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Extended Audio Sample 37 Audiobook, by Maria Beaumont Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (97 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maria Beaumont Narrator: Kate Reading Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2008 ISBN: 9781455188987
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On the eve of her thirty-seventh birthday, former voice-over artist Fran Clark finds herself in a role she could never have envisioned: that of a surprisingly desperate housewife, suffocating in her life despite, or because of, her ad-exec husband and two children. She’s far too cynical to take suburban life too seriously—“if it weren’t for the Happy Meal, several thousand women would have murdered their children”—yet she can’t seem to stop herself from entering a panicky, drink-enhanced spiral downward to rock-bottom depression. It will take her children and her two best friends counting on her more than they’d ever dreamed for her to find the inner strength to rebuild her life.

Fran’s completely flawed yet charming personality narrates this funny, self-deprecating tale about one woman’s brutally candid trip to the brink and back.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A carefully observed account of one mother’s struggle to claw back an identity of her own.”

    Daily Telegraph (London)

  • “Enjoyable mommy lit, aided by ample doses of British humor, breezy storytelling, and an upbeat feel even in the down moments.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Kate Reading’s bravura performance nails down every character…Reading turns this amiable novel into a tour de force performance that is funny, fast-moving, and fearless.”

    Publishers Weekly audio review

  • “[Fran] may be a desperate housewife, but her observations about life near forty are hilarious.”

    OK!

  • “A gift for dissatisfied housewives.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Berit | 9/28/2013

    " A roller-coaster of a year! Worth reading for the acknowledgments page alone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patti | 8/15/2013

    " I hated this woman the first half of the book. She was too whiny, too drunk, too...everything. Still, she got better, and so did the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ted | 5/21/2013

    " brit chick list with a twist. Funny and serious, a surprise. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 11/2/2012

    " I was looking for a little summertime candy when I picked up this book. What I found instead was a terribly annoying main character and a story that has been written before. The portrayal of snobby elementary school culture was funny, however. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sam Gates | 10/27/2012

    " If Bridget Jones got married and had kids, she would have written this book. Funny and endearing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenni | 7/22/2012

    " Entertaining but all together not that good. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Colleen Collins | 2/8/2012

    " Pretty standard for the genre "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kelly Gallagher | 6/13/2011

    " This book is a brit chick lit. It was a quick read and kept me interested. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Andrea | 1/25/2011

    " A STAY AT HOME MOM IS HAVING A MID LIFE CRISIS - SHE IS SMOKING AND DRINKING TO EXCESS. HER HUSBAND LEAVES HER. SHE IS FORGETTING THE KIDS AT SCHOOL AND THEIR ACTIVITIES. THE OTHER MOTHERS GOSSIP ABOUT HER. THE STORY IS ABOUT HOW SHE QUITS WINNING AND GETS HER ACT TOGETHER. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 8/29/2010

    " Totally satisfying chick lit, only better. Brit author Maria Beamont has a funny, real and engaging voice, and for a book about a character who's completely depressed on the eve of her 37th birthday, it's a hilarious read. Love the scathing satire of the other "mums." "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen | 10/5/2009

    " Kind of predictable. British stay at home mom struggling with her identity -- feels frumpy, lost, losing her hubby and must bounce back to make everything right again. Add in a snobby school and all the back stabbing snobby moms there and you have another "mommy lit" book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Booktree | 5/29/2009

    " I am 37 years old, so this book was a fun read for me for obvious reasons. Her life is so different than mine, but there were age-related similarities that really hit home. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 7/2/2008

    " Awesome! British. Fran is turning 37. Has 2 kids. Her husband has an affair. Fran used to do voice overs. She feels useless, her son is a good soccer player. Her husband and her get back together. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 6/15/2008

    " Life is about our relationships. They complicate, enrich and fill our lives. Closeness comes with expectations, pain, joy, self reflection, chaous, fear and everything else. In the end, if you don't have relationships, you don't have life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gina | 3/26/2008

    " While hating my 37 year-old life, this book was sitting at the library so I decided to read about someone else's 37 year old misery. Okay, so I'll admit I'm a closet chick-lit reader. But if you are going to read smut, it may as well be British. "

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About the Author

Maria Beaumont had careers as a dance instructor and in advertising before turning to writing. She lives with her husband, novelist Matt Beaumont, and their two children in London.

About the Narrator

Kate Reading is an Audie Award–winning narrator and has received numerous Earphones Awards from AudioFile magazine. She is also a theater actor in the Washington, DC, area and has been a member of the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company since 1987. Her work onstage has been recognized by the Helen Hayes Awards Society, among others. She and her husband live in Hyattsville, Maryland, with their two children.