiction.

©2018 Idra Novey (P)2018 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

“A gripping, astute, and deeply humane political thriller.... Glancing backward at history and forward at legacy, this is a novel about what happens when good people witness evil and say nothing. But it’s a hopeful novel, too.” (The Boston Globe)

“Novey creates a landscape in which her characters may represent, or sometimes hide, their nation, class, or station in life. Yet her women overcome such barriers and join together, revealing what they know in order to effect change...a modern parable.” (Booklist)

“Set in an unnamed island nation and featuring a corrupt politician with a history of sexual assault, Novey’s taut dystopian thriller bristles with dark energy, evoking a world beset by problems unnervingly like our own.” (The New York Times)

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

A five star novel read by a five star actor.

This is a suspenseful, beautifully written novel by an author who really knows how to keep a reader or listener engaged. But don't take my word for it. Oprah picked it for best of the year as did BBC and NPR, all of which I find give really excellent recommendations. I enjoyed this and think about it so often, the characters, the dilemmas, the way the novel speaks to what doesn't get resolved ever in any life, the emotional truth of that. What a complex, powerful, memorable novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Ho Hum

The premise of the story is compelling, and the first few chapters kept the hope alive, but when nothing comes of the eerie coincidences, supernatural happenings, ominous peeping tom and suggested threats, it falls flat without an ending.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

best novel heard this year

what a gripping, profound novel and the actor who reads the book is excellent, I loved it so much I listened twice