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Extended Audio Sample On Canaan’s Side, by Sebastian Barry Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sebastian Barry Narrator: Wanda McCaddon Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From the two-time Man Booker short–listed author of The Secret Scripture comes a magnificent new novel that is the story of the twentieth century in America.

Told in the first person, as a narrative of Lilly Bere’s life over seventeen days, On Canaan’s Side opens as Lilly mourns the loss of her grandson, Bill. Lilly revisits her past, going back to the moment she was forced to flee Ireland at the end of the First World War, and continues her tale in America, a world filled with both hope and danger.

At once epic and intimate, Lilly’s story unfolds as she tries to make sense of the sorrows and troubles of her life and of the people whose lives she has touched. Spanning nearly seven decades, from the Great Depression to World War II and the Vietnam War, it is the heartbreaking story of a woman whose capability to love is enormous and whose compassion, even for those who have wronged her, is astonishing.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The novel reads less like journal entries than like a monologue told in the melodic accent of Lilly’s youth…The beauty of this novel is that for all its murders and scents of Irish heather, it is not overwritten.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A marvel of empathy and tact.”

    Joseph O’Neill, author of the PEN/Faulkner Award–winning novel Netherland

  • On Canaan’s Side is written with vast sympathy and tenderness. Sebastian Barry’s handling of voice and cadence is masterly. His fictional universe is filled with life, quiet truth, and exquisite intimacy; it is also fully alert to the power and irony of history. In evoking Lilly Bere, he has created a most memorable character.”

    Colm Tóibín, author of the Costa Novel Award–winning Brooklyn

  • “Barry, the greatest prose writer in Irish letters—which by definition makes him the greatest writer of prose in the English language—has fashioned a body of work consisting of five novels, a compact volume of plays, and three slim volumes of poetry that is unique in Irish, British, or American literature. Practically all Barry’s characters are related by blood or marriage…On Canaan’s Side fits seamlessly into Barry’s unique and expanding vision, seeking to restore with language that which has been taken away by time.”

    Daily Beast

  • “Barry’s skills are evident as he tenderly unspools Lilly’s story, with a fine eye for intimate moments.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “I wanted to slow down to savor Wanda McCaddon’s exquisite reading of Sebastian Barry’s wonderful new novel, but I simply couldn’t stop…McCaddon narrating, Barry writing—you couldn’t ask for better. Winner of the Audiofile Earphones Award.”

    AudioFile

  • “Masterful…Sustains a page-turning momentum, leaving the reader in suspense until the very end…A novel to be savored.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • A Huffington Post Best Book for2011
  • An AudioFile Best Book of the Year for 2011
  • Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award
  • A Guardian Best Book of the Year for 2011
  • An AudioFile Editors’ Pick, August 2011
  • Longlisted for the 2011 Man Booker Prize

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Adam | 10/31/2011

    " A worthy follow-up to A Long, Long Way (which I really liked) - a journey through grief. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sue | 10/25/2011

    " The final chapter had some of the post beautiful descriptions of nature I have ever read.
    Learnt quite a bit about 20c Irish history although most of the book is set in US. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Mary Lou | 10/24/2011

    " This is a beautiful and stunning read. The story is compelling but perhaps not as finely structured and crafted as Secret Scripture. No spoilers here- read and enjoy "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Kc | 10/23/2011

    " This book takes you through the long life of Lilly Bere who certainly has a story to tell. However, I had a hard time warming up to Lilly. "

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