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Extended Audio Sample The Hand That First Held Mine, by Maggie O’Farrell Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (4,380 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Maggie O’Farrell Narrator: Anne Flosnik Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Lexie Sinclair yearns for more than her parents’ genteel country life. She makes her way to the city, where she meets a magazine editor, Innes, a man unlike any she has ever imagined. He introduces her to the thrilling world of bohemian postwar London, and Lexie learns to become a reporter, to know art and artists, to live fully, unconventionally, and with deep love. And when she finds herself pregnant by a man wholly unsuitable for marriage or fatherhood, she doesn’t hesitate a minute to have the baby on her own.

Later, in present-day London, a young painter named Elina dizzily navigates the first weeks of motherhood after a traumatic birth. Her boyfriend, Ted, shaken by nearly losing her in labor, begins to recover lost memories from his own obscured childhood. As the memory flashes return with ever more disconcerting frequency, we discover a heartbreaking and beautiful revelation that connects these two women and their stories.

A stunning portrait of motherhood and the artist’s life in all their terror and glory, Maggie O’Farrell’s newest novel is a gorgeous inquiry into the ways we make and unmake our lives, and how even our most accidental legacies connect us.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Irish-born writer Maggie O’Farrell isn’t one to hold her reader’s hand, but with an urgent tug on your attention she’ll pull you into her complex, intricately imagined novels about women who refuse to conform. Her mesmerizing, enormously satisfying fifth novel, The Hand That First Held Mine, follows The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox and again involves nastily suppressed family secrets that cause untold damage…an uncommonly gripping and moving read.”

    Washington Post

  • “O’Farrell brings to mind Sue Miller but with a British and darker flavor; her sure hand for psychological suspense (The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox) continues to be most impressive.”

    Library Journal

  • “Maggie O’Farrell has a singular knack for sensing the magnetic fields that push and pull people in love, and in The Hand That First Held Mine, she summons those invisible forces to tell two stories…the result is a remarkably taut and unsentimental whole that embraces the unpredictable, both in love and in life.”

    Amazon.com Review  

  • Winner of the Costa Book Award Costa Book Award
  • Selected for the May 2010 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jesse Figuera | 2/16/2014

    " I loved the writing style, reminded me of the Blind Assasin by Margaret Atwood. Timeless, and beautiful and kind of wispy romantic with truly interesting character whose lives wind together in surprising ways..but parts of it were so sad that it made me ache. I stayed up till 2 AM reading it several nights, but still don't know if I'd recommend it to somebody with kids..its sort of haunting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Kristy | 1/31/2014

    " Now my favourite book ever. Ever. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sherry | 1/16/2014

    " Didn't finish - wasn't sure I wanted to read about some really depressed, emotionally disconnected and confused characters... Doesn't make it a bad book at all, though, as its very atmospheric, if you want to wallow in all that misery! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Justin | 1/15/2014

    " Was slow in the beginning. Almost started to lose me, but when the stories began to come together, the book became far more interesting. "

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