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Extended Audio Sample Family Linen Audiobook, by Lee Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.38 out of 53.38 out of 53.38 out of 53.38 out of 53.38 out of 5 3.38 (40 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lee Smith Narrator: Linda Stephens Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2016 ISBN: 9781440799877
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Lee Smith is one of today's most critically acclaimed authors writing about contemporary life in the South. In Family Linen, with a remarkable economy of description and dialogue, Smith sketches eccentric, yet familiar characters moving through a family drama that resonates with both tension and humor. Sybil Hess, a polished, Southern apartment manager has visited a hypnotist in a desperate attempt to discover the source of her blinding headaches. But in one session, a mysterious, Gothic childhood memory plays before her eyes. Now Sybil is racing against time to find an answer to one urgent question. Is her quiet, genteel mother a murderer? Stretching between Sybil and the truth is a loony tangle of sibling rivalry, family lore, and jealousy. Lee Smith's darkly comic, richly textured novel will enchant you. It is a tale told by many voices: Southern dowagers and whiskey-tippling uncles, polyester-clad housewives, and MTV-eyed teenagers. Narrator Linda Stephens' performance draws you into the company of this truly unforgettable family. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandy | 2/13/2014

    " A cast of quirky family members get together for their mother's funeral. The oldest sibling has been hypnotized and thinks the father was murdered and buried in the backyard. Each tells their own history, reveals their own skeletons and the story unfolds. I would recommend this book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Rainbowgardener | 2/9/2014

    " I want to like it more than I did, though I'm wavering between one and two stars. Tries to be all psychological/ Freudian and comes across crude and clunky. The "mystery" is all on the surface and obvious, the characters are stereotypes or parodies, none of them are likeable. Nothing much to say. Don't waste your time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Angie | 2/6/2014

    " This was such an easy story simply written , yet interesting and entertaining . Thanks Diane ! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Aly | 2/1/2014

    " The plot was interesting enough, but I needed a character to like. There were too many family members at the center of the story, so none of them were sufficiently developed. "

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

    " This was a fascinating book; the characters were well-developed, the story was interesting, the pace suited me, the writing was good. This book - the author - really got inside the strange but believable story that was at the heart of this family's issues. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carrie | 1/25/2014

    " I really don't have much to say...snoring boring...& then the happy ending. Not my kind of book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 1/24/2014

    " Entertaining, humorous and outrageous at times! Love Lee Smith's style and way of making her characters flawed but admirable... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aubrey | 1/20/2014

    " A very enjoyable read with an intriguing plot. I didn't like it quite as much as Smith's "Oral History" - it wasn't quite as charming and timeless. It also uses mulitple narrators to tell the story of one family's dark history, which adds a lot of complexity to the way the story unravels. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patricia B | 12/25/2013

    " The ending was a little flat, but otherwise book enjoyable "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alison Kiser | 11/29/2013

    " I just love Lee Smith. This is one of my favorites. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lanette | 11/24/2013

    " This was definitely not my favorite of her books. Very dark and too much unnecessary swearing... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarf | 11/14/2013

    " Nice story. I am beginning to notice a pattern in her characters though........ "

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

    " After thoroughly enjoying a couple of Lee Smith's books, this was a disappointment; my rating wavered between a one and two. Mostly I listened to this one on tape; but kept the book handy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melissa | 9/22/2013

    " There's nothing like digging into sordid pasts of people who do their best to appear perfect. This was the second book I've read by Lee Smith, and hopefully not the last. A great story that sucked me in, and I enjoyed all the characters, although there were a few too many at times. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Doris Wilson | 9/19/2013

    " Lee Smith does not disappoint. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Valerie | 9/11/2013

    " Another excellent Lee Smith book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Parker | 2/21/2013

    " A dated but very enjoyable book about a Southern family, their connections, their flaws, and their public faces. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sue Davis | 12/12/2012

    " The perspective shifts so that the reader gets to see the character's perception of her/himself and then we see how others see them. Why the wedding at the end? To lighten it up? Good story, fun to read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kimberlyn | 9/10/2012

    " a woman remembers seeing her father murdered and then her mother passes away leaving all of the children to retell the family "laundry" Interesting but predictable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Baker | 5/2/2012

    " A very good book, well-written. Lee Smith is one of my favorite writers, maybe because Appalachia is part of my early childhood. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 4/6/2012

    " LOVED this book. And loved Lee Smith when I got to meet her. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sarah | 1/31/2012

    " A little like a soap opera. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy Kaylor | 9/21/2011

    " This is a great story of family secrets by one of my favorite authors. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jen | 7/17/2011

    " I'd like to give more stars because I really enjoyed the book about 160 pages in. But 160 pages is a lot to ask of a reader before the book gets good. I think this was a good story from a talented writer that would've benefitted from a really skilled editor. "

  • 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

Linda Stephens is a seasoned audiobook narrator whose readings include Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell, which won an AudioFile Earphones Award and was a finalist for the Audie Award for Best Narration.