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Download Ellen Foster Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Ellen Foster Audiobook, by Kaye Gibbons Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.72 out of 53.72 out of 53.72 out of 53.72 out of 53.72 out of 5 3.72 (39 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kaye Gibbons Narrator: Kaye Gibbons Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 1996 ISBN: 9780743546690
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When I was little I would think of ways to kill my daddy. I would figure out this or that way and run it down through my head until it got easy."

So begins the tale of Ellen Foster, the brave and engaging heroine of Kaye Gibbons's first novel, which won the Sue Kaufman Prize from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Wise, funny, affectionate and true, Ellen Foster is, as Walker Percy called it, "The real thing. Which is to say, a lovely, sometimes heart/wrenching novel...[Ellen Foster] is as much a part of the backwoods South as a Faulkner character and a good deal more endearing. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Ellen Foster is a southern Holden Caulfield, tougher perhaps, as funny…A breathtaking first novel.” 

    Walker Percy, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A stunning new writer…The life in this novel, the honesty of thought and eye and feeling and word!” 

    Eudora Welty, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Filled with lively humor, compassion, and integrity…Ellen Foster may be the most trustworthy character in recent fiction.” 

    New York Times Book Review

  • “The story of a redoubtable girl who overcomes adversity with humor, spunk, and determination, Kaye Gibbons’ first novel is a work of considerable subtlety and intellectual sophistication. A terrific book.” 

    Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post

  • An Oprah’s Book Club Selection

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 2/16/2014

    " Sad, but intriguing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bonnie G | 1/31/2014

    " This is the third Kaye Gibbons book I have read (in preparation for her appearance in Mpls). It has received the most acclaim, so I probably overanticipated it. The main character is very likeable and I feel for her, but I wasn't totally drawn into her story. I think one Kaye Gibbons book a year would be a good idea. She write short novels that are easy to read and feature a conflict that is easy to see. Not terribly deep, just enjoyable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie | 1/28/2014

    " I loved this book! The voice of Ellen was so real, I could easily picture her talking to me... the ending was kind of disappointing, but maybe if I read the sequel I'll be a little more impressed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kae Larsen | 1/28/2014

    " A very sad story for sure. Still can't figure out how in the world the New York Times could say it is 'FILLED with lively humor, compassion and integrity'. Did they even bother to read it? So if you are looking for a humorous book this is not it! Ways to survive hard times...pick up this book for sure! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grandma | 1/27/2014

    " A young girl finally finds a home with a foster family after her mother dies. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Patti | 1/27/2014

    " One of my favorites! Such a real, tough yet tender story. This touches me and stays with me. I've read it many times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caseyy =] | 1/25/2014

    " This book was really good. It talks about realistic events that happen in a lot of people's houses. GOOD BOOK! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Evy | 1/21/2014

    " The character of Ellen Foster is stunningly alive! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Monica Moore | 1/20/2014

    " I love this character. I just want to hug this amazing little girl who just wants to find love. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary McManigle | 1/19/2014

    " I absolutely adored this book. The voice was endearing. I can't wait to read the sequel. Thanks to the lovely Hope for sharing these books with me!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Chris | 1/15/2014

    " I liked it, as I usually like stories written from the point of view of a child. It was short too. Maybe too short to fully develop Ellen. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathy | 1/6/2014

    " So, so................ "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Betsy | 1/5/2014

    " What talent Kaye who is a NC author brings to life. The title is part of the ending. Such an easy but important book to read. Thoroughly enjoyed being taken back to being 12 years old again and the way the mind thinks. Applause for the courage and personality of Ellen. Thank you Kaye Gibbons. "

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

    " I have read this book several times - and each time it reminds me of how resilient young children are. This book captures the complexities of a young child's life in the midst of dysfunction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 11/2/2013

    " Painful and beautifully written story of a girl damaged by life and family who finds the resilience to find a family who will love her. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jean Madrinich | 10/4/2013

    " So much beauty. Grounded, genius Ellen in a world that is disfunctional and shallow and cruel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janna | 9/30/2012

    " I can't recall how this little book ended up in my collection, but I've had it for a while. It was a story told through the eyes of an abused little abused girl who's parents are now dead and she's been adopted. She's very smart and insightful for her age. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dori Ostermiller | 9/3/2012

    " Loved this book, which authentically captures the voice of a child trying to escape a bitter legacy and create herself anew. In the same class as "This Boy's Life," even though this is ficiton. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heth | 6/29/2012

    " excellent and a fast read! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mk | 5/4/2012

    " The only reason I read this book was for summer reading for school. This book gave me a headache. What's up with the serious lack of punctuation?! My 14 year-old brain for some reason can't understand why in the world this is considered enough of a literary genius to make it required reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Danette | 1/10/2012

    " I liked this book very much. It reminded me of Elizabeth Berg's Durable Goods. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sharon | 9/6/2011

    " Author did a good job of staying in the voice of an 11 year old, but I did not enjoy slogging through it. Felt that it was a bit shallow and unrealistic as I doubt that 11 year olds are quite as perceptive as Ellen purportedly was. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janice | 8/7/2011

    " Great Read about a young girl on her own trying to find a family for herself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathiem | 8/3/2011

    " Love, love, love this very short book (read in a couple hours or maybe I liked it so much it seemed like only a couple hours). I fell head over heals in love with feisty little Ellen. Can't wait to get another book by Gibbons. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bonnie | 7/20/2011

    " love this girl "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 5/12/2011

    " It continues to amaze me how tough kids can be when faced with no other options. I would recommend this to anyone...although it is older, and most people have already read it! "

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

    " This is a great book. I read it many years ago and still it stands out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosie | 4/17/2011

    " Really liked it.
    Sometimes a bit hard to understand the way the character talks but it is still good.
    Very short easy read "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lily | 4/6/2011

    " One of the few books that I truly did not like at the time I read it because I thought the author was superficial, even wrong headed in the views espoused. Got myself into discussion trouble at the time over that position on my part. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 HKd | 3/31/2011

    " A very quick read which didn't live up to it's early promise. I liked Ellen Foster's voice and story but found the time jumps a little disconcerting. Glad I read it but won't be rushing to her other books. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nancy | 3/25/2011

    " Great story -- Ellen is quite a girl! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura | 3/22/2011

    " It had a good lesson but the ending was anti-climatic. My teacher told me to look to see if Ellen's mom was murdered or committed suicide but it never said! So I am disapointed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peggy | 3/22/2011

    " Guess I was expecting too much when a reviewer compared it to Mark Twain. It is no Mark Twain. I have read several similar books recently, and this one was nothing out of the ordinary. "

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

    " It was very interesting - not fun to read but I'll remember the character. You really had to concentrate on it since it was so short, every word was important - I think I might have skimmed too much to really get the full impact. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cindy | 3/18/2011

    " young adult selection. Okay. Mother/daughter book club selection? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pamela | 3/16/2011

    " Excellent book - accidently came my way via a co-worker. Sad, funny and did I say sad? I admire Ellen Foster and her resilience. Great read! Thanks Jackie! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Balika | 3/6/2011

    " A fast, wonderful read with a fantastic, engaging main character. A tough Holden Caufield girl who takes her insane life in stride and sees the world with a fresh, new point of view. Lovely book and wonderful voice! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 2/26/2011

    " This book is a perfect gem "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grace | 2/25/2011

    " I had forgotten I read this book, but I keep a reading list. When I read the description of the book it was one of those "Ohhhh" moments. How could I forget? This is a haunting book, well worth the read. "

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About the Author
KAYE GIBBONS is the author of eight novels, including Ellen Foster, A Virtuous Woman and Divining Women. With domestic sales of more than 4.2 million copies and numerous worldwide translations, she was designated "one of the most lyrical writers working today" by Entertainment Weekly. She lives in Raleigh, NC with her 3 daughters.