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Extended Audio Sample Fair and Tender Ladies Audiobook, by Lee Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.82 out of 53.82 out of 53.82 out of 53.82 out of 53.82 out of 5 3.82 (39 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lee Smith Narrator: Kate Forbes Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2016 ISBN: 9781440799860
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Author of many novels and short stories, best-selling writer Lee Smith has received numerous awards for her works, including two O Henry Awards.

Fair and Tender Ladies is an epistolary novel that traces the life of Ivy Rowe, born in the isolated Virginia mountain community of Sugar Fork. Through births and deaths, marriages and funerals, the decades of Ivy’s life are captured in a rich dialect that carries the sounds and sights of the Appalachians in each syllable.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adrienne | 2/19/2014

    " This book is slim and the story is simple, but it is strong on writing, tone, graciousness, culture, and human nature. If I were an author, I'd strive to write like this. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann | 2/14/2014

    " This book has given a look into the coal mining towns life at the turn of the century. This has been illustrated through letters written by Ivy. So real it becomes that it is hard to belive that someone wrote them. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nancy Larsen | 2/12/2014

    " A lovely book. Ivy Rowe is a dedicated letter writer with a powerful voice that changes in subtle increments as she ages. Although she never travels far from her Virginia mountain top home, she becomes wise in the ways of life. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Z : ) | 2/3/2014

    " This took a little while to get into. I was a bit thrown because I couldn't tell what period of history she was in. Finally a date appeared at the top of one of the letters indicating it was 1919. Anyway, the story became more interesting at about that point in the book. All in all, it was OK. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 polly | 1/26/2014

    " Being a mountain lass myself, this book resonated with me, and has for years. A favorite in my library, and close to my heart. Lee Smith is a wonderful storyteller. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Val | 1/15/2014

    " Letters written in the dialect of a Virginia mountain girl from childhood thru motherhood. Acventure, love, loss, a passion for living. Ivy Rowe - her wonderful insight into life. "These beautiful letters display Ivy's soul up close... So real does she become that it is hard to believe Ivy did not actually live to write her letters." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynn | 1/10/2014

    " Interesting look at the life of a girl/woman living in the back woods of West Virginia as told through her many letters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joyce | 1/9/2014

    " This book was hard to understand at first due to the dialect. I enjoyed reading about the life of a woman of the southern mountain areas. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rosemary | 1/2/2014

    " I cannot say enough good things about this book. I just loved Ivy, the main character who tells her story through letters. I cried like a baby when it was time to say good-bye. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Courtenay | 12/21/2013

    " I enjoyed this book. I love Southern Literature, and this is a different genre of it. I also liked the format. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth Howard | 11/26/2013

    " This still stands as my favorite book. Ivy Rowe is a literary soulmate. It's a beautiful story of a woman's journey and truly captures Appalachia. Love it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia | 10/31/2013

    " Always meant to read something by Lee Smith. Well worth the time. Loved the local lore and characters. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barb | 9/3/2013

    " The life story of Ivy Rowe is told through letters. Her family's story of life, death, love and loss in the mountains and coal mining towns of Southwestern Virginia was remarkably vivid and believable. Our book club read this a couple of months ago and we all really loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Billie | 7/26/2013

    " I normally don't like books that do retrospective views- but I loved this book. It was my first Lee Smith and I've read everything. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Katie Nadler | 7/1/2013

    " I enjoyed every page. Great book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 8/30/2012

    " I love Appalachian lit and Smith captures the dialect beautifully with what seems to be good historical accuracy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Morgan | 6/29/2012

    " As a North Carolinian and someone who has spent a great deal of time in the mountains, I really enjoyed this. It took a bit to get into to, but once I did, I could not out it down. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 5/10/2012

    " This was a lovely, sad read. I liked the main character and enjoyed watching her make crazy decisions. It made me miss my Aunt Minnie. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cathy | 3/16/2012

    " A novel that seemed so real. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andi (A Literal Hottie) | 2/26/2012

    " I especially loved the first half of this book, I liked the second half ok but the years just flew by too quickly...I found the story telling great. I would recommend this to anyone who enjoys Southern Lit and coming of age novels "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Josh | 1/11/2012

    " I didn't like this book at all. I had to read it for an Appalachian Literature seminar and I thought it sucked. Too long, too slow, too....blergh. That's the sound of me not liking a book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara | 8/25/2011

    " This was a great insight into women of our grandmother's and great grandmother's generation. I liked the way it was written. The novel is done as letters from the main character to the people in her life. Wonderful, wonderful book. Sweet and touching, but not overly emotional. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caroline | 6/28/2011

    " I read this book back in 1992 and I am rereading it a second time now. It is artfully written and difficult to put down once you start reading. I am very surprised that this book did not become a New York Times Bestseller. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carin | 5/10/2011

    " My bookclub read this one. It is a bit of a strange book. I didn't really like it but it was interesting, about a sub-culture I know nothing about. (Churches that do snake "charming" etc.) I guess in the end I found the main character kind of annoying. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Caitlin | 4/19/2011

    " read for Southern Lit, spring 11 "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Berkles | 4/16/2011

    " Smith owes a huge debt to O'Connor, but at least she acknowledges it. The ending feels flat, but genuine to the character of Grace. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 3/10/2011

    " Great book! The text flows easy and freely. The characters are realistic as well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 12/20/2010

    " This is a great book. It's a little strange and depressing, but totally worth the read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 9/27/2010

    " This book is wonderful. The story comes full circle; each section is distinctly different and unpredictable (except for the parts that the narrator wants us to know); and the end leaves you wondering and wanting more. A++++ "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 9/3/2010

    " A wonderful character and disturbing story. Such vivid fiction you feel like you're in the middle of a documentary about Appalachia, snake handlers, and fundamentalists. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb | 7/2/2010

    " My good friend passed this on to me. A fascinating book about believers in "signs" like snake handling in Appalachia. Lee Smith makes her characters so believable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anita Clenney | 4/6/2010

    " Love this writer. Even though I don't normally read this type of book, she brings a poignancy to her stories that make it hard to put down. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ann | 3/22/2010

    " Interesting story of the about fundamentalist belief. Humility and humanity are present everywhere in this novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Wendy | 3/11/2010

    " Another different view of someone's life. Not too intense, very interesting and I really enjoyed it. It was a random pick up from the library. I would like to read more by this author.
    "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mich | 12/5/2009

    " interesting read about poor applachian girl who's dad is a snake handler fanatic.
    yeah, i'd say read this one "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amander | 11/8/2009

    " The first half, it totally had me captive--well-written, vivid characterization and good story. The second half, it went off the deep end a bit, and I was a little disappointed. But it was truthful. I recommend Gods in Alabama if you liked this book. :) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Becky | 9/26/2009

    " One of the most depressing, sad books I have ever listened to. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rtyndall40 | 8/2/2009

    " I really wanted to like this book! I liked Grace but everyone else in the book seemed distant. Rich characters but it was hard to like or empathise with any of them because their flaws were so raw. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Juli | 8/1/2009

    " A well-written story about Grace's crazy life in Eastern Tennessee that kept me wanting to sit down and finish it quickly. I fell in love with Grace and could relate to her struggles with God as she viewed Him through her own experiences versus others' experience in Church and with life. "

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About the Author
Author Lee Smith

Lee Smith is a New York Times bestselling novelist. She has written numerous novels and short story collections, including Saving Grace, Fair and Tender Ladies, and a novella, The Christmas Letters. Her novel The Last Girls won the Southern Book Critics Circle Award and the North Carolina Award for Literature; two of her short story collections also won the O. Henry Award. Smith currently lives in Hillsborough, North Carolina.

About the Narrator

Kate Forbes is a professionally trained actress who has appeared on Broadway, in regional theaters, and with a renowned touring company. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College, where she was active in theater, she completed an MFA at New York University School of the Arts. With this training, she launched into a successful acting career.