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What Maisie Knew  By  cover art

What Maisie Knew

By: Henry James
Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
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Publisher's Summary

Following a violent and messy divorce, young Maisie Farange floats back and forth between her parents, Beale and Ida, who use her as a weapon to torment each other in their ongoing, internecine war. Eventually the parents both remarry, and it becomes clear that the new spouses care more for Maisie than her own parents. Beale and Ida soon embark on a series of extramarital affairs, leaving Maisie in the care of the new step-parents, who begin their own affair with each other. What Maisie Knew is a remarkable tour de force from James's late-middle period, and an insightful look at the psyche of a child who is thrust into the adult world of drama and failed relationships.

Public Domain (P)2019 Naxos AudioBooks

What listeners say about What Maisie Knew

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

Not a book for Audible

I love Henry Jame and I adore Juliet Stevenson: but this book is for in-print reading not for Audible listening. I have listened to most books read/performed by Stevenson, therefore I am hesitant to say that there was something about her interpretation that made it almost impossible for me to follow the plot. I can only surmise that this is one of those rare books that can be appreciated only in print and in the reader's own mental voice.
It was impossible for me to keep the characters straight. Particularly Mrs. Wix, Mrs.Farange got totally mixed up in my mind... The age of the girl (Maisie), which must necessarily change over time, but which is never specified, is also a confusing element.
However I sense that the book must be beautiful (in terms of very modern plot, daring even!, and fantastic portraiture of human frailty).
This audiobook left me puzzled, disappointed and dissatisfied: but with a great desire to read the printed book on my own.

6 people found this helpful

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Weird Tale

Had it not been for Juliet Stevenson, I would have abandoned this book. Quite frankly, this story could have been told in 3 hours or less. Maisy’s parents are divorced and she spends 6 months a year with each parent. The parents remarry and inevitably stray once again. Maisy finds herself being looked after in either home by step parents who are cheating on their spouses with each other. In the end Maisy has to make a philosophical choice…..does she remain with the “immoral” pair that loves her, or go with the upright Mrs Wicks. Henry James places quite an extraordinary burden on Maisy’s young shoulders, and this renders the plot implausible

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Brilliantly read

The novel is dark, engrossing, twisted, unexpected. Juliet Stevenson reads it brilliantly, animating each character. We search out audio books that she reads. Her reading is addictive!

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Not Great

this was a struggle to finish. The story was not great and very hard to care enough to complete the story. I kept waiting for it to get better but no such luck