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Extended Audio Sample Laelia: A Novel Audiobook, by Ruth-Miriam Garnett Click for printable size audiobook cover
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (2 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ruth-Miriam Garnett Narrator: Karen Chilton Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2016 ISBN: 9781449802387
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Laelia tells a tale of sisterly devotion and love and the ties that bind as well as liberate.

Laelia is the story of the Cates sisters, vibrant and prosperous African American matrons, who decide to free themselves from ailing husbands and lackluster marriages. Led by the eldest sister, Rebecca, the three women embark upon a plan to discreetly but systematically place their men in care facilities.

Rebecca commandeers her two younger sisters, Claudia and Gracelyn—assigning each a role in distracting their community from their real intent—to live life unencumbered by rarely sober Timothy, confused Jake, and terminally ill Bernard. Rebecca’s skillful strategizing ensures that the women will emerge from their plan smelling like roses, their good names intact, despite the Old Testament rantings of their Baptist pastor and relentlessly gossiping neighbors in their small-town world of Peoria, Illinois.

Claudia, instructed by Rebecca to be more outgoing, enchants her parochial neighbors with her refined bearing and urbane chic. Gracelyn corrals the Sunday school children and stages a play about Harriet Tubman, complete with Greek chorus. When Hillary Clinton appears at a tea the sisters host at their mansion for the churchwomen, the Cates women achieve a veritable coup, establishing themselves as the indisputable leaders of their newly empowered female neighbors.

These unforgettable women, united in their purpose, transcend the unkind hand fate dealt them as younger women. They find themselves anew and introduce the possibility of midlife romance.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Garnett tracks the fortunes of three middle-aged African-American sisters as they shed their ailing husbands and embark on new life adventures…Garnett is a compassionate, competent storyteller…Garnett’s solid, well-drawn characters are this novel’s greatest strength.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Sistahs take charge in Garnett’s first…quiet-toned…[with] an odd charm.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Imarabarnett | 3/10/2013

    " I love strong female characters of color. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rhonda M. | 3/24/2009

    " Ending was a bit abrupt. "

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About the Author

Ruth-Miriam Garnett is a graduate of Harvard University. She is the author of a collection of poetry, A Move Further South, and the recipient of many grants and awards for writing, including a creative writing fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

About the Narrator

Karen Chilton is a New York–based actor and writer and an accomplished voice-over artist and narrator. Her voice can be heard on numerous national network television, radio, and Internet advertising campaigns. She has narrated dozens of audiobooks and won an Audiofile Earphones Award.