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Download Evenings at Five: A Novel and Five New Stories Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Evenings at Five: A Novel and Five New Stories Audiobook, by Gail Godwin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (289 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Gail Godwin Narrator: Gail Godwin Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2003 ISBN: 9780739303047
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Every evening at five o’clock, Christina and Rudy stopped work and began the ritual commonly known as Happy Hour. Rudy mixed Christina’s drink with loving precision, the cavalier slosh of Bombay Sapphire over ice shards, before settling across from her in his Stickley chair with his glass of Scotch. They shared a love of language and music (she is an author, he a composer, after all), a delight in intense conversation, a fascination with popes, and nearly thirty years of life together.

What did I think, that we had forever? muses Christina, seven months after Rudy’s unexpected death. While coming to terms with her loss, with the space that Rudy once inhabited, Christina reflects on their vibrant bond—with all its quirks, habits, and unguarded moments—as well as her passionate sorrow and her attempts to reposition herself and her new place in the very real world they shared.

In this literary jewel, a bittersweet novella of absence and presence and the mysterious gap between them, Gail Godwin has performed a small miracle. In essence, Evenings at Five is a grief sonata for solo instrument transposed into words. Interwoven with meditations and movements, full of aching truths and a wicked sense of humor, it exquisitely captures the cyclical nature of commitment—and the eternal quality of a romance completed.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An unflinching account of love, loss, grief, and the struggle toward consolation. It should touch every reader with its emotional power. ELIZABETH SPENCER

Listener Opinions

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

    " Nicely written story of a widow facing the absence of her husband in the year following his death. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katherine | 2/8/2014

    " Small, and a little slight, but powerful and moving. Obviously based on the author's experience and carries some extra oomph as a result. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jenny | 2/5/2014

    " A widowed novelist reflects on the life she shared with her musician husband. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellen | 1/31/2014

    " Contemplative and sad. It's the second Gail Godwin book I've tried. Her writing style is difficult to stay with. I don't think I'll try another for awhile. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jean Kelly | 1/14/2014

    " Touching stories about a woman's adjustment to her husband's death and how she manages to cope. It did seem 'lite' to me though "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam Quinn | 1/9/2014

    " Beautiful. Sad. Sympathetic. Understandable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 1/7/2014

    " Not as engaging as other of her writings, but still, she is Gail Goodwin. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jolee | 12/6/2013

    " Fine, sweet, quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 11/19/2013

    " Sweet little love story snippet (so very short) about a widow coping with her very recent loss. Funny and deeply intimate snapshot of all that a marriage is as well as the nature of how very present an absence can be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia | 11/3/2013

    " (page 19)"Death had always fascinated Rudy far more than eternal life. Was that a Jewish thing?" A sweet story of love and ritual, in life, and after death. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Dena Grover | 9/12/2013

    " woman remembers her husband died of cancer objects and rituals mean so much to her, artists married and friends who touched them, letters from admirers, remembering their life together, very short read for E.A. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Val | 6/26/2013

    " This book had some high points, including a well-written ending, but at any time was not difficult to put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lesley | 6/1/2013

    " Re-read. Poignant novella (I think the description 'a novel' in the title is rather misleading). This edition (to the best of my knowledge, the first hardback publication) does not have the 'five stories', which I think must have been added for the Reading Group edition. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 5/6/2013

    " Christina and Rudy always shared a drink every evening at five. But now Rudy has died and Christina must learn to face evenings at five without him. This short novel consists of her memories and adjustments. Bittersweet and beautifully written. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Grace | 2/24/2013

    " this was a short, beautiful picture of a marriage. Read it if you're in the mood for a good weep-- could be read in one sitting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lavanita | 1/29/2013

    " I related to this one - it's about the death of Godwin's husband. It's an excellent read but you probably don't need to go there. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Janet | 1/24/2013

    " A loving testament to a lifetime of love and a love of a lifetime. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 TurtleneckGirl | 1/11/2013

    " Short and tender...references to alcohol dependency, grief and getting through the loss of a spouse. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie | 12/29/2012

    " Sad, but worth it. Very good imagery, very artistic. A quick read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jacq Jardin | 10/23/2012

    " i thought this was gonna be something like "Marriage: A Duet" which i thoroughly enjoyed. it's quite different though. and it's a little too sad for my taste. i skipped some pages here and there but kept reading to the end anyways. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Joanne | 8/26/2012

    " This is an odd little book. I enjoyed Evensong and The Good Husband. This one is a fictional or maybe autobiographical meditation of a woman whose husband has recently died. Think The Year of Magical Thinking but much shorter, with drawings, and a little more stream-of-consciousness. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa Ahronian | 7/11/2012

    " This book was just ok. While I appreciated the deeply personal examination of the main characters, I got to the last page, and all I could think was, "uh...and??" "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Colleen | 7/3/2012

    " Every evening at 5:00 Christina and Rudy had a drink. 7 months after his death Christina reflects on their bond. "

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About the Author
Author Gail GodwinGail Godwin was born in Alabama, grew up in Asheville, North Carolina, and received her doctorate in English from the University of Iowa. She has taught at Vassar College and Columbia University and has received a Guggenheim Fellowship and the 1981 Award in Literature from the National Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. Her short stories, essays, and articles have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. Three of her critically acclaimed novels, The Odd Woman, Violet Clay, and A Mother and Two Daughters, were nominated for the National Book Award. Her other highly praised books include The Good Husband, Glass People, The Perfectionists, Dream Children, and Mr. Bedford and the Muses.