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Extended Audio Sample Bottomland, by Michelle Hoover 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: Michelle Hoover Narrator: Amy Landon, Robertson Dean, Tavia Gilbert, Emily Woo Zeller, Paul Michael Garcia Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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At once intimate and sweeping, Bottomland—the anticipated second novel from Michelle Hoover—follows the Hess family in the years after World War I as they attempt to rid themselves of the anti-German sentiment that left a stain on their name. But when the youngest two daughters vanish in the middle of the night, the family must piece together what happened while struggling to maintain their life on the unforgiving Iowa plains.

In the weeks after Esther and Myrle’s disappearance, their siblings desperately search for the sisters, combing the stark farmlands, their neighbors’ houses, and the unfamiliar world of far-off Chicago. Have the girls run away to another farm? Have they gone to the city to seek a new life? Or were they abducted? Ostracized, misunderstood, and increasingly isolated in their tightly knit small town in the wake of the war, the Hesses fear the worst. Told in the voices of the family patriarch and his children, this is a haunting literary mystery that spans decades before its resolution. Hoover deftly examines the intrepid ways a person can forge a life of their own despite the dangerous obstacles of prejudice and oppression.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Hoover knows rural life, its unforgiving reality, and its people so well…Poignant, powerful, and hypnotically readable.”

    Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A mystery wrapped in isolation and ethnic fear…[An] atmospheric and engaging tale, which turns out to be as much about sibling rivalry as about mistrust and oppression.”

    Minneapolis Star-Tribune

  • “The hatred and xenophobia that mark Hoover’s plot aren’t distant at all…As much as Bottomland evokes a grim American past with enough mastery to justify comparisons to Willa Cather, it also speaks of our present tense.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Part mystery, part tragedy, part coming-of-age narrative…the depth of Bottomland makes for a beautiful second novel by Hoover.”

    Chicago Book Review

  • “Hoover skillfully interweaves many of the Hess family members’ narratives. Her descriptions of the bleak rural landscape is chilling.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Hoover’s well-formed characters propel a consistently compelling tale.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Hoover vividly describes the harsh realities of life on a farm, on the battlefield, and in a Chicago sweatshop through the eyes of masterfully drawn characters. A novel as poignant as it is clear-eyed.”


  • “Deftly imagined and written, Hoover’s second novel offers an intriguing, modern take on a classic American landscape.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “An ensemble cast narrates this haunting story…told in segments by the autocratic father and four of his children, and each portion is performed by a different narrator. Each character has a distinct perspective as the bleak story unfolds. While all five voices are well cast, Robertson Dean provides the finest performance as the patriarch, thanks to his gruff tone and starkly elegant diction.”


  • An incandescent story of a family torn apart by war and loss.”

    Dawn Tripp, author of Game of Secrets

  • “Immensely readable…Bottomland is alive with secrets, hard choices, and the acute costs of independence.”

    Daphne Kalotay, author of Russian Winter and Sight Reading

  • An Indie Next List Selection for March 2016
  • An Amazon Best Book of the Month for March 2016
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