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Download Bettyville: A Memoir Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Bettyville: A Memoir, by George Hodgman 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: George Hodgman Narrator: Jeff Woodman Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A witty, tender memoir of a son’s journey home to care for his irascible mother—a tale of secrets, silences, and enduring love

When George Hodgman leaves Manhattan for his hometown of Paris, Missouri, he finds himself—an unlikely caretaker and near-lethal cook—in a head-on collision with his aging mother, Betty, a woman of wit and will. Will George lure her into assisted living? When hell freezes over. He can’t bring himself to force her from the home both treasure—the place where his father’s voice lingers, the scene of shared jokes, skirmishes, and, behind the dusty antiques, a rarely acknowledged conflict: Betty, who speaks her mind but cannot quite reveal her heart, has never really accepted the fact that her son is gay.

As these two unforgettable characters try to bring their different worlds together, Hodgman reveals the challenges of Betty’s life and his own struggle for self-respect, moving readers from their small town—crumbling but still colorful—to the star-studded corridors of Vanity Fair. Evocative of The End of Your Life Book Club and The Tender Bar, Hodgman’s debut is both an indelible portrait of a family and an exquisitely told tale of a prodigal son’s return.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A humorous, bittersweet account of Hodgman’s caring for his aging, irascible mother.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “A lovely memoir…You won’t finish this tale dry eyed.”


  • “A remarkable, laugh-out-loud book…Rarely has the subject of elder care produced such droll human comedy or a heroine quite on the mettlesome order of Betty Baker Hodgman. For as much as the book works on several levels (as a meditation on belonging, as a story of growing up gay and the psychic cost of silence, as metaphor for recovery), it is the strong-willed Betty who shines through.”

    New York Times

  • “Continuous low-key humor infuses the memoir with refreshing levity, without diminishing the emotional toll of being the sole health-care provider to an elderly parent. This is an emotionally honest portrayal of a son’s secrets and his unending devotion to his mother.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Narrator Jeff Woodman’s expressive performance creates an intimate connection between listeners and memoirist George Hodgman…Woodman tunes his voice to match the many emotions of this complex, bittersweet story…Both dialogue and narrative shine in Woodman’s capable hands. Listeners will want to keep tissues handy.”


  • “The book is instantly engaging, as Hodgman has a wry sense of humor, one he uses to keep others at a distance. Yet the book is also devastatingly touching…A tender, resolute look at a place, literal and figurative, baby boomers might find themselves.”


  • “Movingly honest, at times droll, and ultimately poignant.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Bettyville is an exquisitely written memoir about the complicated but deeply genuine love a son feels for his courageous, headstrong, vulnerable mother in the twilight of her life. George Hodgman is stunningly clear-eyed and yet so darned big-hearted. Bettyville is just wonderful.”

    Jeannette Walls, author of The Glass Castle

  • “The idea of a cultured gay man leaving New York City to care for his aging mother in Paris, Missouri, is already funny, and George Hodgman reaps that humor with great charm. But then he plunges deep, examining the warm yet fraught relationship between mother and son with profound insight and understanding…A beautiful book about the strange plenitude that comes from finally letting go of everything.”

    Alison Bechdel, cartoonist and author of Fun Home

  • “A gorgeous memoir. I was completely engaged, not just because of George Hodgman’s great ear and his sense of timing, but because he delivers Betty to us in such a manner that she steps off the page. I felt transported to a better place…[with] lessons about life and love that I will carry away.”

    Abraham Verghese, physician and author of Cutting for Stone

  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for March 2015
  • A People Pick of the Week
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A 2015 Amazon Best Books of the Year Selection for Biographies & Memoirs
  • A 2015 Library Journal Best Audiobook
  • A 2015 Barnes & Noble Discover Award Finalist
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About the Author

George Hodgman is a veteran magazine and book editor who has worked at Simon & Schuster, Vanity Fair, and Talk magazine. His writing has appeared in Entertainment Weekly, Interview, W, and Harper’s Bazaar, among other publications. He lives in New York City and Paris, Missouri.