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Download Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Mrs. Darcy and the Blue-Eyed Stranger Audiobook, by Lee Smith Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (387 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lee Smith Narrator: Debra Monk Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2012 ISBN: 9781464038709
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A celebrated novelist, Lee Smith is also recognized as a master of the short story and has been compared with such luminaries as Katherine Ann Porter, Eudora Welty, and Flannery O’Connor. Here she collects fourteen stories—seven new ones along with seven favorites from her three earlier collections—and the result is a book of dazzling richness.

Famous for unmistakable voices and a craft so strong and sure it seems effortless, Lee Smith’s stories strike dead center at the turning points of her characters’ lives. Here those characters range from an eight-year-old boy obsessed with vocabulary words to a young bride who has married “way up” to Mrs. Darcy herself, an older woman making it through widowhood her own way. As the New York Times Book Review said, “In almost every one of [her stories] there is a moment of vision, or love, or unclothed wonder that transforms something plain into something transcendent.”

With this collection, Smith reclaims her place as the reigning queen of the bittersweet short story.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Smith’s heroines find strength in the moments that push us all forward.” 

    People

  • “Lee Smith has long had a reputation as a master of the short story, and her new collection…galvanizes that reputation…Smith offers the grit of the domestic scene, the power of the written word, and the transcendent beauty of women as friends, lovers, daughters, and mothers.” 

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “This wonderful writer is a readers’-advisory librarian’s dream. Short stories, ordinarily a relatively hard sell to library patrons, are a different animal when they are Lee Smith’s short stories. In a very hospitable way of talking, reminiscent of Ellen Gilchrist’s style in her delicious writing, Smith offers stories that deliver an irresistible one-two punch. The first punch is—again, like Gilchrist—the humor that fills every page. She doesn’t poke fun at the ordinary folks who stock her fiction but gets us to see, by their plights and successes, the universal absurdity in their struggles to attain love and significance. The second punch is the meaningfulness of every story. All of us, in different garb, appear at some point in a Smith story…The title story is entertaining and riveting from its first line…The most beautiful story is the very short ‘Toastmaster,’ an imaginative narrative from the point of view of a bookish little boy.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • Winner of the 1999 Academy Award for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Mendenhall | 2/13/2014

    " This book has great characterizations, but seemed a little disjointed to me. Every chapter introduced a new character or scernario and I kept waiting for them to by connected. As always, I love her characters, but I wanted more of a continuous storyline. I did give it an extra point for mentioning the Merle Watson Festival :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Phoebe | 2/13/2014

    " I skipped around in this short story collection, not being much of a short story fan. Smith writes in an impressive array of voices and styles, getting out of the way so her characters shine through. Really liked "Bob a Dog." For Southern fiction fans. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 2/10/2014

    " A nice collection of short stories centered around (mainly) Southern characters. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jamey | 2/7/2014

    " The title of this book of short stories is what drew me in. I ended up reading about 4 of them and didn't love any so never finished. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joyce Daniels | 2/6/2014

    " Not my favorite Lee Smith book. Other books had a historical Appalachian context that made them more interesting. This book of short stories was more contemporary and the themes were mostly depressing, in my view. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Josie | 1/20/2014

    " I have no idea why I put this on hold. I made myself read two of the stories: blech! Maybe I thought it was a Jane Austen spin-off. Dunno... "

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

    " I love Lee Smith's novels but am not a big fan of short stories though. They leave me wondering what happens next. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren~ | 1/1/2014

    " Short stories book. Like the cover picture. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andria | 12/22/2013

    " I don't usually get into short story collections, but these all felt so fluid and connected that the sum total was very satisfying. Plus Lee Smith is the sweetest. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ashmi | 12/22/2013

    " I have no idea why so many short-story collections have depressing stories. Written OK, but all the stories focus on the negative or the sad. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Darby | 12/11/2013

    " Not my favorite of Lee Smith's books. Its a collection of short stories, and the quality varied, and some were so good they left me wanting more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gwen | 8/26/2013

    " This collection of short stories showcases Lee Smith at her best. Story after story features beautifully crafted southern women at defining moments in their lives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 M | 7/14/2013

    " Although I didn't really like the first couple of stories, I'm glad I stuck with this. Each successive story was better than the last, and I absolutely loved the last 4 or 5. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Linda | 5/26/2013

    " An enjoyable collection of bittersweet stories by a skilled writer. My friend, Avery, recommended this author to me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy Ridge | 5/11/2013

    " So many wonderful characters in this book - many different dimensions yet something we could relate to in each of them. Only one story in this collection I didn't care for the rest were beautifully done, well crafted and a joy to read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Molly Magro | 4/15/2013

    " Wonderful, wonderful short stories with some unforgettable characters in them. I loved it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kyla | 3/6/2013

    " One story was an almost complete win (Stevie and Mama, if you're wondering) but like all the stories "there was no there there"- just a little weightless, a little false, something that stopped it from being the Southern Alice Munro "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Krista | 2/14/2013

    " A well written collection of short Southern stories with real Southern characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie | 1/2/2013

    " Thought provoking and in places a bit of a downer....faith, deceit, life cross roads, love, all mixed up...believable and sad all at the same time. Curious as to what others thought. Stephanie "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dianna | 8/29/2012

    " Love these stories... it's like being inside the head of the leading characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Judy | 8/1/2012

    " I was hoping for more but only half the stories were new and even the new ones seemed a little too familiar. I found a fractured "tibula" and heading down to "Homosassee" and other such egregious errors annoying. A simple spell check program should have caught them all, nevermind proofreading. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mom/aka:Annette | 7/31/2012

    " Short stories are not always my favorite but these I liked very well. "

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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.