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Extended Audio Sample Sights Unseen, by Kaye Gibbons Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (949 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kaye Gibbons Narrator: Kaye Gibbons Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The bestselling author of Charms for the Easy Life reads "her best novel since Ellen Foster."

Kaye Gibbons' award-winning novels of Southern family life have won rave reviews coast to coast. Now, she tells the "story of family dislocation and crisis in restrained prose of unflinching clarity, with a honing eye for the small domestic details that conjure a time, place and emotional atmosphere." (Publishers Weekly)

To the people of Bend of the River Road, Maggie Barnes is "the Barnes woman with all the problems." To her family, she is the unpredictable wife, elusive mother, and adored daughter-in-law, and to her maid, Pearl, she is the mistress who must be cared for like a child.

Between the suicidal lows and delirious highs, young Hattie Barnes struggles to find a place in her mother's heart. She observes her mother's vain attempts at normalcy, and then watches as she is driven off to the hospital psychiatric ward. Only later will Hattie discover the deep-seated hopes and fears of the woman she loves unconditionally, and her inevitable connection to her family's past.

In heartfelt and potent prose, through Hattie's hushed voice, Sights Unseen tells the story of a troubled relationship and the courage it takes to see it through. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • “A rich stew of years...Ms. Gibbons’ last novel, Charms for the Easy Life, found the large audience her work deserves, but I like this book even better. It is more intense, more vibrant, both richer and stranger.”

    New York Times Book  Review

  • “Engaging...delicately crafted...Kaye Gibbons writes memoirs of other people’s lives, fictional people so articulate, so individual that they seem quite real.”

    San Francisco Chronicle

  • “A haunting story that begs to be read in one sitting...Readers will be thoroughly in thrall to her clear, true voice and to the poignant story she tells.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Gibbons writes seamless and resonant novels...This is a novel that deserves unwavering attention from start to finish, like a symphony or a sunset.” 


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Laura Lee | 2/15/2014

    " Hard read, very sad. Young girl with a mentally ill mother. Well written, good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Hannah Katsman | 2/13/2014

    " Novel about a woman recalling her childhood with a depressive mother and a dysfunctional family. Poignant. Gibbons realistically describes the absence of a mother and the effect it had on the narrator. I love the way she describes the characters and their interactions. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Wendy | 1/16/2014

    " Another tough read about mentally ill parents. The relationship to the maid mom surrogate is not as clear as in The Help by Stockett. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lisa | 1/12/2014

    " Excellent look at the affect of bipolar disorder on a family. Well written, with memorable characters and wit "

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