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Download The History of Us Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The History of Us, by Leah Stewart Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (649 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Leah Stewart Narrator: Cassandra Campbell Publisher: Dreamscape Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Eloise Hempel is on her way to teach a class at Harvard when she receives a devastating phone call. Her sister and her husband have been killed in a tragic accident, and Eloise must return home to Cincinnati to take their three children, Theodora, Josh, and Claire, out of the hands of her own incapable mother. She moves back into her mother’s century-old house and, after her mother leaves, pours her own money into its upkeep.

Nearly two decades later, Eloise is still in that house with now-grown Theo, Josh, and Claire, still thinking about the career and life she left behind, even as she pushes the kids to get a move on. With Claire leaving for New York City for a promising ballet career, Eloise has plans to finally sell the house and start a life that’s hers alone. But when her mother creates a competition for which of them gets the house and Claire turns out to have a life-changing secret, their makeshift family begins to fall apart.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Leah Stewart possesses magic. It is awe-inspiring to see how clearly and sensitively she presents the numerous ways her characters are broken and then finds a way to offer some hope of healing. With the family at the heart of The History of Us, Stewart shows that she is unafraid of difficult characters and that she is equally unafraid of making sure they matter to us.”

    Kevin Wilson, author of The Family Fang

  • “A sprawling novel with some of the off-kilter charm of Anne Tyler’s work, The History of Us glows with affection for its wounded, familiar characters.”

    Boston Globe

  • “Touching drama…Faced with urgent choices, Eloise and the grown kids react with varying degrees of wisdom and pigheadedness, but as Stewart tenderly demonstrates, they remain – for better or worse – a family.”


  • “Stewart’s novel reminds us how family ties trump all else.”

    Parenting Magazine

  • “Domestic fiction fans favoring strong, intelligent characters will be intrigued by Stewart’s introspective examination of a family.”

    Library Journal

  • “With a playwright’s precise, sometimes excoriating dialogue and an insightful novelist’s judicious use of interior monologue, Stewart crafts a tearful yet unsentimental family coming-of-age story.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “A poignant exploration of the meaning of family.”


  • A Kirkus Reviews “New and Notable Title” in January 2013

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sarah | 2/20/2014

    " Not the greatest writing but definitely held my interest. Worth the dollar I paid at used bookstore "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Margaret | 2/7/2014

    " If you have lived in Cincinnati (I have not) you may enjoy this book more than I did. I think I would have gotten more from the book if I had a better appreciation for the different characteristics of the parts of the city. Not a bad book, just did not live up to what I think it could have been. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Nancy | 2/5/2014

    " Couldn't put this book down. Excellent. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Kristina | 1/27/2014

    " Eloise Hempel gives up her new life as a Professor at Harvard to return to Cincinnati to raise her two nieces and nephew after their parents are killed. Sounds like it would be a good story but it isn't written that way. The characters come across as very flat and I find myself not really caring for any of them. The book picks up a bit for me near the end when the characters actually start to come to life a bit. "

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