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Extended Audio Sample The Grief of Others, by Leah Hager Cohen Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,390 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Leah Hager Cohen Narrator: Pam Ward Publisher: Tantor Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Is keeping a secret from a spouse always an act of infidelity? And what cost does such a secret exact on a family?

The Ryries have suffered a loss: the death of a baby just fifty-seven hours after his birth. Without words to express their grief, the parents, John and Ricky, try to return to their previous lives. Struggling to regain a semblance of normalcy for themselves and for their two older children, they find themselves pretending not only that little has changed, but that their marriage and their family have always been intact. Yet in the aftermath of the baby’s death, long-suppressed uncertainties about their relationship come roiling to the surface. A dreadful secret emerges with reverberations that reach far into their past and threaten their future.

The couple’s children, ten-year-old Biscuit and thirteen-year-old Paul, responding to the unnamed tensions around them, begin to act out in exquisitely—perhaps courageously—idiosyncratic ways. But as the four family members scatter into private, isolating grief, an unexpected visitor arrives, and they all find themselves growing more alert to the sadness and burdens of others—to the grief that is part of every human life but that also carries within it the power to draw us together.

Moving, psychologically acute, and gorgeously written, The Grief of Others asks how we balance personal autonomy with the intimacy of relationships, how we balance private decisions with the obligations of belonging to a family, and how we take measure of our own sorrows in a world rife with suffering. This novel shows how one family, by finally allowing itself to experience the shared quality of grief, is able to rekindle tenderness and hope.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Cohen’s stunning writing and ruthless, beautiful magnification of soul-crushing sorrow that threatens the Ryries’ day-to-day family life mesmerizes, wounds, and possibly even heals her readers. Her courageous novel (she knows of what she writes) is to be savored.”

    Library Journal (starred review)

  • “This is an ambitious novel offering insight into the rift between the public and the private, and illuminating the many ways in which we deal with tragedy.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “An engrossing and revealing look at family…Leah Hager Cohen writes about difficult subjects with unfailing compassion and insight.”

    Tom Perrotta, author of Little Children

  • “With gorgeous prose, Cohen skillfully takes us from past to present and back again as she explores the ramifications of family loss, grief, and longing.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Cindi | 2/15/2014

    " This novel is so rich with emotion and imagery, with well-developed, multi-faceted characters. I wanted to savor every word - a beautiful read! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jessica | 1/30/2014

    " I really liked this book, even though it was far from a "happy" read. For a librarian, I suck at writing reviews, so I will just say that it was very atmospheric, and one of those books where I had no trouble at all picturing the scenes. Would make a great basis for an Indie film. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Debra Morris | 1/14/2014

    " This is a heartbreaking book; I especially liked the characterization of the son Paul. A quiet, moving novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Tracy | 1/12/2014

    " Excellent Book, such great characters! I read it on the Kindle and loved it so much I bought a hard copy. "

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