Where There's Smoke: A Short Story

And Larger Than Life: A Novella
Narrated by: Kathe Mazur, Rebecca Lowman
Length: 4 hrs
4.2 out of 5 stars (440 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

"Where There's Smoke": Best-selling author Jodi Picoult is a masterful storyteller, who "writes with a fine touch, a sharp eye for detail, and a firm grasp of the delicacy and complexity of human relationships" (The Boston Globe). Now, in this original short story, Picoult introduces Serenity Jones, one of the fascinating characters from her eagerly awaited new novel, Leaving Time.

Even as a child, Serenity Jones knew she possessed unusual psychic gifts. Now, decades later, she’s an acclaimed medium and host of her own widely viewed TV show, where she delivers messages to the living from loved ones who have passed. Lately, though, her efforts to boost ratings and garner fame have compromised her clairvoyant instincts. When Serenity books a young war widow to appear as a guest, the episode quickly unravels, stirring up a troubling controversy. And as she tries to undo the damage - to both her reputation and her show - Serenity finds that pride comes at a high price.

Larger than Life: A gripping and beautifully written novella. Set in the wilds of Africa, Larger than Life introduces Alice, the unforgettable character at the center of Picoult's anticipated new novel, Leaving Time.

A researcher studying memory in elephants, Alice is fascinated by the bonds between mother and calf - the mother’s powerful protective instincts and her newborn’s unwavering loyalty. Living on a game reserve in Botswana, Alice is able to view the animals in their natural habitat - while following an important rule: She must only observe and never interfere. Then she finds an orphaned young elephant in the bush and cannot bear to leave the helpless baby behind. Thinking back on her own childhood, and on her shifting relationship with her mother, Alice risks her career to care for the calf. Yet what she comes to understand is the depth of a parent’s love.

©2014 Jodi Picoult (P)2014 Random House Audio

What listeners say about Where There's Smoke: A Short Story

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

This is Serenity's Story

"Where There's Smoke" is an situational expansion in the life of Serenity, a proferssional psychic that you meet in the novel "Leaving Time" by Jodi Picoult.

You can read it before or after the novel.. there are no spoilers, and this story can stand alone. Reading it after might be the best choice, only because the character Serenity is very strong in the novel, and you will enjoy knowing her in entirety prior to reading this short story.

Whether you read it before or after, don't cheat yourself by missing the novel. It would be my nomination for Audible's book of the year in fiction. Until reading "Leaving Time," if anyone had ever told me that I would have said that about one of Jodi Picoult's novels, I would have said they were crazy.

8 people found this helpful

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Interesting short story - narrator terrible

While this was an interesting short story - the narrator sounded like she was 1/2 asleep or in a fog. Made it hard to listen to. The elephant part of the story was interesting. The relation ship with the ranger was not believable because it was so undeveloped. I’m glad this was just a short story as I started to lose interest.

2 people found this helpful

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Reader

I listen to audible while I run or walk the dog. I made it through 15 minutes of listening and tripped 5 times as the reader droned on to the point that I lost my pace and my mind.

Not the best choice .. Guess I'll skip this book!!!

4 people found this helpful

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Nice surprise!

This was a shorty, and I was planning to just listen when I was waiting for my kid at sports practice. The stories both captured me! I couldn't turn it off and listened in one go. Both narrators were great. the stories surprised me and I Rebecca Lowman broke my heart (and I was happy for the good cry!)

1 person found this helpful

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A wonderful follow up to Leaving Time

Was very happily surprised about these 2 short stories with Serenity and Alice from Leaving Time. Narrated by the same actresses.

1 person found this helpful

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Second story

Jodi Picoult is an amazing author. She gets you in the feels almost every time. Anything she writes is spot on. Highly recommended this author.

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Very good.

Thanks for the good cry. A very good short story, but heartbreaking. I would have preferred a happier ending.

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Not a full book!!!!!

I did not realize this was only a sample of 2 books, so you have to buy the full books to hear the whole story. It’s a waste of a credit if your listening on Audible.

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Boring

Stories did not hold my interest...boring. I like Jodi Picoult a lot but this was not one of her better ones. It was a waste of an audible credit or if I paid for it a waste of my funds.

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Great short stories!

I love everything this author creates! Her words are visually captivating. Never disappointed with her.