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Download The Imperial Wife: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Imperial Wife: A Novel Audiobook, by Irina Reyn Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Irina Reyn Narrator: Karen Peakes Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: July 2016 ISBN: 9781511385503
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The Imperial Wife follows the lives of two women, one in contemporary New York City and the other in eighteenth-century Russia.

Tanya Kagan, a specialist in Russian art at a top New York auction house, is trying to entice Russia’s wealthy oligarchs to bid on the biggest sale of her career, The Order of Saint Catherine, while making sense of the sudden and unexplained departure of her husband.

As questions arise over the provenance of the Order and auction fever kicks in, Reyn takes us into the world of Catherine the Great, the infamous 18th-century woman who may have owned the priceless artifact, and who it turns out faced many of the same issues Tanya wrestles with in her own life.

The Imperial Wife asks what female ambition means, today and in the past, and whether a marriage can withstand an ambitious wife.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A smart, engaging novel…Reyn writes beautifully.”

    Jess Walter, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Reyn cleverly weaves Tanya’s story around that of young Catherine’s . Both suffer because they possess certain qualities―ambition, decisiveness, sangfroid.”


  • “Two boss women living in very different time periods…are connected through the ages by their shared obsession with a priceless piece of royal bling.”


  • “[An] ingeniously structured novel that travels between a present-day art specialist handling the biggest sale of her career and the 18th-century court life…Catherine the Great.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • "[Reyn] is a master of creating realistic and nuanced female characters.”

    Washington Post

  • “Narrator Karen Peakes effectively balances Reyn’s two subplots…Peakes slips easily into the voice of Tanya…[and] just as easily slips into the historical narrative of young Catherine the Great…An unexpected twist brings the two stories together into a satisfying ending.”


  • “The dual narratives make for an imaginative, thrilling, and exquisite novel.”

    Kaui Hart Hemmings, author of Juniors

  • An O Magazine Pick of Reading Room Top 10
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About the Author

Irina Reyn is an author of What Happened to Anna K, Living on the Edge of the World, The Imperial Wife. She teaches fiction writing at the University of Pittsburgh and has reviewed books for Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Publishers Weekly, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, and other publications. She was formerly the books editor for the online magazine Killing the Buddha.

About the Narrator

Karen Peakes is a narrator and an actress who works primarily on stage in theaters in and around Philadelphia. She has also worked with the Folger Theatre in Washington, DC, and can be heard in several of the Folger’s audio recordings of Shakespeare plays.