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Sycamore: A Novel Audiobook, by Bryn Chancellor Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Bryn Chancellor Narrator: Cassandra Campbell, Steven Jay Cohen, Sara Morsey, Xe Sands, Teri Schnaubelt, various narrators Publisher: HarperAudio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: May 2017 ISBN: 9780062674036
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“In this masterful performance, Bryn Chancellor explores the loss around which an entire community has calcified with humanity and wisdom. Chancellor digs deep in these pages, unearthing broken hearts, secrets, betrayals, passion and—most impressively—grace. What a joy to find a book that is both propulsive and perfectly composed.”—Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, author of The Nest

An award-winning writer makes her debut with this mesmerizing must-listen in the spirit of Everything I Never Told You and Olive Kitteridge.

Out for a hike one scorching afternoon in Sycamore, Arizona, a newcomer to town stumbles across what appear to be human remains embedded in the wall of a dry desert ravine. As news of the discovery makes its way around town, Sycamore’s longtime residents fear the bones may belong to Jess Winters, the teenage girl who disappeared suddenly some eighteen years earlier, an unsolved mystery that has soaked into the porous rock of the town and haunted it ever since. In the days it takes the authorities to make an identification, the residents rekindle stories, rumors, and recollections both painful and poignant as they revisit Jess’s troubled history. In resurrecting the past, the people of Sycamore will find clarity, unexpected possibility, and a way forward for their lives.

Skillfully interweaving multiple points of view, Bryn Chancellor knowingly maps the bloodlines of a community and the indelible characters at its heart—most notably Jess Winters, a thoughtful, promising adolescent poised on the threshold of adulthood. Evocative and atmospheric, Sycamore is a coming-of-age story, a mystery, and a moving exploration of the elemental forces that drive human nature—desire, loneliness, grief, love, forgiveness, and hope—as witnessed through the inhabitants of one small Arizona town. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A talented cast of narrators pulls the listener into this small community as its residents uncover the connections between the past and the present. Slowly, inexorably, they peel back the layers to reveal the characters’ secrets…The steadily building tension keeps the listener riveted.”


  • “Explores the loss around which an entire community has calcified…unearthing broken hearts, secrets, betrayals, passion, and—most impressively—grace.”

    Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Sycamore is both a mystery and a tragic coming of age story but above all, a bittersweet exploration of the different ways a heart can break and heal.”

  • “Takes readers beyond a standard whodunit and provides a more compelling take on what the experience does to the town.”

    St. Louis Post- Dispatch

  • “Chancellor…drops readers into an absorbing eighteen-year-old mystery filled with thought-provoking what-ifs and heartrending OMGs in her emotional and addicting debut.”

    RT Book Reviews (4½ stars, Top Pick!)

  • “A movingly written, multivoiced novel examining how one tragic circumstance can sow doubt about fundamental things.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “[The] novel begins quietly, quickly gains momentum, and ends explosively…a must for readers of literary fiction.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “Chancellor writes gorgeously, and her story is riveting and real.”

    Joy Castro, author of Hell or High Water

  • “Explores the complexities of a small-town girlhood with insight and compassion. A page-turner and a heart-breaker.”

    Tayari Jones, author of Silver Sparrow

  • “With astute emotional and psychological observations, Chancellor successfully shows the power of the unknown as various individuals explore the many what ifs and imaginings of what really happened.”

    Jill McCorkle, author of Life After Life

  • Sycamore is an amazing showcase for Bryn Chancellor’s great talent, the way she allows each of the various characters to shine on their own but connects them with such subtlety that their light forms a constellation that maps out the grief, the regrets, and the strength of an entire community. This is a powerful debut novel, one without flaw, and it will slay you.”

    Kevin Wilson, author of Tunneling to the Center of the Earth

  • A May 2017 LibraryReads Pick
  • An Amazon Editor’s Top Pick for May 2017
  • Bustle Pick of 15 Best Books for May 2017

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About the Author

Bryn Chancellor is an author whose story collection When Are You Coming Home? won the 2014 Prairie Schooner Book Prize, and her short fiction has appeared in a range of publications, including Gulf Coast, Blackbird, Colorado Review, Crazyhorse, and Phoebe. She was also awarded the 2014 Poets & Writers Maureen Egen Writers Exchange Award for fiction and literary fellowships from the Alabama State Council on the Arts and the Arizona Commission on the Arts. She has an MFA in fiction from Vanderbilt University and teaches at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

About the Narrators

Cassandra Campbell has won multiple Audie Awards, Earphones Awards, and the prestigious Odyssey Award for narration. She was been named a “Best Voice” by AudioFile magazine and in 2018 was inducted in Audible’s inaugural Narrator Hall of Fame.

Steven Jay Cohen has been telling stories his whole life, and has worked professionally as a storyteller since 1991. A classically trained actor, he has worked both on stage and behind the microphone for most of his career. Born and raised in Brooklyn, Steven now resides in scenic western Massachusetts.

Xe Sands has more than a decade of experience bringing stories to life through narration, performance, and visual art, including recordings of the Nightwalkers series from Jaquelyn Frank. She has received several honors, including AudioFile Earphones Awards and a coveted Audie Award, and she was named Favorite Debut Romance Narrator of 2011 in the Romance Audiobooks poll.

Teri Schnaubelt is a Chicago-based stage, on-camera, and voice actor as well as oil painter and photographer. An Earphones Award–winning narrator, she has voiced over a hundred books for New York Times and USA Today bestselling authors, in addition to helping independent authors get their stories heard.

Michael Curran-Dorsano is a voice talent and AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator.