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The Book of Essie: A novel Audiobook, by Meghan MacLean Weir Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Meghan MacLean Weir Narrator: Erin Spencer, Robbie Daymond, Tara Sands Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2018 ISBN: 9780525529231
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FINALIST FOR THE 2018 NEW ENGLAND BOOK AWARD

"Both timelessly beautiful and unbelievably timely."—Chris Bohjalian, New York Times bestselling author of Midwives and The Flight Attendant 

A captivating novel of family, fame, and religion that tells the story of the seventeen-year-old daughter of an evangelical preacher, star of the family's hit reality show, and the secret pregnancy that threatens to blow their entire world apart.

Esther Ann Hicks--Essie--is the youngest child on Six for Hicks, a reality television phenomenon. She's grown up in the spotlight, both idolized and despised for her family's fire-and-brimstone brand of faith. When Essie's mother, Celia, discovers that Essie is pregnant, she arranges an emergency meeting with the show's producers: Do they sneak Essie out of the country for an abortion? Do they pass the child off as Celia's? Or do they try to arrange a marriage--and a ratings-blockbuster wedding? Meanwhile, Essie is quietly pairing herself up with Roarke Richards, a senior at her school with a secret of his own to protect. As the newly formed couple attempt to sell their fabricated love story to the media--through exclusive interviews with an infamously conservative reporter named Liberty Bell--Essie finds she has questions of her own: What was the real reason for her older sister leaving home? Who can she trust with the truth about her family? And how much is she willing to sacrifice to win her own freedom? Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • I was immediately captivated by The Book of Essie, a unique and moving story about a young woman whose life has been hijacked by fame, family and faith--and her spectacular, surprising plot to take it back. Vanessa Diffenbaugh, bestselling author of The Language of Flowers and We Never Asked for Wings
  • "Every once in a while, a novel comes along that is both timelessly beautiful and unbelievably timely. The Book of Essie is such a story. Meghan MacLean Weir has given us a young heroine who is at once authentic and courageous — and a tale that is wonderful and mysterious and relentlessly surprising. Chris Bohjalian, bestselling author of Midwives and The Flight Attendant
  • The youngest daughter of an Evangelical preacher-turned-reality TV star hatches a plan to wrangle her freedom—and expose the dark truth about her family—in Weir's debut novel... Deeply sympathetic... well-paced... and the unexpected tenderness between Essie and Roarke gives the novel genuine emotional punch. Kirkus
  • Topical… Essie's father may be a famous evangelical preacher, but her ruthless mother, Celia, runs the family empire from behind the scenes. When her family discovers Essie is pregnant, it's decided that she should marry, but whom?... Weir's narrative features some finely nuanced characters… An incisive novel. Publishers Weekly
  • A resourceful, resilient teen heroine is at the heart of Meghan MacLean Weir’s propulsive debut novel… Weir, a doctor whose first book was a memoir about her pediatric residency, doles out the details of Essie’s past slowly but steadily, gaining a momentum that keeps the pages turning… Weir is also adept at using the language of evangelical life, lending an authenticity that takes the book beyond a Duggar-family pastiche. The tentative trust that grows between Essie and Roarke gives The Book of Essie emotional depth, and the questions at its center have a surprising moral weight. Readers will root for Essie through every twist and turn of her story. Trisha Ping, BookPage
  • Finalist for the 2018 New England Book Award for Fiction

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About the Author

Meghan MacLean Weir was raised in the rectory of her father’s church in Southbridge, Massachusetts, and later moved with her family to Buffalo, New York. Her memoir Between Expectations: Lessons from a Pediatric Residency chronicles her years in training at Boston Medical Center and Boston Children’s Hospital. She continues to live and work as a physician in the Boston area.

About the Narrators

Erin Spencer is an Audie Award nominated narrator. She has numerous films, TV shows, and voice work to her credit, including appearances on True Detective, 9-1-1, Rizzoli & Isles, and Code Black. Besides reading, she loves dining out, hip-hop dance classes, and DIY projects.

Robbie Daymond is an actor, voice talent, and four-time winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award. He graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, with a master’s degree in acting and works primarily in theater but has made several forays into television, video games, and film.

Tara Sands is an American actress, television host, and voice talent who has won numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards for narration. She is former cohost of Fridays on the Cartoon Network. In addition to performing in plays and musicals, her voice can be heard on numerous commercials, audiobooks, cartoons, and video games.