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Download A Peculiar Grace: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample A Peculiar Grace: A Novel Audiobook, by Jeffrey Lent Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (313 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jeffrey Lent Narrator: Todd McLaren Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2007 ISBN: 9781400175437
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Jeffrey Lent's previous novels have earned him comparisons to Cormac McCarthy, Pat Conroy, and William Faulkner, and his book In the Fall was hailed as one of the best of the year by the Christian Science Monitor and the New York Times. In A Peculiar Grace, Lent has delivered a book that takes his oeuvre in a new direction, a brilliant portrait of love, destruction, and rebirth in modern-day Vermont. Hewitt Pearce is a forty-three-year-old blacksmith who lives alone in his family home, producing custom ironwork and safeguarding a small collection of art his late father left behind. When Jessica, a troubled young vagabond, shows up in his backwoods one morning fleeing her demons, Hewitt's previously hermetic existence is suddenly challenged—more so when he learns that Emily, the love of his life whom he'd lost twenty years before, has been unexpectedly widowed. As he gradually uncovers the secrets of Jessica's past, and tries to win Emily's trust again, Hewitt must confront his own dark history and his family's, and rediscover how much he's craved human connection. The more he reflects on the heartbreaking losses that nearly destroyed both him and his father, however, the more Hewitt realizes that his art may offer a deliverance that no love or faith can. Set in the art scene of postwar New York, a commune in the early seventies, and contemporary small-town New England, A Peculiar Grace recalls Kent Haruf and Wallace Stegner. It's a remarkable achievement by one of our finest authors and an insightful portrait of family secrets, with an unforgettable cast of characters who have learned to survive by giving shape to their losses. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Vital characters, convincing psychology, and finely articulated spiritual musings…. Lent's prose is lustrous---rich in supple dialogue and finely patterned imagery. Booklist Starred Review
  • “Family-fracturing secrets are at the heart of Lent’s luminous third novel, a transcendent story about the healing power of love and art…This sympathetic depiction of a decent man wrestling with his demons while deciding whether to revive an old love or open himself to a new lover is less visceral than Lent’s astonishing debut, In the Fall, and less gritty than his second novel, Lost Nation, but it’s no less magisterial and every bit as beautifully written.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “Lent has forged a many-faceted plot, vital characters, convincing psychology, and finely articulated spiritual musings…Lent’s prose is lustrous—rich in supple dialogue and finely patterned imagery. Echoing the rhapsodic specificity and gravitas of Steinbeck and Kent Haruf, Lent has constructed a resolute tale of paradise lost and found.”

    Booklist (starred review)

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anita | 2/19/2014

    " Whoops! Already read this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rudy | 2/12/2014

    " The main character is interesting because of his gifts, flaws and poor choices in the present and in the back stories. Lent adds twists and turns with supporting cast and situations. The ending wasn't quite expected and had me smiling. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Corry Brooymans | 2/4/2014

    " A very interesting book about family secrets, an obsession about a-love-lost, and what that does to your life. It's amazing how someone can hold on to his first love over so many years and still be a good person and not vengefull.Family secrets add to the burden. You keep hoping things will turn the right way for him. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rusty | 1/31/2014

    " I thought this was a lovely and complicated book. It's very unlike his previous novels, which are also very good. It's also a great lesson in POV and flashback. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dianne | 1/29/2014

    " Didn't love this book. The story was too fragmented for me. In all honesty, I think that part of the issue was that I listened to 80% of this book and the narration was not good. I enjoyed his voice, but the story often had breaks where it would move from storyline to storyline. There was no pause in the narration and I often found myself confused because the story had taken a turn that did not make sense until I realized the characters and sub-story had changed. I also didn't feel that the individual stories tied together very well to complete the whole and the ending was just plain odd for me. I read this for my book club. I curious to hear what my friends thought of this book... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marguerite | 1/22/2014

    " I loved In the Fall and was prepared to love this, too. And, I was OK with it right up till page 387 or so: Interesting characters, check. Adequate story line, check. Passable writing, check. But I totally didn't buy the ending. It felt as though Jeffrey Lent had a dirty-old-man scene in his mind that didn't fit his characters but he forced it on them, anyway. No me gusta! I regret the time spent on three hundred-some pages -- especially while VCU was making the NCAA tournament field. (Go, Rams!) Go away, Jeffrey Lent. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny | 1/15/2014

    " I loved Lent's other books "Lost Nation" and "In the Fall" so I had high hopes for this new book. It's quiet. I mean really quiet. There are certain days that I like a quiet book that really looks at the small details of the character's life and slowly moves along the story line but it really is more of a character study. I like that. But then around page 250 the real plot kicks in and all of a sudden there is drama and backstory and interest. All of a sudden it's not so quiet anymore, the mood has changed, and the reader doesn't quite know what to make of it. Do I like this change? Am I interested? Is it about time? Do I miss the the gentle tone of the beginning? You can care or not, but the book changes and it's good, but not great. I finished it last week and already the book is fading from memory. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Debby | 1/12/2014

    " I really enjoyed listening to this book. It was recommended as a good book by a GR author (Jeffrey Lent) and I absolutely agree! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adele | 1/11/2014

    " Everyone has a past they need to climb out of ... how do you allow it to impact you? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Denise | 12/3/2013

    " WL bk gp 6/08. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula | 11/23/2013

    " I really really loved this book, which I listened to on CD. It's a fabulous narration and a beautifully written story indeed. One of those books I did not want to put down, nor was I ready for it to end. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathy | 8/25/2013

    " This book was about blacksmith who lived alone/did not drive and what happens when a hippy unstable girl shows up in her VW bug. While I liked his character, the time spent on his youth and prior love drug on a bit so I didn't even finish it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lesley | 2/27/2013

    " I loved the two books by Lent I read previously, but I just could NOT get into this one and finally gave up when reading it became a struggle. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarahjane | 8/2/2012

    " Last 10 pages just about ruined the whole book for me, which is a shame because up until then I was loving the ride! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren Albert | 2/7/2012

    " I agree with the reviewer who said it was a four star read until the end. It didn't make sense to me either based on the author's development of the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Val | 5/18/2011

    " A little slow moving. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Suede | 9/14/2010

    " Faulkner? really? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 fweetieb | 5/26/2010

    " Very complex characters, good descriptions, well-written. I saw he is compared to Cormac, but I didn't really get that. More subtle in many ways. I would definitely read other novel by Lent. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Florence | 12/11/2008

    " Two lost souls are redeemed when they allow themselves to rediscover love and regain the ability to trust another person. A satisfying ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Renee | 8/17/2008

    " Run on sentences a little irritating, but I like the story and characters Read til 2 AM last night. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jo Keefe | 4/23/2008

    " loved it.. came to life in my hands "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sylvia Stocker | 9/10/2007

    " Interesting novel; interesting characters. This is a new author for me, and I think I will look for some of his other books. "

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About the Author
Author Jeffrey Lent

Jeffrey Lent is the author of the award-winning novels In the Fall and Lost Nation.

About the Narrator

Todd McLaren was involved in radio for more than twenty years in cities on both coasts, including Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. He left broadcasting for a full-time career in voice acting, where he has been heard on more than five thousand television and radio commercials, as well as television promos; narrations for documentaries on such networks as A&E, Discovery, and the History Channel; and films, including Who Framed Roger Rabbit?