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Download River of Heaven: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample River of Heaven: A Novel, by Lee Martin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (248 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Lee Martin Narrator: Arthur Morey Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2008 ISBN: 9780739358290
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“You have to know the rest of my story, the
part I can’t yet bring myself to say. A story
of a boy I knew a long time ago and a
brother I loved and then lost.”

Past and present collide in Lee Martin’s highly anticipated novel of a man, his brother, and the dark secret that both connects and divides them. Haunting and beautifully wrought, River of Heaven weaves a story of love and loss, confession and redemption, and the mystery buried with a boy named Dewey Finn.
On an April evening in 1955, Dewey died on the railroad tracks outside Mt. Gilead, Illinois, and the mystery of his death still confounds the people of this small town.

River of Heaven begins some fifty years later and centers on the story of Dewey’s boyhood friend Sam Brady, whose solitary adult life is much formed by what really went on in the days leading up to that evening at the tracks. It’s a story he’d do anything to keep from telling, but when his brother, Cal, returns to Mt. Gilead after decades of self-exile, it threatens to come to the surface.
A Pulitzer Prize finalist for The Bright Forever, Lee Martin masterfully conveys, with a voice that is at once distinct and lyrical, one man’s struggle to come to terms with the outcome of his life. Powerful and captivating, River of Heaven is about the high cost of living a lie, the chains that bind us to our past, and the obligations we have to those we love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • If you don’t know Lee Martin, you should….[River of Heaven] is a page-turner, both tender and tough, with real insight into how people live and breathe and love and worry. Lincoln Journal Star
  • Few writers could unfold Sam’s history with the grace and compassion of Lee Martin. River of Heaven is a wise and humane novel, a story of cowardice and courage and the torturous path between them. Kathryn Harrison
  • In River of Heaven, Lee Martin has created that rare thing: a literary page-turner. This is a story about the corrosive power of a childhood secret, and the way our lives are shaped as much by what we withold as what we reveal. An elegantly structured, powerful and original novel, full of heart. Dani Shapiro
  • Lee Martin’s portrait of Sam Brady, a man in fear of his life and crippled by it, lingers painfully and persuasively. Amy Bloom, author of Away

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sarah | 2/9/2014

    " An intriguing story...I liked the way it was told and, being told by an old man, I thought it was told very well/believeable/true to that character's age. Whatever, I loved it. Not a topic I've ever read about. And lots of good intertwining w/characters and not how I thought it'd turn out. And I still liked it. It has a strong underyling message too...you are responsible for your actions, and you live with your decisions...and maybe forgiving oneself vs. wanting others forgiveness is what will bring peace. I'll try another by this author, who, by the way is a OSU prof. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kate | 2/8/2014

    " Great little mystery. Character development done well. Travel from past to present and back seamless. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Liz | 1/30/2014

    " Wow! This book taught me about Love, Loss, and Learning to forgive the past. It starts out sweet and kind of sad but ....Wow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deborah Crowdy | 1/26/2014

    " This is both well written and a real page turner. The characters just walk off the page - they are so real - actually your next-door neighbors. Like "Loving Frank" this book has a SHOCKING ending - enough said! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Magi | 1/21/2014

    " elderly gay manliving in small home town. dog Stump ,neighbor Arthur. build a ship doghouse. Brother comes back to town on the run. Go down memory lane,death of young friend on train tracks....living w/ a secret. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Shari | 1/11/2014

    " Sam's quiet life with his dog Stump is disrupted by the unexpected appearance of his long lost brother. He and his brother must face a deep, dark secret from their childhood. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mona | 1/3/2014

    " Wow. What a nice surprise. Well written; interesting characters; a bit of theology; page turning plot. A story about choices, chance, split second decisions and the inability to escape all that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Tara Trainor | 12/13/2013

    " Lee Martin did an incredible job of making his characters come alive. They became my friends. I loved the underlying mystery to it all and cried and laughed with each chapter. I also liked and cared for each character. I really enjoyed this book!!!! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Heather | 12/5/2013

    " Loved this book. A story of family, love, loss and redemption. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 10/19/2013

    " Loved the style. Want to read something else by this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sandy | 1/12/2013

    " loved this book. beautiful writing. a story about living with a lie and learning to find love in the world "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elaine | 9/23/2012

    " After hearing Lee Martin at a Thurber House event, I really wanted to read this book. I really enjoyed it. The simplicity of the characters that wove such a great story and mystery. I continued guessing what was going to happen and who was and wasn't involved. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie | 8/2/2012

    " The title is not indicitive of the content of the book. I did like the book but the title seemed disconnected from the storey line. This is a book about how people deal with their past. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Magdalena | 11/6/2011

    " I enjoyed 'River of Heaven'. I found it to be a well written and sweet story, but it was a bit predictable and drawn-out. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beverly | 10/13/2011

    " This was a wonderful book, full of touching moments as well as disturbing events. I highly recommend it! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sonya Huber | 8/17/2011

    " Something about this book felt very, very close to the Midwest I know, something I haven't felt in almost any fiction I've read. Martin writes from a centering sensibility that lends true dignity and hearts to the lives portrayed. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kitty Tomlinson | 7/8/2011

    " Sam Brady regains his life when his brother, Cal, returns and they face events that have life-altering consequences. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 MK Brunskill-Cowen | 5/14/2011

    " See my hardcover review. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Angie | 5/2/2011

    " I didn't like this one - it was another audio CD. The narrator wasn't very dramatic with his voices, intonations, etc. The plot was ok, but somewhat predictable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rlcohen1235 | 12/1/2010

    " Martin writes about society's isolates--the lonely, the disenfranchised, the forgotten, the neglected. His characters are often seriously flawed, but they cry for our understanding and our sympathy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sherrie | 8/15/2010

    " Bought this as a remainder book & can't understand why it didn't sell better. It was great! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 bob | 11/30/2009

    " Narrative style evocative of Richard Russo. Very enjoyable tale about living with secrets in a small town. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann | 10/20/2009

    " Loved the style. Want to read something else by this author. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deborah | 10/7/2009

    " This is both well written and a real page turner. The characters just walk off the page - they are so real - actually your next-door neighbors. Like "Loving Frank" this book has a SHOCKING ending - enough said! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Magi | 4/6/2009

    " elderly gay manliving in small home town. dog Stump ,neighbor Arthur. build a ship doghouse. Brother comes back to town on the run. Go down memory lane,death of young friend on train tracks....living w/ a secret. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Annie | 3/31/2009

    " This book starts off a little slow. If I would have had something else to read I probably wouldn't have finished it, but I'm glad I did. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Angie | 3/8/2009

    " I didn't like this one - it was another audio CD. The narrator wasn't very dramatic with his voices, intonations, etc. The plot was ok, but somewhat predictable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diane | 2/26/2009

    " The plot and development were well done, but I couldn't find a character I identified with or had known. They weren't exactly undeveloped, but they didn't seem real. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mona | 2/25/2009

    " Wow. What a nice surprise. Well written; interesting characters; a bit of theology; page turning plot. A story about choices, chance, split second decisions and the inability to escape all that. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kitty Tomlinson | 12/17/2008

    " Sam Brady regains his life when his brother, Cal, returns and they face events that have life-altering consequences. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dee | 12/14/2008

    " A slow moving story. An even mood story. No real ups and no real downs, just a nice story. "

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