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Extended Audio Sample Oh My Stars: A Novel Audiobook, by Lorna Landvik Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,757 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lorna Landvik Narrator: Judith Ivey Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2005 ISBN: 9780739315910
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I am convinced that at birth the cake is already baked. Nurture is the nuts or frosting, but if you’re a spice cake, you’re a spice cake, and nothing is going to change you into an angel food.

Tall, slender Violet Mathers is growing up in the Great Depression, which could just as well define her state of mind. Abandoned by her mother as a child, mistreated by her father, and teased by her schoolmates (“Hey, Olive Oyl, where’s Popeye?”), the lonely girl finds solace in artistic pursuits. Only when she’s hired by the town’s sole feminist to work the night shift in the local thread factory does Violet come into her name, and bloom. Accepted by her co-workers, the teenager enters the happiest phase of her life, until a terrible accident causes her to retreat once again into her lonely shell.

Realizing that she has only one clear choice, Violet boards a bus heading west to California. But when the bus crashes in North Dakota, it seems that Fate is having another cruel laugh at Violet’s expense. This time though, Violet laughs back. She and her fellow passengers are rescued by two men: Austin Sykes, whom Violet is certain is the blackest man to ever set foot on the North Dakota prairie, and Kjel Hedstrom, who inspires feelings Violet never before has felt. Kjel and Austin are musicians whose sound is like no other, and with pluck, verve, and wit, Violet becomes part of their quest to make a new kind of music together. 

Oh My Stars is Lorna Landvik’s most ambitious novel yet, with a cast of characters whose travails and triumphs you’ll long remember. It is a tale of love and hope, bigotry and betrayal, loss and discovery–as Violet, who’s always considered herself a minor character in her own life story, emerges as a heroine you’ll laugh with, cry with, and, most important, cheer for all the way.

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Randy | 2/20/2014

    " I picked this book up at a garage sale and I am glad I did. It was very good. Tells the story of a 4 kids who come from different backgrounds and become great friends. "

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

    " Charming, funny, and sad all in one. I like it, but Landvik's Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons is a better read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 1/27/2014

    " This is a charming, heartwarming novel! There is humor, poignancy, darkness and a hopeful tone. Violet's home life is told in such a way that you feel as though you are living her experiences with her. The things she goes through are quite sad and you feel compassion for her, but this novel isnt depressing. It is filled with hope. Kjel, Austin and Dallas are great characters as well.The backdrop of the late 1930s is told in a wonderful manner.I loved the author's descriptions of the era and the different areas the band traveled and performed. She is right on the mark when she addresses race issues and segregation.She is a very talented author and I will give her other books a try. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 1/19/2014

    " This book captivated me. It is about a poor, sad, abandoned young woman who finds love and family in unexpected places. The setting is during the Great Depression. The book touches on economy, war, racial tensions, feminism, and the stigma that is attached to a woman who is plain or different. Landvik writes so well that her novel is hard to put down. This book has some feel-good elements but it is not a feel-good book overall. It adds a certain romance to a time that was not very romantic. It has death and disease and hate and crime but it also has life and light and hope and joy. It's one of the best books I've read this year. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica | 1/18/2014

    " I love this author. Although this book was set in a different time than the others I've read, I enjoyed the story line. It definitely kept my interest. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kriscrowe | 1/13/2014

    " You'll fall in love with the characters in this book. It is a story of love and acceptance of self with all of one's imperfections. The story takes place during the Depression and deals with a band's struggle to survive and the racisim that follows them as they travel through the South with white and black musicians. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Adilee | 1/8/2014

    " I loved to see how Violet, the main character changed from an unhappy, self-conscious girl to a true heroine. "

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

    " This was a great read. Lorna Landvik never disappoints. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 1/6/2014

    " I absolutely adored this book. I could not put it down. The character of Violet is so unique, and the best part is that you absolutely don't know where the story is heading, so it's a constant surprise. It's beautifully written. Just about perfect. I guess I'm a sucker for novels set in the Depression-era. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Connie | 12/28/2013

    " I wasn't sure where I wanted this story to go, but after a brilliant start I was really torn by the direction it turned. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mandy | 11/26/2013

    " Very good. Lorna Landvik is an extremely gifted storyteller, drawing you into the life of a damaged girl, and making you love and wish the best for her, despite her flaws. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janeal | 11/13/2013

    " A fun book to read about a girl trying to find herself. It took a minute to get in to it, but the ended was worth it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 11/3/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adele | 10/7/2013

    " oh my stars,oh my stars, great book what more can i say lovely story plot is interesting keeps one moving..lets us realize there is so much in life to live.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Claudia | 9/27/2013

    " Wonderful story! I really enjoyed it! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patty | 9/23/2013

    " Landvik keeps us entertained with a hard-luck story with fairy tale features. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathleen Eigenbrode | 9/21/2013

    " I am totally intriged by this book. This is the second book I've read by Lorna Landvik. The first was Angry Housewives Eating Bon-bons. Oh, My Stars was totally different. I loved the characters, story, all of it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Redheadjen | 8/29/2013

    " I thought this was going to be a completely different style of book and wasn't all that interested at first. What a nice surprise. Read the other good reviews- all of them say it so well, I don't think I need to repeat. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 7/17/2013

    " A nice cute read. I was not the biggest fan of the type of narration she used but still a sweet story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 7/16/2013

    " another fun story by author of Patty Jane's House of Curl. Good, easy book to read (and fall asleep by)after a day at Camp Calvert!!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stephanie Williams | 7/10/2013

    " the second half of this book is SO much better than the first half. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 6/24/2013

    " A lovely story that was enjoyable to read and hard to put down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Susan | 6/18/2013

    " This was a good book. I liked it better than Angry Housewives eating bon-bons which was hard to follow. I could relate to this story better. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Krystal | 2/26/2013

    " LOVED this book! I never would have picked it up, had Tiffany not choosen it for our book club (thanks, Tiffany!), but it is a great story. I was interested in it right away, and the more I read, the more I was pulled into the lives of the main characters. Great read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 1/20/2013

    " This was one of those books I didn't want to put down. Even with 4 kids and busy schedules I finished it in 3 days. I highly recommend this book. It was an easy read but it pulled you along in the characters lives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shirls | 1/16/2013

    " I enjoyed this story, related to on several levels. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 9/11/2012

    " A most wonderful tale of perseverence, loss, love, and hope. You will find yourself cheering the whole time for Violet! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Pat | 8/1/2012

    " Lorna is a good story weaver. This is not the first book she managed to suck me in with!!! "

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About the Author
Author Lorna Landvik

Lorna Landvik is the author of the bestselling novels Patty Jane’s House of Curl, Your Oasis on Flame Lake, and The Tall Pine Polka. She is also an actor, playwright, and proud hockey mom.

About the Narrator

Judith Ivey was born in 1951 in El Paso, Texas. She was not quite yet a Tony Award–winner, but already a prolific Broadway and stage actress when she made her film debut appearance as Steve Martin’s love interest in Arthur Hiller’s The Lonely Guy. She then went on to star as Jennifer Jason Leigh’s older sister in the southern gothic thriller Sister, Sister. She came to star (despite her impressive resume) as what would be her better remembered role, Texan B. J. Poteet in the last season of Designing Women. Other notable characters she has played in film include Keanu Reeves’ mother in Devil’s Advocate, one of three intrepid psychics investigating a haunted house in Stephen King’s three-part miniseries Rose Red, and the recurring role of Debra Messing’s mother-in-law Eleanor Markus on Will & Grace. Her audiobook narrations have won her five AudioFile Earphones Awards.