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Extended Audio Sample Divining Women Audiobook, by Kaye Gibbons Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (746 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kaye Gibbons Narrator: Kaye Gibbons Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2004 ISBN: 9780743539371
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A powerful new novel from the bestselling author of Ellen Foster
Autumn, 1918: Rumors of peace are spreading across America, but spreading even faster are the first cases of Spanish influenza, whispering of the epidemic to come. Maureen Ross, well past a safe childbearing age, is experiencing a difficult pregnancy. Her husband, Troop -- cold and careless of her condition -- is an emotional cripple who has battered her spirit throughout their marriage. As Maureen's time grows near, she becomes convinced she will die in childbirth. Into this loveless ménage comes Mary Oliver, Troop's niece. The sheltered child of a well-to-do freethinking Washington family, Mary arrives to help Maureen in the last weeks of her confinement. Horrified by Troop's bullying, she soon discovers that her true duty is to protect her aunt.
As influenza spreads and the death toll grows, Troop's spiteful behaviors worsen. Tormenting his wife, taunting her for her "low birth," Troop terrorizes the household. When Mary fights back, he goes over the edge. Maureen rallies with a stunning confrontation and, ultimately, finds spiritual renewal. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A compelling tale of female friendship and the confines of social expectation.” 

    Denver Rocky Mountain News

  • “Gibbons’s tale is atmospheric and unsettling, narrated in hushed Victorian tones and ornamented with period flourishes.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Gibbons reads her seventh novel with a graceful, hypnotic rhythm reminiscent of its North Carolina setting.”

    AudioFile

  • “Gibbons…divines the true nature of feminine power and points the way toward justice in this gorgeously moody and piquant fairy tale.”  

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darla Hiskett | 1/5/2014

    " Great story for showing both sides of the coin for women. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristi Brendle | 11/2/2013

    " I actually listened to this book on my way down to Atlanta. The antagonist is such a manipulative narcassist; it's easy to hate him. It is difficult, however, to listen how his relationships go on ad nauseum. And the strange family relationship between him and the protagonist's mother is tedious & unncessary. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ali | 10/22/2013

    " Pamela...you were right. I love you :-) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Angie | 10/14/2013

    " I didn't really care for this book. Everything was elaborately over-described. Far, far too many words to say so little. Way too much back story about characters who don't even really play a part in the story. On top of all of that, I listened to it on audio & the author/narrator has such a thick accent, it was really hard to listen to. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Krisette Spangler | 10/12/2013

    " I really struggle with trying to rate this book. I love Kaye Gibbon's work, and she paints such vivid portraits of women. However, this novel seemed a little hard to swallow in places. That being said, I do have to give Ms. Gibbons high marks for creating one of the most despicable men in literature. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Briana Summers | 10/4/2013

    " I wasn't expecting to like this book since everyone I know who read it said that "Ellen Foster" (by the same author) was so much better, and I wasn't a huge fan of "Ellen Foster" anyway. But I did enjoy this book. It had it's holes, for sure, but for anyone who knows someone remotely like the book's antagonist, Troop, it had you pulling for Maureen the whole way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dora | 9/26/2013

    " I'm pleased to have discovered an interesting author like Kaye Gibbons. She has a somewhat formal writing style, but an empowering message for women. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beverly | 9/21/2013

    " I enjoy Kaye Gibbons writing style, and this book is no exception, although she states that this is her darkest novel yet, and I would agree. The main character in the book that is being mentally abused by her husband is very frustrating and hard to relate to, but the character helping her stand up for herself is very likable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 9/16/2013

    " I actually really liked this book although it wasn't the deepest, most developed book I've ever read. It's kind of a simple story- and maybe that's what makes it decent. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maureen | 7/14/2013

    " Out of the 3 Kaye Gibbons books I like this one the best. The characters are well developed and I wanted to know all about them after reading the first few pages. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Shelly | 7/14/2013

    " Definitely not Kaye Gibbons' best. Although I enjoyed the story, I don't think I'd recommend it to anyone. It didn't have authenticity. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Christine | 5/1/2013

    " Kaye Gibbons is one of my favorite authors. But I felt this book was not one of her best. Charms For The Easy Life is soooo much better. I read this in the audio version, narrated by the author. She shouldn't read her own books because her voice is too monotonous in my opinion. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sharon Zink | 4/8/2013

    " I can't even remember whatg it was about. It must not have been very good. I finished it as recently as March 11, 2011. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 icollectglass | 4/3/2013

    " Back to the "to read" pile for now. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Terry | 11/14/2012

    " This book was ok, but not a must read. It was a bit tough to get through at times. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Beth | 9/26/2012

    " I found this book kind of odd and creepy "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anissa | 7/12/2012

    " Fantastic, touching, heartwarming. Great story of strong women. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tkal | 4/22/2012

    " I loved the characters and the subject was so close to my heart. An abusive husband. I only wish women like my sister could do as well as the characters did. A good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carroll Susco | 12/15/2011

    " A beautiful, magical book on what it really means to be a woman. Reading her books goes as fast as dessert and one's soul feels balmed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristen | 12/13/2011

    " Engaging little book. I think I'll read more of Kate Gibbons. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bernadette | 11/27/2011

    " I didn't really buy that it was supposed to be 1918. It was interesting to be reading this in the middle of the "swine flu" scare. It was a quick read, but not great literature and not an all that captivating story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Keena | 11/23/2011

    " i plowed through this, even though the subject matter hit way too close to home. I just had to find out what happened to Maureen "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jeannie-marie | 6/15/2011

    " Left me thinking about love and sacrifce and feminism. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tkal | 5/11/2011

    " I loved the characters and the subject was so close to my heart. An abusive husband. I only wish women like my sister could do as well as the characters did. A good read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kim | 5/1/2011

    " I LOVED this book!!!!!!!!!!! Characters were so rich and real. Just a good story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anissa | 4/18/2011

    " Fantastic, touching, heartwarming. Great story of strong women. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sharon | 3/27/2011

    " I can't even remember whatg it was about. It must not have been very good. I finished it as recently as March 11, 2011. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristen | 2/27/2011

    " Engaging little book. I think I'll read more of Kate Gibbons. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ashley | 2/19/2011

    " Beautifully written, but a pretty dull story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Donna | 12/24/2010

    " Divining Women is a good story of female friendship & the confines of social expectations. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Martha | 11/8/2010

    " Was disappointed as I usually am enveloped by the author's stories about women. Not a compelling read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Megan | 9/27/2010

    " I ended up enjoying this a lot, though mostly the idea of it (spunky 1910s-1920s woman thwarts her misogynistic, self-absorbed uncle). It was hard to get into and the ending was oversold on the cover. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann | 7/5/2010

    " Thoughtful description of woman and their roles in the early 1900's. Reminded me a bit of The Help and the relationships of servants and the "big house". Some quirky characters. Worth the read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Taintor | 10/6/2009

    " Independent Women can have a rich and love filled life. "

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About the Author

Kaye Gibbons was born in Nash County, North Carolina, and attended North Carolina State University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her 1987 debut, Ellen Foster, received the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, a special citation from the Ernest Hemingway Foundation, and the Louis D. Rubin, Jr. Prize in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Two of her books, Ellen Foster and A Virtuous Woman, were selected for Oprah’s Book Club in 1998. She is currently a writer-in-residence at the library of North Carolina State University and lives in Raleigh with her husband and three daughters.