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Download The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton Audiobook, by Jane Smiley Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,221 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jane Smiley Narrator: Anna Fields Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2000 ISBN: 9780375417092
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An immensely appealing heroine, a historical setting conveyed with impressive fidelity, and a charming and poignant love story make Jane Smiley’s new novel a sure candidate for bestseller longevity.

Lidie Harkness, a spinster at age twenty, is an anomaly in 1850s Illinois. She has an independent mind, a sharp tongue and a backbone; she prefers to swim, shoot, ride, and fish rather than spend a minute over the stove or with a darning needle. That makes her the perfect bride for Bostonian abolitionist Thomas Newton, who courts and marries her in a few days while en route to Lawrence, K.T. (Kansas Territory), with a box of Sharps rifles. As the newlyweds gingerly come to know each other, they are plunged into the turmoil between pro-slavery border ruffians from Missouri and K.T. Free Staters, an increasingly savage conflict that presages the Civil War.

As Lidie and Thomas experience privation, danger, and the growing pleasures of emotional intimacy, and as tragedy strikes and Lidie pursues a perilous revenge, Smiley explores the complex moral issues of the time, paying acute attention to inbred attitudes on both sides of the slavery question. Propelled by Lidie’s spirited voice, this narrative is packed with drama, irony, historical incident, moral ambiguities, and the perception of human frailty.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A fine historical novel that describes a fascinating time and place…It is both funny and subtle, rich in ideas…Smiley has created a better all-around piece of fiction than any of her previous work, including the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Thousand Acres.”

    Wall Street Journal

  • “Rousing…Action-packed…A gripping story about love, fortitude, and convictions that are worth fighting for.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Powerful…Smiley takes us back to Kansas in 1855, a place of rising passions and vast uncertainties. Narrated in the spirited, unsentimental voice of twenty-year-old Lidie Newton, the novel is at once an ambitious examination of a turning point in history and the riveting story of one woman’s journey into uncharted regions of place and self.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • A 1998 New York Times Notable Book for Fiction

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Lori | 2/16/2014

    " Slogged through 1/2 of its 400+ pages before giving it up. Didn't pique. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jennifer | 2/13/2014

    " Oh...it just got really good...rubbing my hands back and forth in anticipation! "

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

    " Jane Smiley is good but this one didn't leave much of an impression. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Linda | 2/6/2014

    " I would have liked to have given this book a 3.5 rating. I could have put it down at any time and never picked it up again. BUT, it was a good history lesson. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sylvia | 2/3/2014

    " I loved this book. It was almost like living in those years with her. The only Jane Smiley book I have really enjoyed. The sense of the time, the travel on the rivers, by horse -- family life, death and politics are all wonderfully outlined. "

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

    " When I started this book, I was taken by the writing style and format of the story. A little further in, it seemed to become tedious so I skipped over passages here and there. The final three chapters brought me back, but over 400 pages? Too long... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shirley | 1/20/2014

    " This is a adventurous book about the time around the Civil War in the midwest - very fun. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 emma | 12/26/2013

    " an epic read, one of Smiley's best yet. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lanette | 11/27/2013

    " This is one of the few books that I absolutely could not force myself to finish. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Pam | 11/12/2013

    " Not up to her par with The Thousand Acres. Somewhat interesting to read the history of the early Kansas territory and the beginnings of the Civil War in that area. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed | 6/3/2013

    " After the first 10 minutes of this audio book, I didn't think I would like it, but it quickly picked up, was entertaining, fairly easy to follow plus kept my attention the entire book. I might even listen again some day. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ellie | 3/9/2013

    " I couldn't finish this book -- too long. I really like Smiley's earlier books. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruthanne | 2/5/2013

    " Set in the 1800s during the last years of slavery. Lidie Newton is a strong woman who has a hard road to travel. A touching, realistic story I read when I lived in Kansas. Made me feel a bit better about living there at the time. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Virginia | 5/17/2012

    " This book had a plodding character, save the last 100 pages. The protagonist was captivating but the men were disappointingly flat. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 4/24/2012

    " If you don't know Jane Smilely, you should get familiar. She's an excellent author, and this book is different than her norm. I was inspired by Lidie Newton and wish she could have been my friend. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Marie | 3/11/2012

    " gritty, independent woman marries an abolitionist and ends up in pre-Civil War Kansas during the conflict with Missouri "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ann | 3/6/2012

    " unfortunately forgettable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynette | 12/27/2011

    " A fascinating historical fiction about the free-staters who came west from New England to help keep Kansas a state without slaves, and the challenges among and between the abolitionists and those who wanted slaves. Told from the perspective of a woman. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Melody | 1/28/2011

    " I finished 'book 1' of this book, and couldn't make it through 'book 2.' It was an interesting read, but not interesting enough to get through it all. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sandy | 1/9/2011

    " Jane Smiley is good but this one didn't leave much of an impression. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jan | 1/8/2011

    " I loved the KS-Lawrence-MO setting and learned a lot from this book. I'd forgotten about it until I was explaining how much I liked this author! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ed | 10/15/2010

    " After the first 10 minutes of this audio book, I didn't think I would like it, but it quickly picked up, was entertaining, fairly easy to follow plus kept my attention the entire book. I might even listen again some day. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Connie | 8/29/2010

    " This was historically very interesting and I enjoyed the characters, but wouldn't call it a Must Read! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kyria | 7/30/2010

    " Enjoyed it, and learned a lot about Kansas in the 1850's. Not a place I would want to be living!! Wouldn't call it a fantastic book though, as it dragged a bit in some parts, and just wasn't what I was expecting it to be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Judy | 6/28/2010

    " life in Lawrence, KS in late 1800's. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jeanne | 6/19/2010

    " A woman's experiences in pre-civil war USA. Well written "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marshaferz | 6/19/2010

    " It was just too slow for me. I liked Lidie, but she was written so passively that I couldn't stay awake. "

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About the Author
Author Jane Smiley

Jane Smiley is the author of five works of nonfiction and more than twenty acclaimed works of fiction, including A Thousand Acres, which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1992. In 2001 she was inducted into the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

About the Narrator

Kate Fleming (a.k.a. Anna Fields) (1965–2006), winner of more than a dozen Earphones Awards and the prestigious Audie Award in 2004, was one of the most respected narrators in the industry. Trained at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, she was also a director, producer, and technician at her own studio, Cedar House Audio.