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Extended Audio Sample Tender: A Novel, by Belinda McKeon Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Belinda McKeon Narrator: Michelle Ferguson Publisher: Hachette Book Group Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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A searing novel about longing, intimacy, and obsession from the award-winning author of Solace.

When they meet in Dublin in the late nineties, Catherine and James become close friends. She is a sheltered college student, he an adventurous, charismatic young artist. In a city brimming with possibilities, he spurs her to take life on with gusto. But as Catherine opens herself to new experiences, James’ life becomes a prison, walled off by a truth he feels unable to share. When crisis hits, Catherine finds herself at the mercy of uncontrollable feelings, leading her to jeopardize everything.

By turns exhilarating and devastating, Tender is an exploration of human relationships, of the lies we tell ourselves and others. A high-wire act with psychological insights, this daring novel confirms McKeon as a major voice in Irish fiction, alongside the masterful Edna O’Brien and Anne Enright.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Tender rises above every other book on the shelf for its language alone; the beauty of each sentence will break your heart. But the story, full of the pleasures and terrors and betrayals of youth, will do that anyway. There is no way around it: you will weep. Spectacular. Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells
  • Utterly exquisite, unflinchingly observed, Tender is the story of a specific obsessive love, but also the story of youth itself, the blinding needs of heart and body, the illusion that one can change reality to suit one's desires--just by wanting to enough. McKeon's intelligence and insight shine through every page, and the words themselves perform miracles of revelation as they dance from one sentence to the next. Robin Black, author of Life Drawing
  • Tender is compelling and deeply affecting: McKeon's prose describes the calibrations of emotions wonderfully, and the novel is great on friendship, on art, on being young and in love... I read it in a day. Nick Laird, author of To a Fault
  • Tender combines the urge to escape the ordinary of Brideshead Revisited with a tormented devotion of McEwan's Enduring Love. It is chilling, gorgeous, and profoundly insightful into the very human urge to wreck oneself on the shoals of a great ambition. Matthew Thomas, New York Times bestselling author of We Are Not Ourselves
  • Richly nuanced and utterly absorbing. The Guardian
  • Tender is the best Irish novel I've read since The Spinning Heart, a work rich with wisdom, truth and beauty. There are no gimmicks, no deliberately eccentric characters and no wildly overblown prose masquerading as poetry. Reading it, the novelist that came to mind time and again was Anne Tyler, one of the greatest storytellers alive, whose characters arrive on the page like human beings, things happen to them, they react to these things, and then life continues. I can scarcely think of higher praise than to say that Belinda McKeon could be our Anne Tyler. There is simply not a false note anywhere in Tender. John Boyne, The Irish Times
  • McKeon is a superb and sophisticated writer, who captures the barely articulable feelings between young people on the brink of adulthood. Fiona Wilson, The Times (UK)
  • Belinda McKeon writes like a dream, and Tender proves that she belongs among the most revered novelists working today. Heidi Julavits, author of The Folded Clock
  • McKeon relates an unpredictable series of events in heart-rending prose, expressing the full force of a young love's potential for disaster. New Yorker
  • A perceptive, unexpectedly moving novel about friendship and love and all the heart-stopping moments in between. Jenny Offill, bestselling author of Dept. of Speculation
  • “McKeon is a superb and sophisticated writer who captures the barely articulable feelings between young people on the brink of adulthood.”

    Times (London)

  • “McKeon regards the characters in her keenly wrought love story—for all their flaws and fragility—with insight, sensitivity, and a compassion that proves contagious.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • Tender is compelling and deeply affecting: McKeon’s prose describes the calibrations of emotions wonderfully, and the novel is great on friendship, on art, on being young and in love…I read it in a day.”

    Nick Laird, author of To a Fault

  • A Flavorwire Pick for the 50 Most Anticipated Books of 2016
  • A Bustle Pick of February 2016’s Best Books to Light Up Your Winter
  • An Entertainment Weekly Pick for 9 Books We Can’t Wait to Read in February
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