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Download Pull Me Under Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Pull Me Under, by Kelly Luce 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: Kelly Luce Narrator: Amy McFadden Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2016 ISBN: 9781504741293
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Chizuru Akitani is the twelve-year-old daughter of the famous violinist and Japanese “Living National Treasure” Hiro Akitani. Overweight and hafu (her mother is white), she is tormented by her classmates and targeted by the most relentless bully of them all, Tomoya Yu. When Chizuru’s mother dies suddenly her father offers her no comfort and she is left feeling alone and unmoored. At school, her bully’s cruelty intensifies, and in a moment of blind rage, Chizuru grabs a Morimoto letter opener from her teacher’s desk and fatally stabs Tomoya Yu in the neck.

For the next seven years, Chizuru is institutionalized. Her father visits her just twice before ultimately disowning her. Upon release, Chizuru flees Japan for a new identity and life in the United States. Determined to outrun her murderous past, she renames herself Rio, graduates from nursing school, marries a loving man, and soon has a daughter. But when a mysterious package arrives on her doorstep in Boulder, Colorado, announcing the death of her father, Rio feels compelled to return to Japan for the first time in twenty years, leaving her husband and her daughter confused and bereft. Going back to her homeland, and to the scene of her complicated past, feels like stepping into a strange and familiar dream. When she unexpectedly reconnects with Miss Danny, who had been her beloved teacher at the time of the stabbing, long-kept secrets are unearthed, forcing Rio to confront her past in ways she never imagined, and to decide if she will reveal to her family who she once was.

Full of atmospheric and illuminating descriptions of Japan and its culture, Pull Me Under is an affecting exploration of home, identity, and the limits of forgiveness. Kelly Luce has written a bold and psychologically complex first novel that grips and dazzles from start to finish.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A strange and very appealing novel, a journey to Japan and the primal scene of the main character’s self―which, like a volcano, may have already blown its top.”

    Rachel Kushner, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A fierce and suspenseful exploration of the profoundly mysterious nature of identity, written with precise and spectacular beauty.”

    Laura van den Berg, O. Henry Award–winning author

  • “This is a suspense novel with a female protagonist that gets more right about women than so many others I’ve read in the past few years.”


  • “A revelatory family mystery set in the United States and Japan.”


  • “Propulsive and fresh…Luce knows how to end her story, and does so satisfyingly.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • Pull Me Under…is psychologically complex; it inspires horror, sympathy, and even, at times, humor. Amid all the gray, however, one thing is certain: Luce is worth watching.”

    Japan Times

  • “Luce deftly evokes Japan without exoticizing it…The final act is the novel’s strongest and most confident, weaving the book’s threads together and leaving a lasting reverberation.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Understated yet emotionally gripping, Luce’s novel is an intimate portrayal of one woman’s search for identity.”


  • “An elegant mystery, a tender story of family and forgiveness, an unsettling depiction of the darkness we each carry inside, and a hymn to Japan.”

    Sarah Bird, author of Above the East China Sea

  • A Library Journal Audio-in-Advance Pick for November 2016
  • A Bustle Pick of the Best Fiction Books of November 2016 That Are as Delicious as Thanksgiving Dinner
  • A Chicago Review of Books Pick of the 10 Best Books to Read This November
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