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Extended Audio Sample Beautiful Lies, by Clare Clark Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (216 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Clare Clark Narrator: Wanda McCaddo Publisher: Dreamscape Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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London 1887. For Maribel Campbell Lowe, the beautiful bohemian wife of a maverick politician, it is the year to make something of herself. A self-proclaimed Chilean heiress educated in Paris, she is torn between poetry and the new art of photography. But it is soon plain that Maribel’s choices are not so simple. As her husband’s career hangs by a thread, her real past, and the family she abandoned, come back to haunt them both. When the notorious newspaper editor Alfred Webster begins to take an uncommon interest in Maribel, she fears he will not only destroy Edward’s career but both of their reputations.

Inspired by the true story of a politician’s wife who lived a double life for decades, Beautiful Lies is set in a time that, fraught with economic uncertainty and tabloid scandal-mongering, uncannily presages our own.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A captivating fable of truth and memory.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “Touching, funny, brave, and sweet.”

    Washington Post

  • “A stirring and seductive novel.”


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Ally | 2/18/2014

    " This complex story deftly weaves together historical fact and detail with a compelling cast of characters too flawed to feel anything but real. I always appreciate a protagonist who's good enough to root for, but who isn't perfect, and Clark certainly delivers that in Maribel Campbell Lowe. I also love to feel transported through time to another era--and in this case, Victorian London was eerily familiar, given the many social and political parallels that are immediately obvious to the educated reader. A good, long read you can really sink into and savor. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kate | 2/13/2014

    " This is a fairly absorbing novel, but it has a couple of glaring issues that prevent it from being a great one. First, as historical fiction it is too heavy on the history, and too light on the fiction: as other reviewers have pointed out, although it is very well researched, the author introduces a few plot developments that are allowed to fizzle, resulting in a story that feels rather thin. Also the protagonist is annoyingly self-absorbed, with a tobacco habit that had me wondering - based on Clark's descriptions of smoking - if the cigarette industry paid her for product placement. I realize she is using her heroine to portray the tension between modernity and tradition in 1880s England as embodied by a "New Woman", but using the glorification of smoking to do so seems a strange choice. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Elise | 1/3/2014

    " I was very impressed with the amount of historical detail, as well as the author's ability to keep me interested in the fate of the main character. At times, though, the beauty of her writing and the attention to some details might have been too much, and I wanted her to get on with it. Overall, though entertaining and well-written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Linda | 12/29/2013

    " This is a long book - over 480 pages - and it wasn't until the end that I fully realized how good it is. That sounds odd, but there were times when I was reading it that I wanted to get it over with and I did get a bit bogged down in the British political scene, but it was really an interesting and well written novel. It is based on facts discovered about a rebellious, aristocratic politician in London in the late 1800's, and more enticing, the double life of his exotic wife. I found all of the characters very real and their lives so full and complicated. I started to give it 3 1/2 stars, but realized that didn't do it justice. It is rich with history and exciting in the drama of keeping secrets in the daily lives of people in the limelight. Now I want to read Clark's other books, two of which were listed for the Orange Prize in literature. "

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About the Author
Author Clare Clark

Clare Clark is the author of four novels, including The Great Stink, which was long-listed for the Orange Prize and was named a Washington Post Best Book of the Year, and Savage Lands, which was long-listed for the Orange Prize in 2010. Her work has been translated into five languages. She lives in London.