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Extended Audio Sample A Small Indiscretion: A Novel, by Jan Ellison Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jan Ellison Narrator: Kathe Mazur Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A Small Indiscretion fixes an unflinching eye on the power of desire and the danger of obsession as it unfolds the story of one woman’s reckoning with a youthful mistake.

As a young woman, Annie Black trades a bleak future in a washed-out suburb of Los Angeles for a London winter of drinking to oblivion, yearning for deliverance, and looking for love in all the wrong places. Some two decades later, she is married to a good man, has settled in San Francisco with a son and two daughters, and has a successful career designing artistic interior lights. One June morning, a photograph arrives in her mailbox, igniting an old longing and setting off a chain of events that rocks the foundations of her marriage and threatens to overturn her family’s hard-won happiness.

The novel moves back and forth across time between San Francisco in the present and that distant winter in Europe. The two worlds converge and explode when the adult Annie returns to London seeking answers, her indiscretions come to light, and the phone rings with shocking news about her son. Now Annie must fight to save her family by piecing together the mystery of her past—the fateful collision of liberation, abandon, and sexual desire that drew an invisible map of her future.

A Small Indiscretion is a riveting debut novel about a woman’s search for understanding and forgiveness, a taut exploration of a modern marriage, and of love—the kind that destroys and the kind that redeems.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An engrossing, believable, gracefully written family drama that reveals our past’s bare-knuckle grip on our present.”

    Emma Donoghue, New York Times bestselling author of Room

  • “A stunning debut by Jan Ellison…Like the photograph that arrives in the mail and sets in motion the plot of this gorgeous novel, A Small Indiscretion reminds us of the intensity of youthful desire and of the fragile nature of a marriage built on secrecy.”

    Ann Packer, New York Times bestselling author of The Dive from Clausen’s Pier

  • “Are those wild college days ever really behind you? Happily married Annie finds out.”


  • “An impressive fiction debut…both a psychological mystery and a study of the divide between desire and duty.”

    San Jose Mercury News

  • “A page-turner.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “[A] cleverly constructed debut…a deftly crafted, absorbing novel that peels back the layers of Annie’s character as it reveals the secrets of her past and present.”


  • “Part romance novel, part coming-of-age story, and part family drama, this somber book about a perpetually flawed woman is a challenging and thought-provoking read.”

    Library Journal

  • “An emotional thriller of the Anita Shreve variety, with revelations that continue and relationships that evolve until the final pages…Connoisseurs of domestic suspense will finish this book in a few breathless sittings, then wait eagerly for Ellison’s next trick.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Narrator Kathe Mazur’s soft-spoken voice is well suited to this confessional novel…Listeners are drawn into the story by Mazur’s relaxed, natural delivery, which seems to blur the line between protagonist and narrator, creating an appropriately intimate atmosphere…Mazur’s thoughtful performance enhances this story of family, relationships, and secrets.”


  • “It might be convenient if our mistakes would fade with time rather than hunt us down complete with consequence, but that wouldn’t make for the kind of taut, hypnotic story Jan Ellison tells.…A Small Indiscretion is the debut of an elegant writer who will be known and admired from the start.”

    Robin Black, author of Life Drawing

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