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Extended Audio Sample Sister Mine: A Novel Audiobook, by Tawni O’Dell Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (820 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tawni O’Dell Narrator: Renée Raudman Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2007 ISBN: 9780739342022
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Set in the fictional mining town of Jolly Mount, Pennsylvania, SISTER MINE is told in the wry, honest and sometimes heartbreakingly poignant voice of Shae-Lynn Penrose, an offbeat ex-cop and now sole proprietor of the local cab company. Two years previously, five of Shae-Lynn's friends were catapulted into media stardom when the pit in which they were working exploded. They survived five days underground and emerged as heroes?but neither they nor their town have been the same since. Still, things are fine?until Shae-Lynn's kid sister Shannon, presumed dead, walks back into town. Where has she been for the last seventeen years? Who is the father of her unborn baby? And why is the mob on her heels? Shae-Lynn herself, beaten black and blue as a child by her brute of a miner father, has plenty of her own demons to confront?and one or two secrets she's never told!

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Quotes & Awards

  • Sister Mine is packed with flawed characters formed by violence and neglect who quickly become embedded in the reader’s heart. O’Dell sketches her characters with telling details and cop-shop crackling dialogue..Amid chick lit and knit lit and Brit lit, Sister Mine rates as true-grit lit.
    USA Today
  • O’Dell hits her stride here; one hopes this is not the last we’ll hear from her punch packing, pink Stetson-wearing heroine. Entertainment Weekly
  • Sister Mine is a page turner for lots of reasons that take you turn by turn. You become mesmerized by the characters, the crackling dialogue, the description of the skin of a miner looking as if pencil point have lodged beneath it, the pathos of good people facing futures that are cetain to be hard and cheap and yet doing so with grace and optimism and whip smart banter. And it’s spot-on for in its depiction of a coal mining town. Lexington Herald Leader
  • Dark, funny, and very Elmore Leonard in its way. Cincinnati Enquirer
  • This is a masterfully unfolded, absolutely engrossing story as smart and sassy as it is wise…A knockout. Booklist, starred review
  • With genuine, fully developed characters and abundant humor, it's easy to fall into this exceptional story and never want to leave. Publishers Weekly, galley talk column
  • Family saga O’Dell-style crackles with conflict and a deep understanding of the complications and burdens that follow attachment, sex, love and kinship. Publishers Weekly, starred review
  • Tawni O’Dell is a great American storyteller. Sister Mine is hilarious and poignant; the details glitter like King Coal from a writer who knows it well. Adriana Trigiani, author of Home to Big Stone Gap
  • Sister Mine delivers a luxurious read, a novel worthy of the literary equivalent of a Grammy or an Oscar. This is a novel for people who devour good writing and craft-intensive storytelling, who savor the haven, both safe and fraught with danger, of a world in which fiction becomes the kind of truth that sets you free. Or, at the very least, makes you laugh and think and wish you’d discovered Tawni O’Dell before now. Portland Oregonian

    “The strength of O’Dell’s narrative is that she lets her characters tell the story. There is much to recommend. Shae-Lynn’s voice is entrancing in its honesty, and O’Dell’s ability to continue to freshly capture her mining communities is impressive… a worthy read.
  • Tawni O’Dell’s energy bursts off the page. Sister Mine is one of those novels that insist on being read, front to back, as fast as possible. Boston Globe
  • “Bitterly poignant in places, it’s also a rollicking good read — and Shae-Lynn’s richly drawn character resonates long after her final wisecrack. People

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jamie | 2/20/2014

    " I really liked this book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dorothy | 2/19/2014

    " I loved this book. I couldn't put it down. It was full of juicy details that I couldn't get enough of. A definite page turner. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Thelma | 2/14/2014

    " I stopped reading this book when the mini skirt, cowboy boot and hat wearing main character got into a fist fight at a bar and her policeman son broke up the fight. Life is too short for this kind of book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Peggy | 2/12/2014

    " Great summer read! I loved the main character...a very strong but kind single Mom "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bryn | 1/26/2014

    " Great development of characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maggie | 1/21/2014

    " the stuff about the mine is good; the sister parts of it are a little disturbing and distracting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Steve | 1/14/2014

    " O'Dell's third book set in the same general milieu shows that she knows these people like the back of her hand. This one functions as something of a mystery as well, but the real importance of the novel lies in revealing how her characters have responded to life and disasters in the small mining town they live in. Her main character is a taxi driver, a crazy dresser, and prone to violence, all of which make her more human. O'Dell is one of the few authors that gets me to read outside of my usual mystery diet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam | 1/13/2014

    " Tawni O'Dell (she is a SERIOUS writer, don't let the "Tawni" throw you) has written 3 novels set in the coal country of Pennsylvania. All are worth reading -- you will have bouts of laughter and sadness plus come away with a new appreciation of coal miners, their families, and communities. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jena Gardner | 1/4/2014

    " More light-hearted than "Back Roads" but that's not really saying much. This is sort of like her typical coal country books spawned with a Janet Evanovich book, but somehow the results are better than you might expect. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jean Yuan | 12/28/2013

    " A quick read and good while in-transit, but nothing remarkable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 12/12/2013

    " I'd recommend Tawni O'Dell books to anyone from my hometown. The characters and settings are eerily like a lot of people we knew growing up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 lynn | 12/7/2013

    " a bit of a long story...however worth the time to read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lisa Lewis | 12/3/2013

    " A modest step above most chick lit. The characters are interesting and the setting vividly portrayed, but the heroine is a bit too lovely and unrealistic. A fun, quick beach read, but not much more. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 11/24/2013

    " Nothing compares to Backroads. I didn't even finish this book. It had some promise but I was just not in the mood for it at the time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynae | 10/2/2013

    " Cute, pulls on the heartstrings, a quick read (2.5 hrs). Glad I got it from the library though, I wouldn't buy it. And Adriana Trigiani (same genre) is much much better. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anita | 5/2/2013

    " Entertaining. I likes the central character and the Russian gangster the best. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debi | 5/1/2013

    " I was actually pretty impressed with this particular book. Tangled family relationships, trauma in the aftermath of a mine explosion, true and messy love. Very believable and satisfying resolutions. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bev | 3/13/2013

    " I read this book a while back, so I don't remember too much about it. It did prompt me to seek out this author's other two books, though. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heather | 2/7/2013

    " disappointed in this one after reading Backroads "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caroline | 11/29/2012

    " Everyone in this book has had a hard time and the narrators voice is fantastic "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary Schumann | 8/21/2012

    " Needed a quick read. This was good story, I enjoyed it. It won't haunt me, but it wasn't a waste of time either. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 7/6/2012

    " I like Tawni O'Dell's writing style. The character and plot development was engaging. I liked Fragile Beasts better, but this was a great book, too. I will be looking forward to reading more of her books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Darlene Cameron | 2/14/2012

    " Really enjoyed thus book! Was a fun read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jennifer | 12/31/2011

    " This book was really great. Had a hard time putting it down. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Emily | 8/11/2011

    " Nicely written, interesting story about an area that I know nothing about (coal mines of PA) and the people who live in mining towns. Solid "book club book" and definitely one I'd recommend to a reader. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tina | 3/22/2011

    " great read, funny, good plot for curiosity (almost a detective story), good psychological understanding w/out sounding like babble...Well written. O'Dell knows how to craft a beautiful passage w/out over-doing it... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gurukarm | 3/7/2011

    " Reading this for at least the second time, and I find myself as engaged as if I'd never picked it up before - and, as engaged as I am with Ms. O'Dell's other books as well.

    Wonder if she's working on something new?? (hint hint!) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 12/20/2010

    " Like O'Dell's two previous books, Back Roads and Coal Run, this one is set in a small coal mining town full of interesting and flawed characters. This story revolves around the life of Shae-Lynn Penrose, a single mom, former cop and Jolly Mount's only cab driver. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Vivian | 12/10/2010

    " I love Tawni O'Dell's books and was really looking forward to reading this one, but two thirds of the way in, I gave up on it. I wasn't engaged by any of the characters or story line. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nikki | 11/11/2010

    " I checked this out on CD from the library. It was a good book as far as keeping me entertained while I drove to/from work. I wasn't sure how it would end & was happy with how the author wrapped it up. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessica | 10/4/2010

    " I like Tawni O'Dell's writing style. The character and plot development was engaging. I liked Fragile Beasts better, but this was a great book, too. I will be looking forward to reading more of her books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dona | 9/21/2010

    " Liked it very much, look forward to going back and reading the rest "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 MaryHelen | 8/6/2010

    " O'Dell is a good writer and kept my interest. The book was very funny in spots, but very raw in others. All in all, a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nell | 4/9/2010

    " This was another audio book I listened to driving to work and back.
    Takes plance in a coal minning town. The main character reminds me of a smarter and tougher Stephanie Plum. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peggy | 4/3/2010

    " I first read Tawni O'Dell when her Oprah book-of-the-month came out in 2000 (Back Roads). I loved that book and had forgotten to look for others by her. It seems that she has written a few more. I didn't like Sister Mine as much as Back Roads, but it was still a very good book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bookfool | 2/28/2010

    " Candy. I'm in book-a-day mode, making up in quantity what I lack in quality. Need a trip to the library/bookstore. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lori | 1/15/2010

    " Entertaining and quick read, but the author seems to cover too many stories at once. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Heather | 9/22/2009

    " disappointed in this one after reading Backroads "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kathy | 8/13/2009

    " A pleasant summer "listen". Did not learn or gain anything from the book....but, it was easy listening. "

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About the Author
Author Tawni O’Dell

Tawni O’Dell is the New York Times bestselling author of Fragile Beasts, Sister Mine, Coal Run, and Back Roads, which was an Oprah’s Book Club pick and a Book-of-the-Month Club Main Selection. O’Dell’s work has been translated into fifteen languages and published in over forty countries. She was born and raised in the coal-mining region of western Pennsylvania, the territory she writes about with such striking authenticity. She graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism and spent many years living in the Chicago area before moving back to Pennsylvania, where she now lives with her two children.

About the Narrator

Renée Raudman is an actor and Earphones Award–winning audiobook narrator. She has performed on film, television, radio, and on stage and can also be heard in several video games and hundreds of television and radio voice-overs.