Download The Catherine Wheel: A Novel Audiobook

The Catherine Wheel: A Novel Audiobook, by Jean Stafford Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Jean Stafford Narrator: Elisabeth Rodgers Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2020 ISBN: 9781094100524
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The first time in audio, Jean Stafford’s final novel, The Catherine Wheel, is a mordant tour de force concerning the gradual disintegration of a woman under pressures both societal and self-imposed.

Katharine Congreve, a Boston society figure, is summering at her country house in Hawthorne, Maine, in the late 1930s, looking after the children of her cousin Maeve, as she does every year. Maeve and her husband, John Shipley, spend their summers in Europe, leaving their son and two daughters in Katharine’s care, but something is different this time. Shipley has promised to leave his wife for Katharine if his failing marriage with Maeve can’t be revived before the end of their vacation.

Alone with the frivolous Honor and Harriet, teenage twins, and the younger Andrew, who seems to be hiding a private anguish of his own, Katharine must contend with her envy, her memories, her expectations, and her guilt. Under the watchful eyes of her charges and neighbors, a hint of madness is soon revealed at the heart of a happy, lazy New England summer.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A novel to compel the imagination and nurture the mind…[and] one which pity and terror combine to reach us in the secret, irrational places of the heart.”


  • “A figure of genuine consequence in American literature.”

    Washington Post, praise for the author

  • New York Times bestseller

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About the Author

Jean Stafford (1915–1979) was the author of three novels and the acclaimed short fiction collection, The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford, which won the 1970 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. She grew up in California and Colorado. After earning both a BA and an MA degree in four years from the University of Colorado, she studied philology in Heidelberg for a year, then moved to New England and began to write. In 1944 she published her first book, Boston Adventure, a bestselling novel of manners, and her second and most highly acclaimed novel, The Mountain Lion, followed in 1947. By 1948, the year in which she received a Guggenheim Fellowship, her work regularly appeared in the New Yorker.

About the Narrator

Elisabeth Rodgers is an actress and AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator. After graduating from Princeton University, she completed a two-year program at William Esper Studio, where she studied with Maggie Flanigan. Her audiobook narration training came from Robin Miles, who has also directed her in several productions. She has recorded dozens of books for a multitude of publishers.