Extended Audio Sample

Download Back When We Were Grownups: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Back When We Were Grownups: A Novel Audiobook, by Anne Tyler Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (8,849 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Anne Tyler Narrator: Blair Brown Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2001 ISBN: 9780739300398
Regular Price: $15.95 Add to Cart
— or —
FlexPass™ Price: $14.95$5.95$5.95 for new members!
Add to Cart learn more )

“Once upon a time, there was a woman who discovered that she had turned into the wrong person.” So Anne Tyler opens this irresistible new novel.

The woman is Rebecca Davitch, a fifty-three-year-old grandmother. Is she an impostor in her own life? she asks herself. Is it indeed her own life? Or is it someone else’s?

On the surface, Beck, as she is known to the Davitch clan, is outgoing, joyous, a natural celebrator. Giving parties is, after all, her vocation—something she slipped into even before finishing college, when Joe Davitch spotted her at an engagement party in his family’s crumbling nineteenth-century Baltimore row house, where giving parties was the family business. What caught his fancy was that she seemed to be having such a wonderful time. Soon this large-spirited older man, a divorcé with three little girls, swept her into his orbit, and before she knew it she was embracing his extended family plus a child of their own, and hosting endless parties in the ornate, high-ceilinged rooms of The Open Arms.

Now, some thirty years later, after presiding over a disastrous family picnic, Rebecca is caught unawares by the question of who she really is. How she answers it—how she tries to recover her girlhood self, that dignified grownup she had once been—is the story told in this beguiling, funny, and deeply moving novel.

As always with Anne Tyler's novels, once we enter her world it is hard to leave. But in Back When We Were Grownups she so sharpens our perceptions and awakens so many untapped feelings that we come away not only refreshed and delighted, but also infinitely wiser.

Download and start listening now!

BK_RAND_000127

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 brittany | 2/11/2014

    " It was much darker than I expected ans somewhat depressing "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aimee Phillips | 2/8/2014

    " Whenever I read Anne Tyler, I know I'm not alone in the world. Her characters are people who could live next door to me or anyone - or could be me. Such wonderfully expressed emotions. The oxymoron that no one really knows who you are, except that maybe everyone really does know you. The elusive search for who you are and are you living the life you want. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 bibliohead | 1/29/2014

    " Enjoyable, quirky characters. Not a lot of plot action, but then again this Anne Tyler. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurie | 1/29/2014

    " Beautifully written book, but like most Anne Tlyer books, it is character-driven and not particularly action-packed. I wasn't thrilled with the ending, but I didn't hate it either. Worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Emily | 1/18/2014

    " read it in a day. soo good. soo reflective of life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katie Lockwood | 11/18/2013

    " good read... a bit sad, women looks back on her life on the path not taken, only to find out that the path was exactly what she knew all along. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anna | 11/8/2013

    " I loved the book and I loved the movie with Blythe Danner, Peter Fonda and Jack Palance. Great and warm book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachael | 10/28/2013

    " I love Anne Tyler's observations about ordinary people. It really had me wondering about the 'what ifs' in life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alex | 10/15/2013

    " This book was recommended to me and I'm still not sure if I really liked it. Makes you think about your life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Melaniedk | 9/23/2013

    " This book is beautiful. What I think is the most interesting is the fact that we all look back on our lives and wonder if we had done this or that - would it have turned out better. This better contemplates this question. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ashlee | 9/5/2013

    " What a great book. Funny, sad and much more and oddly similar to many families I have no doubt. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Donna Kusuda | 9/5/2013

    " I can see why so many read her. This story grabs you from the beginning if you have ever questioned how your life got where it is today and how it does or does not fit with who you thought you would be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Ann | 5/3/2013

    " A 52 year old widow is trying to figure out how she ended up in her position in life. She is dealing with her family business, her kids, grandkids & elderly uncle all on her own. A little too everyday nit natting for me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maria | 10/1/2012

    " Typical Anne Tyler fare here...a woman who realizes that she has lost herself amongst the host of quirky characters who surround her everyday life. OK, I get it! However, this book just did not get "it" as it chugged along with NO surprises what-so-ever. Dare I say Anne is getting formulatic??? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancylouu | 9/30/2012

    " I really enjoyed this - left me smiling. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steve Cushman | 11/29/2011

    " I've read 8 Anne Tyler's novels and she never lets me down. This one and The Accidental Tourist are my favorites. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Erin | 6/29/2011

    " Not necessarily a page turner but a very interesting idea played out through likable characters and a very well written story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 6/29/2011

    " Read this while on vacation - a quick read and pretty enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cally | 6/25/2011

    " Good, quick, riding-in-the-car read. Nice little story with a l good leave. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 6/11/2011

    " I don't know what it is about Anne Tyler, but I find her characters and the way she writes fascinating. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Susan | 5/26/2011

    " Anne Tyler's characters are so different, but I remember them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathleen | 5/25/2011

    " Anne Tyler is a wonderfully descriptive writer, and her characters are so unforgettable... I just wish she hadn't left the reader wondering how Rebecca will answer the questions about her life. The ending was kind of abrupt and unsatisfying. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kayleigh | 5/9/2011

    " Tyler's prose is lovely, and she has a rare insight that allows her to portray this large, quirky, borderline-dysfunctional family with warmth and humor despite the fact that the majority of the characters are not particularly likable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 5/4/2011

    " A good "plane and vacation book". I enjoyed it. Family life isn't always how you think it should be. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 5/4/2011

    " things don't turn out how we planned but how they are supposed to "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barbara | 4/10/2011

    " Kind of a second chance at life novel focusing on Rebecca Davitch who begins with feeling she has turned into "the wrong person." Peopled with the quirky Baltimore folks one expects from Tyler, the book is quite entertaining. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Alicia | 4/7/2011

    " I felt that the characters were contrived and the plot was lacking. "

Write a Review
What is FlexPass?
  • Your first audiobook is just $5.95
  • Over 90% are at or below $12.95
  • "LOVE IT" guarantee
  • No time limits or expirations
About the Author
Author Anne Tyler

Anne Tyler is an American novelist, short-story writer, and literary critic and considered a major figure in American literature. Her novels have earned a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction, Amabassador Book Award, London Sunday Times Award for Literary Excellence, among other awards, and several have been New York Times bestsellers. Her novel The Accidental Tourist was made into an Academy Award-winning motion picture in 1988. She was was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, and now lives in Baltimore, Maryland, where many of her books are set. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

About the Narrator

Blair Brown is a Tony Award–winning actor. Her best known role is Nina Sharp from the television series Fringe. She prepares for recording audiobooks the same way she does for her other roles: by reading the text three times. Brown has won seven AudioFile Earphones Awards.