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Extended Audio Sample The Country Life Audiobook, by Rachel Cusk Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.34 out of 53.34 out of 53.34 out of 53.34 out of 53.34 out of 5 3.34 (32 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rachel Cusk Narrator: Jenny Sterlin Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2016 ISBN: 9781436145046
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Winner of England’s Whitbread Award for Saving Agnes as well as the prestigious Somerset Maugham Award, Rachel Cusk has won popular and critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic. This young British author’s beguiling novel is both poignant and hilarious.

When Stella leaves London for a small village in Sussex, she hopes that the country life will be conducive to her journey toward self-discovery. She’ll have no more insipid lover, dead end job, or controlling parents to endure. But, as an au pair for a dispiriting family, she’s stalked by bad-tempered people, misfortune from weather and wildlife, and unwelcome suitors. Spunky and resourceful, she manages to keep a stiff upper lip, even when her darkest secret manages to catch up with her.

Jenny Sterlin sparkles in her role as the irrepressible Stella. Even in the face of Stella’s angst and touching vulnerability, you will find it impossible to stifle your laughter.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Smart, charming, and often outright hilarious.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “A sophisticated confection…For this delightful novel about the governess from hell, maybe only the word ‘wicked’ will do.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “A brilliant oxymorona serious farce so subtle that its command of the reader must called insidious…Bright, candid, and modestly humorous, Stella Benson lures us into complicity…Cusk’s ability to keep us interested in innumerable human collisions is uncanny. We may finally learn Stella’s secrets, but she remains as fascinatingly indecipherable as anyone we know.”

    New Yorker

  • “An oddly ingratiating social comedy…Smart, literate, offbeat, confiding…A pleasure.”

    Boston Globe

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anemari Jansen | 2/16/2014

    " This book must be one of the funniest I`ve ever read in my life. Such an offbeat sene of humour. "

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

    " This book made me laugh out loud more than once. I was left feeling dissatisfied and a bit puzzled at the end, though. Apparently it is part of a long British tradition of spoofing "the country life," which I wasn't familiar with! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kd | 2/12/2014

    " Absolutely hilarious. A real talent. Great characterization. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rosemary | 2/11/2014

    " Stella escapes her life in London to move to the country to care for Martin, a handicapped child, and the two of them form a bond of trust and friendship against the world-of crazy families and life. Not crazy about the style, but enjoyed the story. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gaurett | 2/7/2014

    " I have enjoyed this author but I didn't care for this book. The characters were too sad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 1/28/2014

    " First Fiction Book I have read in a very long time. The author really seems to captivate a female reader with her main charater due to her lengthy descriptions of what goes on in a womens head that she never vocalizes. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 KeAnne | 1/20/2014

    " I didn't get it. Witty in parts; irritating in others. Is it meant to be a parody or something serious? It ended rather abruptly. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rigatoni Baloney | 1/7/2014

    " Was difficult to get into as the main character is clearly clinically depressed, but as it went along I learned to laugh at the absurdity of it all. This book serenely illustrated there is no such thing as perect family or running away from your problems. Rachel Cusk' prose are amazing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ruth Vanderhart | 1/5/2014

    " This is an extremely strange story with quirky, off-beat characters--but I really liked it. Probably about a 3.5. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 MaryAnn | 11/21/2013

    " It was a little difficult to get into this author's writing style, but once I adapted, the story unfolded and kept me reading almost nonstop. Funny and poignant account of a young woman's discovery of herself through family and other relationships. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leah | 11/20/2013

    " This book had some good points, but I felt like it lacked resolution in an unsatisfying way. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Simon Maginn | 11/14/2013

    " Rachel Cusk has a completely unique voice, which is perhaps best described as meticulously observed panic. As a stylist, I don't think she can be beaten. She's also impossibly funny. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Alison Davidson | 11/3/2013

    " I absolutely loved this book. I loved the main character and how she dealt with her new situation. She seemed a very ordinary girl. The book was also humorous and made me laugh, but was also touching with the relationship with the disabled son. I would recommend this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 2/27/2013

    " Terrific writer. Wonderful slapstick moments. A bit dark, and quite a bit funny. Like a good English novel should be. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary | 1/24/2013

    " The story was interesting by I have a hard time reading British syntax. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Selene | 1/4/2013

    " I am profoundly jealous of this piece of writing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dormilona | 9/8/2012

    " Occasionally, whilst reading this book, I found it so unsettling, I considered not finishing it. So glad I soldiered on for what ultimately proved to be a hugely satisfying reading experience. "

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

    " This book made me so uncomfortable, as if I had gone somewhere and forgotten the necessities. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lisa | 4/17/2012

    " This narrator's sharp observational skills are paired with catastrophically poor decision making skills. The result is a delightful, absorbing farce. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 3/11/2012

    " A British romp--reminded me a little of the Lucia & Mapp books (If I've got that right) although like much I am reading these days it fell apart near the end. But a fine distraction/beach read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy | 1/14/2012

    " An English author I will look for again "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria Ramos | 11/4/2011

    " A very good book. Each sentence is carefully crafted, each mundane action and thought is imbued with drama. I bet she worked her butt off writing this book. The ending was a little disappointing, as the plot took an unlikely turn. But overall, a very good book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 1/31/2011

    " Terrific writer. Wonderful slapstick moments. A bit dark, and quite a bit funny. Like a good English novel should be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rigatoni | 8/12/2010

    " Was difficult to get into as the main character is clearly clinically depressed, but as it went along I learned to laugh at the absurdity of it all. This book serenely illustrated there is no such thing as perect family or running away from your problems. Rachel Cusk' prose are amazing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bee | 1/21/2010

    " I read this a few years ago and recall finding it puzzling and irritating -- the character Stella, at least. What an odd book... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Simon | 1/2/2010

    " Rachel Cusk has a completely unique voice, which is perhaps best described as meticulously observed panic. As a stylist, I don't think she can be beaten. She's also impossibly funny. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Mary | 11/14/2009

    " The story was interesting by I have a hard time reading British syntax. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Leah | 6/26/2009

    " This book had some good points, but I felt like it lacked resolution in an unsatisfying way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Selene | 3/8/2009

    " I am profoundly jealous of this piece of writing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Gaurett | 2/15/2009

    " I have enjoyed this author but I didn't care for this book. The characters were too sad. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jill | 12/29/2008

    " First Fiction Book I have read in a very long time. The author really seems to captivate a female reader with her main charater due to her lengthy descriptions of what goes on in a womens head that she never vocalizes. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jennifer | 10/10/2008

    " This book made me laugh out loud more than once. I was left feeling dissatisfied and a bit puzzled at the end, though. Apparently it is part of a long British tradition of spoofing "the country life," which I wasn't familiar with! "

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About the Author
Author Rachel Cusk

Rachel Cusk is the author of several memoirs and novels, including Saving Agnes, winner of the Whitbread First Novel Award, and The Country Life, which won a Somerset Maugham Award.

About the Narrator

Jenny Sterlin, winner of multiple Earphones Awards, has more than seventy audio titles to her credit, including Laurie R. King’s popular Sherlock Holmes / Mary Russell series. Before beginning her narration career, she helped found England’s experimental Living Theatre.