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Extended Audio Sample Burning Bright Audiobook, by Tracy Chevalier Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,389 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tracy Chevalier Narrator: Jill Tanner Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2007 ISBN: 9781429585613
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The wonderful new novel from the much-loved author of Girl with a Pearl Earring and Falling Angels

Flames and funerals, circus feats and seduction, neighbors and nakedness—Tracy Chevalier’s new novel sparkles with drama. 

London 1792. The Kellaways move from familiar rural Dorset to the tumult of a cramped, unforgiving city. They are leaving behind a terrible loss, a blow that only a completely new life may soften. Against the backdrop of a city jittery over the increasingly bloody French Revolution, a surprising bond forms between Jem, the youngest Kellaway boy, and streetwise Londoner Maggie Butterfield. Their friendship takes a dramatic turn when they become entangled in the life of their neighbor, the printer, poet, and radical, William Blake. He is a guiding spirit as Jem and Maggie navigate the unpredictable, exhilarating passage from innocence to experience. Their journey inspires one of Blake’s most entrancing works. 

Georgian London is recreated as vividly in Burning Bright as seventeenth-century Delft was in Tracy Chevalier’s bestselling masterpiece, Girl with a Pearl Earring.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joyce McCombs | 2/20/2014

    " As with Chevalier's "Girl with Pearl Earring".. .this book is a YOU ARE THERE experience. I couldn't put it down and devoured it in a few hours one recent afternoon. Set in 18th century London, with William Blake as a main character, the story revolves around the children who live next door to him and how they experience growing up in a turbulent political time, as well as understanding their roles in society and as young adolescents. Chevalier makes it seem perfectly possible that William Blake and his wife would of COURSE come to the aid of one of the children in the story and the readers believes it utterly, also. The rich prose transports one to the market, the circus, the pea soup fog of London, the Thames River (before good sewer systems!) and the every day hardscrabble existence of those living on the fringes of society -- no middle class here, though one seems to be emerging throughout the story. Although this is the story of an ordinary family, there's nothing less than extraordinary about this writing.. another Chevalier triumph, in this reader's opinion! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rochelle Jewel Shapiro | 2/17/2014

    " What a wonderful book, such interesting characters and one of them is William Blake! "

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

    " I tried to like this, I really did. The characters here just aren't as compelling as those in T.C.'s other books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caitlin | 1/13/2014

    " On par with most of Chevalier's books, though still not as good as "Girl with a Pearl Earring." It is similar to that story in that it's built around a historic figure - poet William Blake - who is not the main character, but who's biographical facts are an integral part of the plot. I don't write much anymore, but the style and plot patterns remind me of how I would approach a story of historical fiction, so I enjoy it and feel like it reads easily. She also strongly executes a thematic idea (maybe a little too obviously at points.) I feel like some of the characters could have been given a little more depth too, especially some on the fringe that are interesting but never addressed fully (even Blake). All in all though, it's an light and entertaining read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maeta | 1/3/2014

    " A pleasant, easy read. Could have been better if there had been more about Mr. Blake. I always found him fascinating, but have never found a book that did him justice. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lyn | 12/28/2013

    " I had high hopes for this because I loved "A Girl with a Pearl Earring". It was a good book - just not as good as "Girl." Part of that may be that I'm not familiar with William Blake, and so the draw to him as a historical character wasn't there. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Harley | 12/25/2013

    " An easy, light and entertaining historical novel. Similar structure as Girl With A Peal Earring. William Blake is the famous person who stays on the sidelines and has a few cameo appearances. Mostly the story is about 3 teenagers and their adventures in London. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mew | 12/9/2013

    " Makes me want to read Blake. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Candice | 12/2/2013

    " Her most recent and I liked this one. She is a great author with wonderful writing ability to really make you see everything, pick up her books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jackie | 11/21/2013

    " More about life in London in the 1790's than about william Blake. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathy | 11/13/2013

    " ho-hum. What was the point? Of William Blake's presence? Of any of the relationships? Of all the open-ended plot lines? Of this book? "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kimberly | 11/5/2013

    " I didn't hate this book. I just didn't see the point. At least some of the characters were likable enough. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Renee' | 10/20/2013

    " Tracy Chevalier has once again captivated me with her sense of detail to create a story that weaves into the lives of her characters and tell a well-crafted tale of interest and history. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cleo | 6/13/2013

    " This is the best Tracy Chevalier I have read. And I like her writing. But it usually is slow going. This was a page turner. Shades of Dickens London.. Highly recommend it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Cat | 4/4/2013

    " This book was a little disappointing for me. I have read Chevalier's Girl with a Pearl Earring, and loved it. This book was set in London, and just didn't seem to pick up off the ground. I found the story unsurprising, and average. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah Phillips | 3/26/2013

    " not great - i like her other books better (the girl with the pearl earring; the virgin blue) ... just not very exciting to me. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristi | 1/13/2013

    " not the best ever, but good for easing me into summer and out of the semester. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Meghan | 11/19/2012

    " The only really good thing that I can say about this book was that it introduced me to Blake's poetry...everything else about it was pretty uninspired. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 6/15/2012

    " good story. interesting subject and made me want to read more William Blake. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carol | 3/5/2012

    " I enjoyed this as an audiobook. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kara | 10/4/2011

    " To be honest this book was a complete waste of my time. No true meaning of anything. I thought it was going to be a book simular to 'Girl with a pearl earring' and about the poet/artist william Blake, but it didn't. I can't believe I spent my time reading it either. Sad. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 7/15/2011

    " I don't know how Tracy Chevalier can pump out novel after novel of such quality writing, but she does. It's easy to get caught up in her stories and in her characters' lives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ana | 5/19/2011

    " I'm beginning to wonder about myself because I really enjoyed this book but can't recommend it without a warning (and maybe it isn't such a big deal) about the few sex scenes (one I can recall was too visual) she puts in her books are too much. I would love this book without it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jamie | 5/17/2011

    " This book was just not what I expected it to be. I was disappointed with it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kim | 5/16/2011

    " I was so excited for this book to come out-then was very disappointed in it. I loved all the other books by this author, but this one I just couldn't get into. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sarah | 5/15/2011

    " I was hoping for more, but it was nice to read about areas of London I know at least. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tabitha | 4/25/2011

    " Chevalier is a master at making times gone by come alive in the pages of her books. While this is not my favorite work of Chevalier, it is still a nice distraction from the modern world. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 4/18/2011

    " This was an interesting story and included some neat tidbits about what it was like to live in London in the late 1700's when France was in the midst of revolution. However, the story was not as compelling as some of the author's other books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Eilidh | 3/28/2011

    " A little bit slow but I really liked it once I got into it. An interesting mix of history and fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristin | 3/27/2011

    " This was an interesting read. I know little about London in the late 1700s and nothing about William Blake and the perspective from the two children was refreshing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michael | 3/21/2011

    " Tracey goes back to history and creates a world in time with detail and authority. Makes you wonder what is history and what is fiction. A lovely visit with Mr. Blake none-the-less. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maddalena | 3/17/2011

    " It's a strange book, with a feeling that it doesn't tell a story from beginning to end, showing us instead only a fraction of the story.
    The characters are not bad, but I didn't particularly care for them.
    Not Tracy Chevalier best work. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Martha | 3/12/2011

    " Really liked Girl with the Pearl Earring SOOO much more. This time she really tried to do too much with a flat result "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicole | 3/5/2011

    " By the author of 'The Girl With the Pearl Earring'. A charming story of England around 1800 with the occasional and pointless appearance of Wm Blake. Should be read along with 'The Duchess'. "

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About the Author
Author Tracy Chevalier

Tracy Chevalier is the New York Times bestselling author of the novel Girl with a Pearl Earring, which has been translated into thirty-nine languages and made into an Oscar-nominated film, as well as several other novels. Born and raised in Washington, DC, she lives in London with her husband and son.

About the Narrator

Jill Tanner was a principal actress with the Alabama Shakespeare Festival for eight years and has appeared in many classical and new American plays. She has been in productions on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in most major theaters in the United States.