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Extended Audio Sample Sweet Ruin Audiobook, by Cathi Hanauer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.19 out of 53.19 out of 53.19 out of 53.19 out of 53.19 out of 5 3.19 (37 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Cathi Hanauer Narrator: Ellen Archer Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2006 ISBN: 9781400172429
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Since editing the New York Times bestseller The Bitch in the House, Cathi Hanauer has become the unofficial spokeswoman for the contemporary married woman. Now, in Sweet Ruin, she gives us a story of marital crisis and sexual tension featuring a character close to her heart-and recognizable to us all. Thirty-seven-year-old Elayna Leopold used to be a New York magazine editor, until she and her young family moved to suburban New Jersey. Two years ago, the death of an infant son sent her into a deep depression-a darkness that begins to lift in the company of a handsome, unattached neighbor. As she fights yearnings that could destroy everything that gives her life shape, a threat to her young daughter's welfare emerges from an unlikely source, throwing Elayna's questionable morality into stark relief-and forcing her to make choices she never dreamed she would have to make. Smart and gripping, Elayna's story raises heartrendering questions about the challenges of ordinary life-marriage, career, independence, and sexuality-that have no easy answers. Sweet Ruin is a triumph of contemporary fiction from a writer known for her candor and wisdom. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Excellent characterizations…dialogue, and the spot-on representation of the family dynamic make this book difficult to put down. One keeps waiting for something horrific to happen, but instead the story builds slowly and plausibly. What happens is subtle and ambiguous—as in real life.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Given Hanauer’s keen perceptions and delicate sensitivity, one cannot help but acutely feel the emotional and moral turmoil engulfing this winsome young wife and mother.”

    Booklist

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kim | 2/18/2014

    " I couldn't put this down. It was soo good! I absolutely loved this book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Meg | 2/17/2014

    " Seriously, I need to stop reading books about infidelity. It makes me sick. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shannon | 2/7/2014

    " This is a fast read that I enjoyed. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Terri | 1/29/2014

    " Another Goodwill purchase for me. This story -- her affair, her relationship with her father ... didn't work for me. It's going back to Goodwill ... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Julianne | 1/26/2014

    " Some of the subject matter was disturbing to read but the characters were great and captivating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Klaudyna Z. | 1/24/2014

    " This book was excellent. I loved it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann Mulholland | 1/21/2014

    " very good book. Will look for more titles by Cathi Hanauer. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jessica | 1/20/2014

    " Typical book. Nothing exciting. Took to long to get to the plot and then quickly went downhill from there. Very predictable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Laura June | 1/20/2014

    " The story itself was one as old as time, but Hanauer did a great job developing the characters to pull you in. She captured the give and take of motherhood and how easy it can be sometimes to get lost. But in the end, all the sacrifices made are worth it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Allie Cassidy | 1/18/2014

    " Main character is so annoying. Very hard to read. First book that I haven't finished in I don't know how long. Don't waste your time. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 1/12/2014

    " second time reading it, realized it halfway through but still good! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alison | 11/27/2013

    " I enjoyed this book-it was a fast read and a good story. Liked the character development and loved Hazel's character and how the author describes her mannerisms. Paul seemed to me to be a bit of a spineless guy-until the twists at the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mary | 11/5/2013

    " Interesting.. characters were engaging though frustrating. Ending was rushed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie Meehan | 11/2/2013

    " Sweet ruin was an intriguing example of what happen to a marriage when grief, doubt, children, and lust mingle in a typical suburban household and the havoc it can cause. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leah | 10/30/2013

    " Worth reading, but not one of my favorite books. It's a great summer read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Ann | 10/21/2013

    " Entertaining although I kept waiting for some real action to happen. Had to wait until I was about 3/4 into it. It was beautifully written, but a little uneventful. I'll try more of her books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 10/4/2013

    " I really enjoyed this book. I thought the observations on life as a stay-at-home mom were spot on. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick Chaput | 9/8/2013

    " I thought it was pretty good. Kept my interest throughout. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Beth | 12/15/2012

    " I think this is the first "chick lit" type book I've ever read. It was entertaining enough, an easy read. The author does a good job making the dialogue believable, which is usually one of my main gripes with books like this. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Shelia | 11/2/2012

    " I just couldn't get into this book so I have moved on. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Renae | 10/30/2012

    " This was just ok. It took way too long to get into. You knew basically what was going to happen with her and with her daughter but it just wouldn't get there. Finally, when there was only about 100 pages left, it got into it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cassi | 7/16/2012

    " This is a good book to read at the beach or by the pool - which is why I read it in February. It's a little slow moving at times, but mostly a quick and entertaining read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laurie | 1/7/2012

    " some sexy scenes, some suspense...; listened to on CD "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Candy kang | 10/27/2011

    " read it in one day. somewhat sad and without the usual happy endings. very realistic depiction of a marriage. i could almost hear my friend telling me her story just like this one. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kerry DellaCava | 10/9/2011

    " I like reading books that take place in New Jersey after living there. Good for chic lit. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amy London | 8/30/2011

    " title doesn't do it justice. a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Andrea Vrtikapa | 3/14/2011

    " I got sucked into this girl's life of finding herself again after her baby dies. Good story! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 June | 11/26/2010

    " The story itself was one as old as time, but Hanauer did a great job developing the characters to pull you in. She captured the give and take of motherhood and how easy it can be sometimes to get lost. But in the end, all the sacrifices made are worth it. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Terri | 11/6/2010

    " Another Goodwill purchase for me. This story -- her affair, her relationship with her father ... didn't work for me. It's going back to Goodwill ... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann | 8/1/2010

    " very good book. Will look for more titles by Cathi Hanauer. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Meg | 7/11/2010

    " Seriously, I need to stop reading books about infidelity. It makes me sick. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Nanaz | 6/10/2010

    " On a scale of 1-10, I would give it an 8. It is intended for a female audience. The book discusses being a full-time mom and working part-time while her lawyer husband is working around the clock. Marriage, family, daycare, and fidelity are all explored. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Renae | 5/19/2010

    " This was just ok. It took way too long to get into. You knew basically what was going to happen with her and with her daughter but it just wouldn't get there. Finally, when there was only about 100 pages left, it got into it. "

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

    " some sexy scenes, some suspense...; listened to on CD "

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

    " read it in one day. somewhat sad and without the usual happy endings. very realistic depiction of a marriage. i could almost hear my friend telling me her story just like this one. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gabby | 11/8/2009

    " This is the fist novel I read from Cathi Hanauer. I couldn't put it down - and loved it.

    the book was complex yet simple. And I found myself cheering for the bad girl in her. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 6/18/2009

    " Light reading - reminder of how close to self-destruction we all are! "

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About the Author

Cathi Hanauer is the author of three novels—My Sister’s Bones, Sweet Ruin, and Gone—and is the editor of the New York Times bestselling essay collection The Bitch in the House. A former columnist for Glamour, Mademoiselle, and Seventeen, she has written for The New York Times, Elle, Self, Real Simple, and other magazines. She lives in Northampton, Massachusetts, with her husband, New York Times “Modern Love” editor Daniel Jones, and their daughter and son.

About the Narrator

Ellen Archer is an award-winning narrator, actress, and singer with a degree in Opera Performance from the Boston Conservatory. She has performed extensively on the New York stage and in regional theaters. She has narrated numerous audiobooks and has won several AudioFile Earphones Awards, as well as the prestigious Audie Award for best narration.