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Extended Audio Sample Prudence, by David Treuer 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: David Treuer Narrator: Chris Patto Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From a rising Native American writer comes a haunting and unforgettable novel about love, loss, race, and desire in World War II–era America

On a sweltering day in August 1942, Frankie Washburn returns to his family’s rustic Minnesota resort for one last visit before he joins the war as a bombardier headed for the darkened skies over Europe. Awaiting him at the Pines are those he’s about to leave behind: his hovering mother, the distant father to whom he’s been a disappointment, the Indian caretaker who’s been more of a father to him than his own, and Billy, the childhood friend who over the years has become something much more intimate. But before the homecoming can be celebrated, the search for a German soldier who has escaped from the POW camp across the river explodes in a shocking act of violence, with consequences that will reverberate years into the future for all of them and that will shape how each of them makes sense of their lives.

With Prudence, Treuer delivers his most ambitious and captivating novel yet. Powerful and wholly original, it’s a story of desire and loss and the search for connection in a riven world; of race and class in a supposedly more innocent era. Most profoundly, it’s about the secrets we choose to keep, the ones we can’t help but tell, and who—and how—we’re allowed to love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “David Treuer’s novel Prudence is a wondrous and mesmerizing narrative—intricate, seductive, and wholly gratifying.”

    Toni Morrison

  • “A beautiful, somber, unlikely love story, as pure as the Minnesota landscape against which it is tragically played out.”

    Edmund White, National Book Critics Circle award–winning author 

  • Prudence is an excellent, page-turning mystery and at the same time delves deeply into characters whose lives are rarely portrayed in our literature. David Treuer is a truly original and necessary voice in American fiction.”

    Dan Chaon,  author of Among the Missing, finalist for the National Book Award

  • “The poetics of damage permeates David Treuer’s elegantly bitter fourth novel, Prudence, which unites a distinctly modern sociopolitical perspective with a more old-fashioned moral rigor about the consequences of emotional cowardice, complicity, and repression…Treuer is particularly skilled in showing how a substantial lie in one area of a life can manifest as a distortion in another, apparently unrelated area…Without judgment, but also without blinking, he expertly vivisects characters who can’t own up to the truth about themselves, showing how the unaddressed damage only deepens over time…Prudence hurts, and that hurt lingers. Very few novels take that much of a risk.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “This book is so good that when you get to the end, you’ll want to reread the beginning to see how the author set his magic in motion…This gorgeously restrained novel has much to say about race, class, gender, sexuality, love, and war through the stories of men and women whose fates become urgently important to us.”


  • “Treuer writes beautifully about the dark corners of human nature, and the brief reprieves that come in even the most unhappy lives.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “His World War II-era novel speaks to the present moment in American history with more eloquence and complexity than the nightly newscast…[A] tender and devastating book…[and a] master class on suspense, shifting perspective, and conflicting desire.”

    Washington Post

  • “A tightly plotted hybrid fiction that combines elements of a mystery, a literary romance, and a Greek tragedy.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Clearness and precision are what Ojibwa writer Treuer so evocatively attains in this magnetizing and richly original novel. As he cycles in and out of his extraordinarily affecting characters’ lives of deprivation and stoicism, he elucidates stygian emotions and annihilating psychological traumas incited by brutal, even genocidal conflicts over sexuality, race, and religion. Treuer’s trenchant and compassionate novel glimmers with nature’s potent beauty, fresh historical detail, and scrupulous insight.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “Treuer adds depth to each of the characters’ stories by revealing tidbits of backstory, but it’s the saga of Frankie and Billy’s thwarted love and the consequences of their actions that feels the most devastating and resonant, haunting both men as they’re shipped off to war. Perhaps most fitting is the book’s title—which speaks volumes about each character’s integrity, culpability, and resilience in the face of a collective tragedy.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Chris Patton narrates this rich character study of intertwined lives connected to a remote Minnesota resort at the dawning of WWII. Patton’s portrayals at first seem meagerly superficial but, in time, develop into deliberate depictions of each character’s depth.”


  • “Set in northern Minnesota mostly during and right after World War II, this thoughtful and engaging novel by Treuer reveals the different worlds inhabited by whites and Native Americans in the area…In a well-told tale with realistically portrayed characters and locations, the author sustains a voice that is low-key but forceful, managing narrative and theme, action and thought in ways that elevate this story to a powerful level.”

    Library Journal

  • “[An] acutely emotional novel…Prudence’s backstory is meted out gradually, and the way her life intersects with Frankie’s becomes the crux of this powerful story…A mesmerizing, beautifully told novel.”


  • “Novelist-memoirist Treuer returns to the northern woodlands with this understated study of cultures in conflict…A self-assured, absorbing story with a grim arc that moves from bad to worse as Treuer explores the darkness at our cores.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • A BookPage Book of the Day in February 2015
  • A Carnegie Medal for Literature Longlist Selection
  • A Pop Sugar Best Books Selection for 2015
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