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Extended Audio Sample Brookland: A Novel Audiobook, by Emily Barton Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.14 out of 53.14 out of 53.14 out of 53.14 out of 53.14 out of 5 3.14 (29 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Emily Barton Narrator: Ruth Ann Phimister Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2016 ISBN: 9781461800286
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Brooklyn native Emily Barton has received many accolades for her fiction, including a grant from the NEA. Here she tells the story of Prudence Winship, a woman living in late 18th-century New York who has a vision of a great bridge spanning the East River. After inheriting a gin distillery from her father, Prue uses her resources to undertake one of America's greatest public works projects. But many hardships threaten to curtail her efforts, and realizing her dream will not be an easy task. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marnie | 2/18/2014

    " I almost loved this book. It's a complex, sometimes challenging read. Barton lets the characters blossom slowly, invites the reader in to the vivid, curious culture of post-Revolutionary War Brooklyn. The super-saturated metaphor of bridge building may be a bit much for some, but it's a facsinating historical novel nonetheless. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy Baack | 2/7/2014

    " 4 1/2 My only historical fiction of the summer! Kind of like pillars of the earth/world without end in that you wouldn't think the subject matter would be interesting, but it was. First half is about a daughter learning to make gin in her father's distillery in the later 1700s in Brooklyn NY. The second half it how she tries to build a bridge over the East river so they can get to and from Manhatten easier. Different but cool! Some heavy detail that I tend to skim... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Abigail | 2/4/2014

    " Didn't finish this one, though it has more merit than many books I've left to the dust mites. It paints a very compelling portrait of post-colonial, post-revolution Brooklyn, NY, with some slightly fantastical elements thrown in which reminded me of Winter's Tale (Mark Helprin) -- there is a childhood curse, continued allusions to the "land of the dead", and three women in 18th century America who not only run a gin distillary but who also conspire to build the first every brige across the East River to Manhattan, following their own designs. I gave up because the narrator/protagonist never came alive to me -- she remained cold and mechanical, without out any believable motivation in her pursuit of the bridge project. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 sarah | 2/4/2014

    " Really enjoyed this historical fiction about early 19th century NYC. Had a few problems with the main underlying plot device and thought the ending was a little rushed, but still was a great book. "

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

    " I loved the character development but felt she could have done more with it.... But did enjoy reading it! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shui | 1/28/2014

    " The novel started out well and then petered out into mundaneness.I never finished the novel so I don't know if the bridge ever got built. If any-one else reads this, please tell me if Prue succeeds!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jim | 1/27/2014

    " A trip through the sensibility of an 18th century Brooklyn businesswomen. Interesting for what it is although I never really warmed to it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elizabeth Groves | 1/18/2014

    " I really enjoyed the melancholy tone of this book. It was long but held my interest through the whole book. I love family novels and this one came through magnificently! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leigh Ann Krohe | 1/2/2014

    " I loved this book. Historical fiction at its best, not to mention the Prue is can be revered as a pioneer in equality of women. I really and truly coudn't put it down. If you like gin, history, strong female characters I suggest you take it for a spin. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandra | 12/19/2013

    " Well written and very interesting, but very depressing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Zeke | 12/13/2013

    " It was good. A bit slow in the beginning, but I never wanted to put it down. Interesting look into what 1790's Brooklyn might have been like. "

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

    " I didn't actually entirely love this book while I was reading it, but I keep thinking about parts of it now, two years later. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Andie | 12/6/2013

    " Seeing as I live in Brooklyn I thought a novel set in the early days of my borough would be an engaging way to learn some history. But I learned that you can sink a plot with too much history and that unlikeable characters do not make good life rafts. It's all over now, thank goodness. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beverly | 8/19/2013

    " A fictional historical look at the origins of Brooklyn and a family's life there. Slow moving, but slightly compelling. Surprising turns of events made book more interesting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 3/4/2013

    " Interesting & informative story about Brooklyn at the turn of the 19th century. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janet Meissner | 7/21/2012

    " Interesting history. Odd story line. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 William | 5/3/2012

    " The detailed language on how to run a gin distillery, traverse the ice across the east River and dream of a bridge to commenct Brookland to Manhattan is sumptuous! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Melissa | 1/27/2012

    " I only got 70 pages in, and then others reading the book told me that they were also not enjoying it. I am going to quit while I'm ahead before I waste more time on this one. A dud! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 JQ | 1/7/2011

    " There should be a shelf for gave up on/abandoned/didn't finish - that's where this one belongs. Total dud. Might work as a cure for insomnia. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ami | 1/2/2011

    " Don't know if I'll be able to finish this one...it's excellent but slow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gabriella | 12/31/2010

    " I would probably have given this one 3 1/2 stars if I could. I really liked how it started out, but I thought it got muddled in the middle. Still an interesting read, though. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Timratha | 10/9/2010

    " She's such a good writer! But this book gets soooo boring. Too much control! Too much thematizing! Not enough joie de vivre! But still really good whenever the book focuses on textural (not textual!) detail. I really like Emily Barton! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kate | 10/4/2010

    " I related to the main character's obsession with bridges... and the fact she was as the oldest of three sisters. This book sat on my shelf for a couple years and once I started reading it I felt like a total idiot for waiting because I liked it so much! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carole | 8/21/2010

    " Great beginning, topic, well written, but it went on and on and on and became tedious at best. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 6/27/2010

    " Immerse yourself completely in a fully realized alternate version of a long ago Brooklyn, New York, as seen through the eyes of characters you recognize all too well, for their virtues and their flaws exist within us to this day. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jen | 6/8/2010

    " I loved the character development but felt she could have done more with it.... But did enjoy reading it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurie | 1/23/2010

    " I liked the historical setting of this book and I liked the plot but ultimately I thought it needed paring down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 sarah | 7/31/2009

    " Really enjoyed this historical fiction about early 19th century NYC. Had a few problems with the main underlying plot device and thought the ending was a little rushed, but still was a great book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 JQ | 4/14/2009

    " There should be a shelf for gave up on/abandoned/didn't finish - that's where this one belongs. Total dud. Might work as a cure for insomnia. "

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About the Narrator

Ruth Ann Phimister has appeared off Broadway and in numerous regional productions, including Life with Father with Robert Reed. She has also worked in television, film, and commercial voice-over.