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Extended Audio Sample Alice I Have Been: A Novel, by Melanie Benjamin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,823 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Melanie Benjamin Narrator: Samantha Eggar Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Few works of literature are as universally beloved as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Now, in this spellbinding historical novel, we meet the young girl whose bright spirit sent her on an unforgettable trip down the rabbit hole—and the grown woman whose story is no less enthralling.

Alice Liddell Hargreaves’ life has been a richly woven tapestry: As a young woman, wife, mother, and widow, she’s experienced intense passion, great privilege, and greater tragedy. But as she nears her eighty-first birthday, she knows that, to the world around her, she is and will always be only “Alice.” Her life was permanently dog-eared at one fateful moment in her tenth year—the golden summer day she urged a grown-up friend to write down one of his fanciful stories.

That story—a wild tale of rabbits, queens, and a precocious young child—becomes a sensation the world over. Its author, a shy, stuttering Oxford professor, does more than immortalize Alice—he changes her life forever. But even he cannot stop time, as much as he might like to. And as Alice’s childhood slips away, a peacetime of glittering balls and royal romances gives way to the urgent tide of war. 

For Alice, the stakes could not be higher, for she is the mother of three grown sons, soldiers all. Yet even as she stands to lose everything she treasures, one part of her will always be the determined, undaunted Alice of the story, who discovered that life beyond the rabbit hole was an astonishing journey.

A love story and a literary mystery, Alice I Have Been brilliantly blends fact and fiction to capture the passionate spirit of a woman who was truly worthy of her fictional alter ego, in a world as captivating as the Wonderland only she could inspire.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Benjamin offers a finely wrought portrait of Alice that seamlessly blends fact with fiction. This is book club gold. Publishers Weekly, starred reveiw
  • “This is magic!” 

    Diana Gabaldon, New York Times bestselling author of The Scottish Prisoner

  • “A seamless tale of love, loss, and myth…storytelling at its finest.”

    Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Chased the Moon

  • “A smashing tale—mostly true—of the overlap of childhood and womanhood, a compelling mystery, an exposé of Victorian mores, an exploration of love that came too soon and too late, an explosive trail of emotions and human foibles, a heartbreak—written with compassion and grace. I loved it!”

    Susan Vreeland, New York Times bestselling author of Clara and Mr. Tiffany

  • “The novel doesn’t just fill in the blanks of a literary life but tells the story of someone who was more than a muse; Alice may have been immortalized as a girl but, as Benjamin imagines, she grew up to be a great woman.”

    New York Post

  • “Powerful and poignant sections deal with the fates of Alice’s three adult sons. Dream-children roam in Wonderland forever; their real-life counterparts, sadly, are never so fortunate.”

    Washington Post

  • “A satisfying, haunting piece of literary ventriloquism.”

    Good Housekeeping

  • “[A] fine historical novel…Benjamin re-creates a vanished Victorian world among the dreaming spires of Oxford.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Benjamin offers a finely wrought portrait of Alice that seamlessly blends fact with fiction. This is book club gold.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “This novel will have wide appeal as it includes history, romance, literature, and a great deal of suspense.”

    Library Journal

  • “Convincingly conceived and meticulously crafted, a delightful bit of literary sleight of hand by Benjamin.”


  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the January 2010 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Becca Roskowski | 2/15/2014

    " Did not have a chance to finesh. Got part way in and was not the most intresting book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jordan | 2/4/2014

    " So this was not the most amazing book ever, but it was okay. Benjamin's book, Mrs. Tom Thumb was much better. She is so coy when it comes to the drama of this book, that it is almost a non-story. The book would start to get really good and then just putter out. If you are like me and have a list of 20 books that you are jazzed to read, feel free to skip this one. If you are at a loss and you need a book, this will do in a pinch. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Jackie | 1/22/2014

    " Loved the way this book was written, but I thought it was a bit drawn out. Interesting story "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Bednarzterry | 1/21/2014

    " Really good. A fictionalized version of the story of the "real" Alice in Wonderland. Very intriguing.. mesmerizing writing. Well done. "

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