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Download Name All the Animals: A Memoir Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Name All the Animals: A Memoir, by Alison 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 (1,906 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Alison Smith Narrator: Alison Smit Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A luminous, true story, Name All the Animals is an unparalleled account of grief and secret love: the tale of a family clinging to the memory of a lost child, and a young woman struggling to define herself in the wake of his loss.


As children, siblings Alison and Roy Smith were so close that their mother called them by one name: Alroy. But on a cool summer morning when Alison was fifteen, she woke to learn that Roy, eighteen, was dead. This is Smith's extraordinary account of the impact of that loss -- on herself, on her parents, and on a deeply religious community.

At home, Alison and her parents sleepwalk in shifts. Alison hoards food for her lost brother, hides in the back yard fort they built together, and waits for him to return. During the day, she breaks every rule at Our Lady of Mercy School for Girls, where the baffled but loving nuns offer prayer, Shakespeare, and a job running the switchboard. In the end, Alison finds her own way to survive: a startling and taboo first love that helps her discover a world beyond the death of her brother.

Heartbreaking but hopeful, this is about the excitement and anguish of Alison's first love, about her parents' enduring romance, about a community's passion for its faith, and about a beautiful, well-loved boy who dies too young.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Ultimately triumphant, this is a great read for anyone searching for meaning after the loss of a loved one.” 

    Amazon.com, editorial review

  • “An impressive debut.” 

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Name All the Animals is a touching portrait of adolescence.” 

    Bookmarks magazine

  • “Profound on many levels, Smith’s book is written in beautiful prose that conveys her family’s grief with subtle and fluid movement.” 


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Judy | 2/20/2014

    " I couldn't put this book down! The Rochester connection helped... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Miriam | 2/16/2014

    " A memoir about growing up lesbian and catholic. Decent. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Caroline Rothnie | 2/15/2014

    " Well, I ate this one up in 24 hours. It was assigned in a memoir writing class I was taking, and I'm so grateful since I don't know that I would have found it otherwise. It's the story of a teenage girl whose older brother dies, and the grief that follows. It is ABOUT family, faith, individuation, friendship, love. And it's extremely sad, beautiful and honest. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Janholbrook | 2/10/2014

    " This is a well told memoir; a painful reflection of the author losing her brother and a coming of age book. "

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