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Download Our Lady of the Forest Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Our Lady of the Forest, by David Guterson Click for printable size audiobook cover
2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 2.00 (2,066 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: David Guterson Narrator: Blair Brown Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2003 ISBN: 9780739306383
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From the best-selling author of Snow Falling on Cedars—an emotionally charged, provocative new novel about a teenage girl who claims to see the Virgin Mary.

Ann Holmes seems an unlikely candidate for revelation. A sixteen-year-old runaway, she is an itinerant mushroom picker who lives in a tent. But on a November afternoon, in the foggy woods of North Fork, Washington, the Virgin comes to her, clear as day. 

Father Collins—a young priest new to North Fork—finds Ann disturbingly alluring. But it is up to him to evaluate—impartially—the veracity of Ann’s sightings: Are they delusions, or a true calling to God? As word spreads and thousands, including the press, converge upon the town, Carolyn Greer, a smart-talking fellow mushroomer, becomes Ann’s disciple of sorts, as well as her impromptu publicity manager. And Tom Cross, an embittered logger who’s been out of work since his son was paralyzed in a terrible accident, finds in Ann’s visions a last chance for redemption for both himself and his son.

As Father Collins searches his own soul and Ann’s, as Carolyn struggles with her less than admirable intentions, as Tom alternates between despair and hope, Our Lady of the Forest tells a suspenseful, often wryly humorous, and deeply involving story of faith at a contemporary crossroads. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Explores a complex and challenging set of questions without a hint of condescension . . . The dimensions of this compelling novel are catholic in the larger sense. Christian Science Monitor
  • “An intense and affecting journey of faith, miracle and humanity. Denver Post

    “Blends some of the appeal of Stephen King’s uncanny tales . . . and John Updike’s fables . . . Thoroughly absorbing . . . Guterson writes virtuoso dialogue.
  • Magnificent . . . Reading it, I kept putting [Guterson] in the best possible literary company . . . I was in a state of elation while I was reading . . . A marvelous book, in every sense. Jonathan Raban
  • This is Guterson’s best book. Chicago Sun-Times
  • Another virtuoso performance from David Guterson . . . Gripping . . . Marks an expansion of his vision . . . Transporting . . . Balances on the tension between belief and despair without ever losing its sense of mystery. L.A. Times Book Review
  • Spellbinding . . . Mesmerizing . . . Brilliantly conceived . . . A marvelous and affecting spectacle, both timeless and contemporary, that makes for electric reading. Seattle Times
  • An intense, gripping read . . . Finely etched characters, the most intriguing and fully realized cast in any Guterson novel . . . Should resonate with many readers searching for belief in the post-9/11 world. Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  • Surely one of this year’s best novels . . . Outstanding . . . [Displays] heart, compassion, and a willingness to tackle the most fundamental, and insolvable questions of faith, belief, and personal responsibility. Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Vanessa Hall-Belluscio | 2/17/2014

    " This is a great read, like SFon Cedars deals with similar events filtering through diverse perspectives. Great setting-Washington forests with a mushroom-picking protagonist. Plot focuses on a somewhat dubious Mary sighting-the mushrooms an immediate suspect, but moves out to meditate on religious belief. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lesley | 2/13/2014

    " Read Guterson's Snow Falling on Cedars years ago and really enjoyed it. This is not Cedars. Do not reccomend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kani | 2/9/2014

    " Holy Visitations: are they really from God or are they drug or psychosis induced halluciantions? In telling the story of modern day catholc magic, our author asks the questions and then answers with does it matter if it brings peace, holy or sacred to the daily lives of hundreds if not thousands of souls on the path to redemption? i guess that was the point. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Susan | 1/29/2014

    " Difficult to read because there is a lot of dialogue and either the writer or editor doesn't believe in quotation marks. None of the characters were sympathetic or likeable. Relationship between characters was not developed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Doug Page | 1/22/2014

    " Mushroom pickers and Marian encounters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tim A | 1/19/2014

    " Well written but ultimately a bit disappointing after his last book. No one in this story is truly completely likable. "

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

    " I can't exactly describe why I loved this book. Guterson's characters are so detailed and real, I feel like I know them and they are good friends (or at least two of them. One I didn't like very much at all). I truly admired the "real" qualities he gives to people that we usually ignore -- allergies, a priest in crummy clothes, etc. The Catholic questions also drew me into the story and ideas. Did everyone right off believe in the visions at Fatima and Lourdes? Kind of a cool idea for a book. Hope they won't make a movie of it, because then it would be too outdone. I totally recommend the book to everyone and anyone:-) "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laura Buechler | 1/13/2014

    " This book was a bit of a slog. For one thing, the author didn't use quotation marks on the dialogue - not sure why he made this choice, or what effect he was hoping to achieve, but I find that convention doesn't sit well with me and detracts from the reading experience. I also just couldn't really get engaged with any of the characters - they seemed lifeless and unmotivated to me. Nevertheless, I was interested in the story and wanted to see it through. In the end I felt like the story didn't really go anywhere and the characters didn't really go through any changes or developments. A strange book. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jana | 1/9/2014

    " I found it in my bag of books to take to the used book store and couldn't remember much about it. I skimmed it trying to find something to write here, and apparently I must have given up on it and never finished it. It didn't look appealing to me now either. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Justin | 1/5/2014

    " Mother Mary, some mushrooms, some people, and a whole hell of a lot of description. Sadly, Gutterson's style remained more memorable than the story he was telling. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jim Evans | 1/4/2014

    " A good fictional exploration of the nature of religous experience. Also very evocative (for better or for worse) of the grim rainy NW. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jess | 12/8/2013

    " Odd. But a very interesting look at what happens when people want things to be true more than they want the truth. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Carmen | 11/27/2013

    " Don't waste your time. Vulgar and boring. Couldn't get past the second chapter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda Rupard | 8/2/2013

    " I enjoy Guterson's writing; good character development and beautiful descriptions of the Pacific Northwest, "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debby | 1/10/2013

    " You would love this book based on what you've said about your interests... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Christine | 1/6/2013

    " It was hard to get into, especially since there are no quotation marks. But has a surprising ending that came so quick I had to read it twice. A good read if you like religion and the supernatural.. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Karyn | 11/20/2012

    " I wouldn't finish reading this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 8/12/2012

    " A very dark story about Catholicism & miracles. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rebekah Persaud | 5/28/2012

    " I had a hard time putting this down. He did a great job of showing everyone's different motivations. Great, great book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gretchen | 4/28/2012

    " I'd like to give this a 3.5 rating. It kept me reading, but sometimes I found the characters almost too irritating to go on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny | 4/11/2012

    " Interesting novel by the author of "Snow Falling on Cedars." There's a mystical quality to the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelley | 2/19/2012

    " This is a fascinating tale of a Virgin Mary sighting by a homeless, ill, teenage runaway girl. THis would probably make a great book club discussion although my club has not covered it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kristi | 2/6/2012

    " Interesting. Agree with others who said they did not like the omission of quotation marks. The ending seemed rather 'unresolved', but that's true to life, isn't it? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shiah | 6/20/2011

    " witty thoughtful entertaining liked it "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 amanda | 5/17/2011

    " While I was reading it, I didn't think it was very good, but then I couldn't put it down, so I'm not sure what to think. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Helen | 5/8/2011

    " Written by someone with an axe to grind. Ugh. Deliberately offensive. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maren | 3/24/2011

    " It's been a while since I read this book, and I think I might like to reread it.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 shannon | 3/16/2011

    " Powerful, if at points as unlikeable as all of its very human characters. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa | 2/17/2011

    " About a teenager who see's the Virgin Mary in the forest and all the hoopla that goes along with a siting. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janice | 1/24/2011

    " I loved the book Snow Falling on Cedars, so when I saw these cassettes by the same author at the library, I picked it up. Mr. Guterson sets his stories in Washington State. A book about religious Catholics who sin, what seems like a lot to me. Different, but okay, 3 stars. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katrina | 1/21/2011

    " Nicely written. It really gives you the damp, wet feeling of being in the pacific northwest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Greta | 1/12/2011

    " If this story had not taken place in the rainy shadow of the Pacific NW, then I might not have enjoyed it as much as I did. Guterson is one of my favorite story tellers and a nice man to boot. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanne | 1/9/2011

    " Set in the Pacific Northwest, author David Guterson's outstanding use of language allows the reader not just to picture the rain soaked forests but to feel the damp chill our bones. However, I struggled with the story, high pitched catholic fervor (too much theological mumbo-jumbo).

    "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ulrika | 12/26/2010

    " No stars was not an option. One of those books where I should have decided to stop 10 pages in. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 12/10/2010

    " I enjoy Guterson's writing; good character development and beautiful descriptions of the Pacific Northwest, "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Avis | 11/26/2010

    " This story brings out the absurdities of “mary worship”. It is set in the pacific northwest and so had a lot of appeal to me because of the setting. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Ddgarcia1861 | 11/3/2010

    " Didn't pull me in like his other novels. Storyline didn't pique my interest and the characters were kind of annoying. "

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