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Extended Audio Sample The Life before Her Eyes Audiobook, by Laura Kasischke Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.1 out of 53.1 out of 53.1 out of 53.1 out of 53.1 out of 5 3.10 (30 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Laura Kasischke Narrator: Carrington MacDuffie Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2007 ISBN: 9781455187515
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Diana stands before the mirror, preening with her best friend, Maureen. Suddenly, a classmate enters holding a gun, and seventeen-year-old Diana sees her life dance before her eyes. In a moment, the future she was just imagining is sealed by a horrific decision she is forced to make.

The novel takes us through Diana’s uncertain steps into womanhood—her awkward, heated forays into sex; her fresh, fragile construction of an identity; and her equally tenuous steps as an adult, protecting her beloved daughter and holding onto her successful husband.

Laura Kasischke has crafted a story of consciousness that encompasses the truth of a teenager’s world and the profound transformation of that world at midlife. Resonant and deeply stirring, this novel finds piercing beauty in the midst of a nightmare that echoes like a dirge beneath each new spring.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A novel that takes on deep matters of life and death; conscience and consciousness; family, love and friendship.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Mesmerizing.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Hauntingly original…A tour de force.”

    O, The Oprah Magazine

  • “Potent and poetic storytelling. Most magical.”

    Elle

  • “The combination of writer and narrator sucks us in. The story itself makes quick shifts back and forth over a twenty-year time span...MacDuffie handles the transitions with surprising ease.”

    AudioFile

  • “Kasischke...writes prose that is dreamy and lyrical. This is one book you won’t want to put down. Highly recommended for all popular fiction collections.”

    Library Journal

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marie Gentilcore | 2/12/2014

    " I was disappointed. This story of a 40-something woman recollecting a life-changing event in her teens had great promise, but I finished the book feeling unsatisfied. To me, the book started with a bang, was intriguing for the first two-thirds of the book, and then the last third fizzled out as it got to the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jessie | 1/29/2014

    " Found it disappointing, didn't catch my attention as I thought that it would have "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Holly | 1/21/2014

    " Interesting premise but I found it disappointing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erin | 1/16/2014

    " I'm still not sure how I feel about this book. I think I liked it...I know I didn't dislike it. Definitely well-written and an interesting read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Suzanne (suz&mark) | 1/10/2014

    " I didnt care for this at all. I cant believe I stuck with it to finish it. The writing was too flowery and I kept waiting for something to happen and when I got to the end, there was a twist to it, but it was way too confusing for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Becky | 1/2/2014

    " The Life Before Her Eyes was so interestingly written. It is such a heartbreaking story in so many ways. You see a girls dreams falling apart, the terror of a high school shooting, and the sacrificial love of friendship. Kasischke makes the reader feel the characters' emotions. Loved this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lynn | 12/25/2013

    " Fool me once, shame on your...fool me twice, shame on me. I, again, picked up this book because the movie trailer seemed so intriguing. Jumping right into the midst of a school shooting, the story then jumps back and forth between young high school Diana and thirty something mother Diana. The passages are sometimes confusing and seem to be stream of consciousness, which I wasn't paying close enough attention to. I'm sure there is a really great book somewhere in here and maybe I was rushing through it too much, trying to figure out more information and resolution with the school shooting. But I'm not quite sure I understand the ending...let's hope the movie does a better job explaining! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Michael | 12/12/2013

    " well written, but I didn't feel that the book/author had anything to say, and the story itself, especially with the ending, disappoints =/ "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julianne Winegardner | 12/11/2013

    " Must read this novel before the movie comes out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Christy English | 11/23/2013

    " I love this author's prose style. She is worth a read..interesting twists and questions left unanswered...I like that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nadine | 11/12/2013

    " This book is very hard to put down and I think it was definitely a worthwhile read, but the ending left me feeling a bit let down, as if something was missing. Still overall enjoyable. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Connie Jorgensen | 7/6/2013

    " I was confused the whole time & I still don't think I know what happened. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Michelle | 5/26/2013

    " It was okay ... but I don't get it! And it's driving me mad the more I think about it. Ugh! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Gayle | 11/25/2012

    " The thing I liked most about this book is that it did not wrap it all up in a pretty little bow at the end...who lived, who died, was the present day real or imagined? Formulate your own opinion... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 11/12/2012

    " For me this book was very hard to follow at times. It was certainly a fast read and I was excited to see what would happen next. But I found myself re-reading so many parts, just to make sense of it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 9/9/2012

    " I listened to the unabridged book on a recent car trip....Kept me captivated...and wondering what the heck was going on! A surprising and interesting conclusion...I think it's a book I will think about for a while. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barb | 8/10/2012

    " Defintely a gripping novel, interesting and pretty well written but not sure if I figured it out really. Either I read too fast or the ending was a little too ambiguous. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emily | 3/20/2012

    " Entertaining and reads like a poem, but less suspenseful than I had hoped. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Allysun | 1/25/2012

    " not such a good book. Had a good idea to it but was hard to follow at times and got lame. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Alicia | 12/30/2011

    " Two stories of one woman's life--we see her in high school, flashing back to the day when a kid brought a gun to school, and we also see her as a 40 year old mother and wife who's so happy with her perfect life but clearly losing it a little. Or is she. Whatever. B. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cristina | 12/25/2011

    " I read this a long time ago. I love Laura's books. She has a poetic way of writing. She's someone I look up to as a writer. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aliki Barnstone | 2/28/2011

    " I don't know how Laura Kasischke manages to write about dire things, like a plague (in In a Perfect World), and a school shooting in this book, and still engage the reader in the beauty of the world, and somehow find redemption. Kasischke's writing is absolutely stunning. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Connie | 1/19/2011

    " I was confused the whole time & I still don't think I know what happened. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michelle | 9/10/2010

    " Beautifully written and haunting. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anna | 9/1/2010

    " Amazing, amazing book. I wish I could write one tenth as beautifully. Nothing further to say apart from that everyone should read it. Seriously. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Barb | 5/11/2010

    " Defintely a gripping novel, interesting and pretty well written but not sure if I figured it out really. Either I read too fast or the ending was a little too ambiguous. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Nicole | 4/26/2010

    " Didn't like this book too much. I found myself seriously skimming paragraphs because I got impatient with the plot. I also got annoyed as I felt the novel building to a conclusion which took too long to get there. This would have made for a better short story instead of a novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amy | 3/12/2010

    " Not the best by this author, but enjoyable enough. A fast read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Amanda | 2/17/2010

    " Maybe it's because I saw the movie first... but the book but just not nearly as thought provoking. I really loved the movie even though it got bad reviews as well so I thought the book would have more to offer but I was disappointed. Still worth reading but see the movie. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 2/5/2010

    " very poetic author. visually descriptive style. the entire book is like a dream remembered, bits and pieces at a time left up to the readers interpretation. interesting style of writing. "

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About the Author
Author Laura Kasischke

Laura Kasischke is the author of a number of novels and collections of poetry. Her numerous awards include the Alice Fay Di Castagnola Award from the Poetry Society of America and the Bobst Award for Emerging Writers. She lives in Chelsea, Michigan.

About the Narrator

Carrington MacDuffie is a voice actor and recording artist who has narrated over two hundred audiobooks, received numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards, and has been a frequent finalist for the Audie Award, including for her original audiobook, Many Things Invisible. Alongside her narration work, she has released a new album of original songs, Only an Angel.