Download Lillian on Life Audiobook

Lillian on Life Audiobook, by Alison Jean Lester Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Alison Jean Lester Narrator: Kathe Mazur Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2015 ISBN: 9780698190955
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Smart, poignant, funny, and totally original, Lillian on Life is as fresh and surprising as fiction gets.

This is the story of Lillian, a single woman reflecting on her choices and imagining her future.  Born in the Midwest in the 1930s; Lillian lives, loves, and works in Europe in the fifties and early sixties; she settles in New York and pursues the great love of her life in the sixties and seventies. Now it’s the early nineties, and she’s taking stock. Throughout her life, walking the unpaved road between traditional and modern choices for women, Lillian grapples with parental disappointment and societal expectations, wins and loses in love, and develops her own brand of wisdom. Lillian on Life lifts the skin off the beautiful, stylish product of an era to reveal the confused, hot-blooded woman underneath.

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Quotes & Awards

  • What a splendid book! By turns acerbic and warm, urbane and homespun, Lillian on Life is—like its protagonist—charming, funny, and unabashedly smart. But as slender and enjoyable as this book is, it’s much more than simply a lark. Each elegantly compressed chapter leaves us luxuriating in thought: about the snippets of experience so vividly depicted, and about those that have been, with perfect art, left out. Leah Hager Cohen

  • I’ll never forget Lillian on Life. Looking backward, she’s brutally honest about her needs, her lovers, her parents. Salinger could have invented her. . . . Roth would have loved her . . . and so will you. A rare book, a little raunchy, but very rich and very real. Ilene Beckerman
  • Lillian on Life is a quirky book with a very deep heart and soul. I found it full of life and full of wisdom. Erica Jong
  • In this remarkably mature first novel, Alison Jean Lester has channeled the worldly yet wistful elegance of Colette to portray an unforgettable heroine. Lillian’s provocative reflections on love, vanity, sexual intimacy, and surviving as an independent woman over half a century are deeply moving. Julia Glass
  • Lillian on Life is a quirky book with a very deep heart and soul. I found it full of life and full of wisdom.”

    Erica Jong, New York Times bestselling author of Fanny

  • “I absolutely loved Lillian on Life. It was a delight, the style of it so fresh and clever and subversive, and there’s something very brave about it, especially for a first novel.”

    Kate Atkinson, New York Times bestselling author of Life after Life

  • “Lester’s novel about a tenacious, well-traveled heroine of a certain age is replete with the profound and comical observations of a vivacious spirit.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Unconventionally plotted, Lillian’s tale is filled with lush details and cool observations about the twins of female freedom: contentment and compromise. A slim novel that feels just perfect—each thought measured, each syllable counted, a kind of haiku to an independent woman.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “This lively and insightful debut novel holds up the decisions women make every day to analysis and introspection. It is startlingly frank and sometimes funny or shocking or heartbreaking. There’s a raw and intimate quality to the first-person narrative that counterbalances the vignette structure…While this book is more demanding than typical women’s fiction, the rewards are worth the time. It’s a strong choice for book groups and readers seeking ‘something different.’”

    Library Journal

  • “Lillian is the cosmopolitan aunt we all wish we had—the one who always bestows the best advice just when it’s needed, knows the perfect gift to give for every occasion, and tells the most interesting stories about her life…Lester has given readers the grand gift of Lillian’s wisdom, beauty, and candor in this lovely novel.”


  • “Intriguing, wise, and unforgettable, Lillian’s voice will lift readers like a proverbial burst of fresh air…A mix of ‘live and let live’ and the dos and don’ts from her midcentury upbringing, the heroine of Lillian on Life slides off the page as real, complicated, and contradictory…In Lillian, Lester has created a wry, self-conscious, introspective woman with a memorable voice to match. Like a portrait painted over and over, Lillian bears the evidence of many revisions. Her vulnerability is palpable in every story she relates. Each chapter acts like a signpost on Lillian’s journey to find peace with herself.”


  • A BookPage Top Pick for January 2015
  • An Oprah Pick of Ten Titles to Pick Up Now

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About the Narrator

Kathe Mazur has narrated many audiobooks, winning the prestigious Audie Award for best narration in 2014, being named a finalist for the Audie Award in 2013 and 2015, and winning several AudioFile Earphones Awards. As an actress, she can be seen as DDA Hobbs on The Closer and in the upcoming Major Crimes. She has worked extensively in film, theater, and television, including appearances on Grey’s Anatomy, Private Practice, House, Brothers and Sisters, Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior, ER, Monk, and many others.