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Extended Audio Sample The Kids Are All Right, by Amanda Welch, Dan Welch, Diana Welch, Liz Welch Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,666 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Amanda Welch, Dan Welch, Diana Welch, Liz Welch Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“Perfect is boring.”

Well, 1983 certainly wasn’t boring for the Welch family. Somehow, between their handsome father’s mysterious death, their glamorous soap-opera-star mother’s cancer diagnosis, and a phalanx of lawyers intent on bankruptcy proceedings, the four Welch siblings managed to handle each new heartbreaking misfortune in the same way they dealt with the unexpected arrival of the forgotten-about Chilean exchange student–together.

All that changed with the death of their mother. While nineteen-year-old Amanda was legally on her own, the three younger siblings–Liz, sixteen; Dan, fourteen; and Diana, eight–were each dispatched to a different set of family friends. Quick-witted and sharp-tongued, Amanda headed for college in New York City and immersed herself in an ’80s world of alternative music and drugs. Liz, living with the couple for whom she babysat, followed in Amanda’s footsteps until high school graduation when she took a job in Norway as a nanny. Mischievous, rebellious Dan, bounced from guardian to boarding school and back again, getting deeper into trouble and drugs. And Diana, the red-haired baby of the family, was given a new life and identity and told to forget her past. But Diana’s siblings refused to forget her–or let her go.

Told in the alternating voices of the four siblings, their poignant, harrowing story of un­breakable bonds unfolds with ferocious emotion. Despite the Welch children’s wrenching loss and subsequent separation, they retained the resilience and humor that both their mother and father endowed them with–growing up as lost souls, taking disastrous turns along the way, but eventually coming out right side up. The kids are not only all right; they’re back together.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Well-crafted and beautifully written, not to mention tremendously engrossing and moving. I couldn’t put it down and came to love and respect every member of this singular family.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “A blisteringly funny, heart-scorching tale of remarkable kids shattered by tragedy and finally brought back together by love.”


  • “After the suspicious demise of dad and loss of mom to cancer, the orphaned Welch children were split up; now grown, and in rocking chorus, Diana, Liz, Amanda, and Dan Welch explain how in the world The Kids Are All Right.”

    Vanity Fair

  • “A brutally honest book that captures the journey of four people too young to face the challenged they nevertheless had to face.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “This frank, wry, aching memoir…will leave readers musing over memory’s slippery nature; the imperfect, enduring bonds of family; and the human heart’s remarkable resilience.”


  • “The Welch family’s multivocal story is impossible to put down. I read The Kids Are All Right with awe at the resilience and hope a family can manage in the aftermath of unthinkable loss. The intelligence and strength of the Welch kids confirmed my belief that anything is possible when brothers and sisters come out of tragedy together.”

    Danielle Trussoni, author of Falling Through the Earth

  • “Told with humor, compassion, and humility, and teeming with priceless 80s references, this story of parentless children learning to parent each other grabbed hold of my heart (and attention) and refused to let go. Don’t start reading The Kids Are All Right, as I did, at 10 p.m., or you’ll lose a night of sleep.”

    Heidi Julavits, author of The Uses of Enchantment

  • The Kids Are All Right—ingenious, heartfelt, prismatic—is funny and painful in its chronicling of how the chaos of ‘normal’ childhood can transform into something frighteningly free-form. Here, despite the milieu of privilege (and sometimes because of it), there is hardly the thinnest of buffers as reality at large begins its assault. Each member of this wry, self-deprecating gang recounts his or her story of survival in a way that bumps up against, amplifies, harmonizes with, and even contradicts the others’. Theirs is the fierce and complex love of siblings, and their clear-eyed choral storytelling is a revelation.”

    Daphne Beal, author of In the Land of No Right Angles

  • Winner of the 2010 YALSA Alex Award
  • A 2009 Salon Magazine Best Book of the Year

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Amanda | 2/11/2014

    " I liked this one a lot, but I wasn't crazy about how they handled the rotating narration. A bit confusing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jodi | 2/11/2014

    " a damn fine memoir. damn fine, i tell ya. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Jennifer | 2/6/2014

    " I liked the family in this book and their strength as they lived through some tragic times. I also liked the 80's references. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Michael Ferguson | 2/6/2014

    " Interesting memoir, worth the read. Good storytelling. "

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