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Extended Audio Sample The Letters: A Novel Audiobook, by Luanne Rice Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (693 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Luanne Rice, Joseph Monninger Narrator: Joseph Monninger, Donna Rawlins, Bruce Turk Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2008 ISBN: 9780739376607
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Sam and Hadley West are both trying to survive a shared, unthinkable loss. For Sam, a sports journalist, acceptance means an arduous trek by dogsled across the Alaskan wilderness. For Hadley, it means renting a benignly haunted, salt-soaked cottage off the Maine coast, where she begins to paint again. Waiting for their divorce to be finalized, they begin to exchange letters, filled with longing and truths they’ve never before voiced, as they recall their marriage—its magic moments and its challenges—and rediscover the reason they fell in love in the first place.

In this remarkable collaboration, acclaimed writers Luanne Rice and Joseph Monninger combine their unique talents to create, through a series of searching, intimate letters, a powerful novel of an estranged husband and wife—and the moment that changed the course of their lives forever.

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Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathy | 2/17/2014

    " Good book. Such intense, raw emotions. I finished the book in one afternoon "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lizzy | 2/17/2014

    " I couldn't force myself to read past the first two chapters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie | 2/13/2014

    " enjoyed this book. i love any books where there are letters to read. a portion of it was very sad. so worth the read though.... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Katy | 2/4/2014

    " Rice is my "turn to" author. I know I will find a story I like. The Letters are a series of letters between an estranged couple who are coming to terms with their son's death. As they correspond, they come to terms with their past, who their son was, and who he turned out to be. Affirmation is a great thing in any relationship. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori | 1/31/2014

    " Slow at first. I thought this was going to boring because the first few letters were sent in batches from the man, using a lot of exposition about his trip to the Antartic. However, as response letters from the woman come in, a drama about their relationship begins to unfold. We start to understand more about their lives, the events that brought them to decide divorce--the drinking, the affair, the abandonment--all to avoid dealing with the pain of losing their son. In the end, we can see how writing to one another has provided a therapy that heals their wounds, something that otherwise could not have been achieved. I suspect that Luanne Rice and Joseph Monninger wrote this book much in the way that it is read. In letters. And we can hear the distinct voices of each writer clearly. A great book for a relaxing day at the beach. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Krystal | 1/26/2014

    " I thought this would have more romance than sadness. A good light read for the winter, but be prepared, it's content and context of the novel is sad to say the least. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tara | 1/22/2014

    " This book was a different take on telling a story. I enjoyed it very much. Definitely a book I think should be read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jessica Fuss | 1/20/2014

    " I really liked this book. It's in letter format, thus the title. The letters are from husband and wife. They lost their son in a plane crash in alaska. Since the loss they have not known how to go on, in life and with each other. The husband is trekking across alaska to find solace in seeing where his son died. The wife is spending a winter in a beach cottage. Writing letters is how they learn to communicate again. It's a quick read. More of a "married person who's ever gone through any kind of large marital trial" kind of read. I found it touching and engaging. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allyson | 1/17/2014

    " I love this author too! This book is all letters between a husband and wife that are about to divorce after their 20 yr. old son dies in a plane crash. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Jamie Nichols | 12/31/2013

    " I had to listen to this book while on a day trip to San Diego. I did not enjoy the self obsessed parents who were unable to find joy in life due to their lack of respect for the after life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 12/30/2013

    " It was easy to follow and you could feel the heartbreak and emotions that this couple was enduring. I would recommend this book to anyone who has compassion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nea Antoinette | 12/29/2013

    " A beautiful love story told in a way I couldn't have imagined. The book was a fast read and I enjoyed every part of it - the love, the rage, the confusion, the anguish, the losses and the triumphs. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracy | 12/27/2013

    " Hard for me to get into but I finished it because of the 2 reviews of excellent in the back of the book. I didn't think it was that good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Elaine Amato | 11/27/2013

    " I tried to enter this book before but I said the author was Anne Rice instead of Luanne. I learned a lot about sled dogs. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barb | 11/19/2013

    " A beautiful book. Very touching. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cmccann | 11/19/2013

    " Absolutely loved it ---- such insights into the grieving process and renewal of love. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amandaemata | 8/30/2013

    " What am interesting way to tell a story about love - undying love. This booked sucked me in immediately and is a quick read! It's just under 200 pages. I would recommend it to anyone. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Bonnie | 8/17/2013

    " Picked this up at the library while I was waiting for 3 and 4 in the Twilight series. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Gabrielle | 3/8/2013

    " This book is an amazing story. Its about this couple that split up but come back together over the death of there son. The right letters back in forth and from those letters they realize that they still love each other. Its a beautiful little story that you can finish and enjoy in an afternoon. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Isabella | 2/3/2013

    " I would read this book again. The story is very touching. The letters really bring you into the characters' lives. Well written. Great collaboration. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melissa | 1/9/2013

    " Having just finished and enjoyed Eternal on the Water, I decided to give this collaboration a try. I know I would have liked it more if I had read it (the male reader's delivery was annoying), but the book took a turn at the end that was ridiculous. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 10/20/2012

    " A quick read done in letters which is a form I normally enjoy. It was supposed to be a tear-jerker but it never quite got me there. The story of a couple seeking closure and solace after their son's death in a plane crash...this was good but not spectacular. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rachel Puckett | 8/25/2012

    " This is absolutely one of the greatest novels I have read. As a grieving mother, I highly recommend this book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laura | 6/3/2012

    " Wow. This book is excellent. Read it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Isabel Mansfield | 2/18/2012

    " I liked this book it was well written and easy to read.I recommend it as light reading "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Deedee | 7/23/2011

    " I am a true Luanne Rice fan. This book is not a typical Rice novel. It took a while to get into, but I found I enjoyed the book. I finished reading it a couple of weeks ago and I find that it still pops into my thoughts occasionally. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cheryl | 5/5/2011

    " Found it an interesting way to write a book......loved the story and began to feel Sam and Hadley's pain in the loss of their son. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Krystal | 4/11/2011

    " I thought this would have more romance than sadness. A good light read for the winter, but be prepared, it's content and context of the novel is sad to say the least. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 4/5/2011

    " This was a good book. Different format than I'm used to but I really enjoyed it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Elsie | 3/10/2011

    " That we have lost the ability to communicate with the written word is so sad and leaves us anable to voice those deepest thoughts that take a while to express. We should all go back to writing letters to those who matter most to us. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jan | 2/21/2011

    " Maybe I half liked this book as I read it next to the pool in Hawaii. It did make me glad that I will be seeing both of my kids in 5 dyas. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Karen | 10/2/2010

    " This is a very different kind of love story. I liked it, but didn't love it. I wanted to feel more about this couple. Their pain of losing a son was evident, but the book is told in a series of letters sent back and forth and emotion imo was lacking "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allyson | 12/18/2009

    " I love this author too! This book is all letters between a husband and wife that are about to divorce after their 20 yr. old son dies in a plane crash. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Amy | 12/2/2009

    " ONe of my favorite books in the last five years. Honest "voices" as each author write one half of the couple. It was moving, and sad, and bittersweet. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Susan | 11/2/2009

    " I loved this book. I liked the format of two people talking back and forth through letters.It was interesting how issues were resolved and feelings communicated behind the safety of a letter, as opposed to face-to-face. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracy | 9/29/2009

    " Hard for me to get into but I finished it because of the 2 reviews of excellent in the back of the book. I didn't think it was that good. "

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About the Author
Author Luanne Rice

Luanne Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of thirty novels. Many of her novels, including Crazy in Love, Blue Moon, Beach Girls, and Silver Bells have been made into movies for television. Rice’s short stories, essays, and articles have been widely published in magazines and newspapers. “A Kiss after Dying,” Rice’s account of a Connecticut murder trial very personal to her family, kicked off Glamour magazine’s series of true crime pieces. She received an honorary degree from Connecticut College in 2002, and the school’s special collections library contains a collection bearing her name. She currently divides her time between New York City and Southern California.

About the Narrators

Joseph Monninger has published several award-winning young adult novels and three books of nonfiction, including the memoir Home Waters. He has been awarded two grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and lives and teaches in New Hampshire, where he also runs a dogsled team.

Donna Rawlins has voiced countless projects, from commercial campaigns as the voice of United Airlines, Macy’s, AVIVA, and Suzuki, to anime, as the character BT on .hack//Sign, as well as myriad storytelling narratives. Also a singer-songwriter, her television credits include The Shield, Dawson’s Creek, The Unit, and the film Mr. Woodcock. She is based in Los Angeles.

Bruce Turk is an actor who has appeared in television series such as Numb3rs, ER, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, and Third Watch. Also a narrator, he has read numerous audiobooks, including Easy Money by Jens Lapidus and The Good Father by Noah Hawley.