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Extended Audio Sample Amandine Audiobook, by Marlena de Blasi Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 53.5 out of 5 3.50 (26 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Marlena de Blasi Narrator: John McDonough, Robin Miles Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2010 ISBN: 9781449837686
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Marlena de Blasi, best-elling memoirist of A Thousand Days in Venice, makes her remarkable fiction debut with this poignant tale. Deemed an illegitimate child by her royal Polish family, Amandine is abandoned as a baby at a French convent. As she grows, Amandine struggles to accept her orphaned state. She longs to put together the missing pieces of her identity, but as WWII engulfs Europe, her time to find answers may be running short. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Poignant…In de Blasi’s tale of unexpected turns taken during the search for understanding and identity, she balances heartbreak, loneliness, fear, and hope with aplomb.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “The sights, sounds, smells, and tastes of Amandine’s journey through life are palpable, and the reader shares in the sensual nature of the food described. The story is captivating, the characters are alive, and readers will hunger for more as the novel ends. Truly, de Blasi can be considered the Julia Child of fiction. A wonderful read for both fans of historical fiction and women’s fiction and one that shouldn’t be missed.”

    Library Journal

  • “Wartime France provides a vivid, dramatic background, and de Blasi’s experience as a food writer makes her descriptions of meals throughout the book even more evocative.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Trudi | 1/31/2014

    " Interesting to read but not a great book. Follows the life of a young girl of Polish birth who is placed in a French convent by her grandmother just prior to World War II. The girl's mother (Andzelika) has borne the child (Amandine) out of wedlock to the brother of the woman who was her father's lover. Amandine is born with a heart defect, and Andzelika's mother tells her daughter that Amandine died during surgery to repair the defect. She then places Amandine in the convent. The story then concentrates on Amandine and Solange, the woman chosen to care for Amandine - their life in the convent and on the road as they head for Northern France after the German invasion. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheryl | 1/23/2014

    " I wanted to give this 4 stars, but was so unhappy with the end. There are so many unresolved issues. I also didn't like that the narration skipped around in a pattern that I never figured out. Otherwise, a great story line and generally a page turner. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 1/19/2014

    " Good, but not a page turner. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ronda M | 1/13/2014

    " I almost stopped reading this one in the first few chapters, but I persevered and came to like it more. The characters were great and I enjoyed the look inside the inner workings of a convent. My problem was the slow storyline and the pretentious French vocabulary. (I'm fine with a certain amount, but this was way overboard. I mean, okay, it's set in France, just translate it! ) It was interesting to read about the responses of ordinary French people to WWII, though. I would have given the book three stars, but the cliffhanger supposed-to-be-thought-provoking ending just killed it, even though it did force me to think about what would really constitute a "happy ending" for Amandine. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 1/9/2014

    " Heartbreakingly beautiful. I have not read a book before this that touched me deeply enough to not bring me to tears just once but several times. A magnificent blend of the central story of the orphan girl Amandine against the back drop of World War II that culminates into the perfect dance. Who will see and feel the atrocities of war not just through the eyes of a young girl but through the eyes of those who fought against them. The feelings the story evokes will haunt you long after you have finished. For myself I do wish that there was a bit more to the ending. The author alludes to what will take place yet allows the reader to then use their imagination. There is nothing wrong with this type of ending but I admit that I am a reader who likes it all "spelled" out for me. I want to know for sure what takes place not decide what I would like to take place. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 The Nooker | 1/9/2014

    " Since my father was in an orphanage at a very early age I identified some of the scenes in the orphanage with stories he told. Heart wrenching story which touched me deeply. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jennifer | 12/30/2013

    " Some of the characters were a little over the top, but the writing was lyrical, and the imagery was great. "

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

    " Just dragged and dragged. Too creepy with incest for me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lel | 11/12/2013

    " Lovely story! Such a nice backdrop in Provence, and the way the story is told unravels in your head so coherently. You can really relate to Amandine and the situation. Possibly the writing style is not always to my taste, but it supports the story. Or maybe I just love the plot... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Teresa Tipps | 11/4/2013

    " Beautifully written, haunting novel. Am anxious to read Marlena's other books. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Jan | 11/3/2013

    " I liked this book and thought it a good read with many character studies - It moves along slowly but kept my interest. I was annoyed at the end, somewhat as the author did not completely reveal the ending to the story. A very good read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dawn | 10/30/2013

    " Very, very detailed, just not enough plot or dialogue to suit my taste. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 RunRachelRun | 9/30/2013

    " Picked this up at the library because one of our family friends has a daughter named Amandine which is such a lovely name. I'm enjoying this book so far, although in some passages, the child's voice is simply not believable for a such a young child. Anyway, still enjoyable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ag Collins | 5/7/2013

    " Absolutely beautiful is the only way to describe this book. So much emotion, many tears, want to read more! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cindy | 7/11/2012

    " Loved it! This is a very captivating book of innocence, loneliness and many family secrets. I was completely wrapped up in the story and in the little girl who survives her past and looks for her future. I highly recommend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cassandra Tasker | 11/18/2011

    " Beautifully written. Set between 1939-1945, the people & places of France are described in great detail - so if you like that era & area it's a good read. Being a story based around the war, it is sad, with small snatches of redemption. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 4/28/2011

    " Fun novel - good from the first to the last. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 3/31/2011

    " Great book but a little depressing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cassandra | 3/28/2011

    " Beautifully written. Set between 1939-1945, the people & places of France are described in great detail - so if you like that era & area it's a good read. Being a story based around the war, it is sad, with small snatches of redemption. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melissa | 2/19/2011

    " Good, but not a page turner. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jana | 1/28/2011

    " This book was just ok. There was a beautiful story in there somewhere, but there were some completely unnecessary and inappropriate story lines. The ending was very abrupt and it left me a little cold. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Staff Favorites | 12/4/2010

    " A sweet story of survival and love in difficult circumstances. Great characters, lyrical writing, wonderful setting.--Lorraine "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 11/14/2010

    " This was a bitter sweet story about a little girl growing up in a convent right around the time of WWII in France. Definitely sad, with some sweet parts mixed in. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mandy | 11/11/2010

    " Sad... I'd rather read happier books... that end happier.... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah Jan | 11/3/2010

    " I liked this book and thought it a good read with many character studies - It moves along slowly but kept my interest. I was annoyed at the end, somewhat as the author did not completely reveal the ending to the story. A very good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mandy | 9/21/2010

    " ***3.5 stars - review to follow*** "

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About the Author

Marlena de Blasi, who has worked as a chef and food and wine consultant, is the author of three previous memoirs, A Thousand Days in Venice, A Thousand Days in Tuscany, and The Lady in the Palazzo. She lives in the Umbrian hilltown of Orvieto with her Venetian husband, Fernando.

About the Narrators

John McDonough, one of AudioFile magazine’s Golden Voices, has narrated dozens of audiobooks. He is known for his narrations of children’s books, including Robert McCloskey’s Centerburg Tales and Albert Marrin’s Commander-in-Chief Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War. Outside of his audiobook work, he has starred in a revival of Captain Kangaroo on the Fox Network.

Robin Miles, also known as Violet Grey, is an accent specialist and award-winning narrator of over two hundred audiobooks. She was named the 2008 Best Voice in Fiction & Classics for The Pirate’s Daughter and 2008 Best Voice in Biography & History for Brother, I’m Dying.