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Download Next to Love Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Next to Love Audiobook, by Ellen Feldman Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,758 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Ellen Feldman Narrator: Abby Craden Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2011 ISBN: 9780307967244
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Set in a small town in Massachusetts, Next to Love follows three childhood friends, Babe, Millie, and Grace, whose lives are unmoored when their men are called to duty. And yet the changes that are thrust upon them move them in directions they never dreamed possible—while their husbands and boyfriends are enduring their own transformations. In the decades that follow, the three friends lose their innocence, struggle to raise their children, and find meaning and love in unexpected places. And as they change, so does America—from a country in which people know their place in the social hierarchy to a world in which feminism, the Civil Rights movement, and technological innovations present new possibilities—and uncertainties. And yet Babe, Millie, and Grace remain bonded by their past, even as their children grow up and away and a new society rises from the ashes of the war.
 
Beautifully crafted and unforgettable, Next to Love depicts the enduring power of love and friendship, and illuminates a transformational moment in American history.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “An honest American experience of the aftermath of World War II rendered in sharp detail and full of pathos, Next to Love tells us what we hate to acknowledge—that personal battles don’t end with the armistice.”

    Susan Vreeland, author of Clara and Mr. Tiffany

  • “An intimate look at how we can be dismantled and rebuilt by changing times.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Haunting and profoundly moving…At turns brave, frustrating, and fragile, [Ellen] Feldman’s characters live and love with breathtaking intensity.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • Selected for the August 2011 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Paige | 2/14/2014

    " I enjoyed this book and it was a good summer read. However, due to various life circumstances, I read it quite slowly, which I think kept me from getting as invested in the characters as I otherwise might have. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rita | 2/2/2014

    " I liked it and loved the characters. I couldn't give it 4 stars because I found the back and forth dating of the chapters was confusing. It went forward and backward within a dated segment and you had to figure exactly where you were in the time frame. Still I would recommend this book as an enjoyable read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lee Yahnker | 1/27/2014

    " Although I felt the ending was a bit of a letdown I really enjoyed this book. The characters were believable and the story lines were interesting. The only suggestion I would have for the author is that she makes sure that items she mentions in her book have been invented in the timeframe the book was written. Overall well written and highly recommended. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julie | 1/26/2014

    " Covering two of my favorite eras and settings, Next to Love follows three friends from their WWII marriages through the Civil Rights era. The irony of the three women's outcomes and how they see each other is probably fairly true-to-life We all think someone else has it easier, but a story like this really shows you how we're all struggling. The only thing I didn't care for was the jumping back and forth in the timelines. Flashbacks are typically ok, but the forward a few years, back a few years, forward again threw me off a little. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 1/20/2014

    " I really enjoyed this book. The interaction between all the characters was great. It takes place during World War II up through the 1950's. My favorite character was Babe -- probably because she was more forward and feminist-thinking than the rest. She stood by a husband who came from the war with PTSD, which no one knew about or how to treat then. Very enjoyable, even though it was sad in places. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rachel Martin | 1/19/2014

    " Loved this...a really interesting take on the theme of war. I didn't like all the characters, but found their complexities and interactions compelling. I also really enjoyed following the characters across so many decades. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katg | 1/8/2014

    " Very compelling. An interesting look at how war changed the nation and set so many things in motion that happened later on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary | 12/27/2013

    " Interesting fictional account of couples enduring World War II. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Aimee | 12/6/2013

    " I wish I could give this 3.5 stars. A touching book about all those affected by war - casualties on many levels, and for many years post-war. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barb | 12/1/2013

    " I read this book in one day. I didn't want to put it down. Very well written, and not neatly tied up as some books can be, but everything feels as if it happened like it should. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Veronica Traupman | 9/30/2013

    " Loved this book! I received it from The Random House Publishing Group. I highly reccomend reading this book. Its a very fast read because once you pick it up its hard to put town. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Missy Cahill | 9/28/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book. It's such an interesting view point of the lives affected by those lost to war and how they live on after it's finished. Beautifully written, the 3 women were extremely well constructed and parts of their stories extremely believable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shirl | 8/10/2013

    " A good story about WW11 and its aftermath. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenn Prince | 5/25/2013

    " Won an advance reader copy of this book and once I opened it I couldn't put it down. It was a sad picture of life as a woman during the 40s - 60s. I found myself rooting for the women in the book and curious about how it would wrap up. Would recommend it others. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julie rochlin | 1/16/2013

    " loved it...great world war 2 story!!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 1/11/2013

    " If you want to get engulfed with 3 BFF's since kindergarten and the troubles and heartaches they face at home as their husbands go off to war, this book is really good. It's not a suspense page-turner, but it tells the story of love and war between Babe, Millie and Grace. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Evonne Edgington | 6/17/2012

    " It was a good historical fiction. It dealt with 3 women from World War II to early 1960s. It did sometimes leave the reader hanging with the issues. It would touch on them but not really go into them. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Teresa Pinegar | 6/15/2012

    " I loved the idea behind the story but for me I never felt drawn in. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Makalie | 4/25/2012

    " I was slightly disappointed by this book overall. I just wasn't what I was expecting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marilyn | 2/20/2012

    " Thank you VERY much - I won this book and it was fantastic. Great story of three women as they cope with WWII, post war, Civil Rights movement and all the way to Vietnam. Written from their different perspectives it is beautifully written and hard to put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen Pittman | 2/1/2012

    " Another rarely addressed point of view on the casualties of war. Too often we choose to see the heroism and the idealism of the greatest generation, and forget that time softens the edges of the immediate aftermath. Heartbreaking. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maureen | 10/18/2011

    " It was an easy read, but, not the best book I've ever read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 10/17/2011

    " Very moving story about the aftermath of WWII and its impact on families. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lauren | 10/7/2011

    " An interestesting concept to follow different characters over many years, showing certain dates from each's point of view. At times it was a bit clunky, but wasn't too bad for developing the storyline. Really enjoyed learning about WWII from the women's point of view before, during and after. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 10/3/2011

    " This was a book that told the story of a group of servicemen who served during the 2nd World War and, subsequently, of their wives and families. They are all from the same town, so that enriches the story. I'm glad I read it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 9/16/2011

    " If you want to get engulfed with 3 BFF's since kindergarten and the troubles and heartaches they face at home as their husbands go off to war, this book is really good. It's not a suspense page-turner, but it tells the story of love and war between Babe, Millie and Grace. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Evonne | 9/15/2011

    " It was a good historical fiction. It dealt with 3 women from World War II to early 1960s. It did sometimes leave the reader hanging with the issues. It would touch on them but not really go into them. "

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About the Author
Author Ellen Feldman

Ellen Feldman is the author of five previous novels, including Scottsboro, which was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, and Next to Love. A 2009 Guggenheim Fellow, she lives in New York City.

 

About the Narrator

Abby Craden has been a professional actress and voice artist for over sixteen years and can be heard in numerous television and radio commercials, video games, and audiobooks. She has twice won the AudioFile Earphones Award.