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Download The Light in the Piazza Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Light in the Piazza, by Elizabeth Spencer Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (83 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elizabeth Spencer Narrator: Hillary Huber Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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The Light in the Piazza takes place in Italy in the summer of 1953. Margaret Johnson and her beautiful, twenty-six-year-old daughter, Clara, are touring the Tuscan countryside. While sightseeing, Clara meets a good-looking young Italian man, Fabrizio, and quickly embarks on a whirlwind romance with him, despite her mother’s stern disapproval.

Margaret, extremely protective of her daughter, attempts to keep Clara and Fabrizio apart, not only because of the cultural differences between the young lovers but also because of a family secret that would be revealed: Clara is not quite all that she appears. Considering whether to inform Fabrizio and his family of the truth about Clara, Margaret realizes that it could possibly spoil her daughter’s one true chance for happiness.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Hilary Huber peoples the story with a sympathetic international cast of characters and keeps the morally murky proceedings somehow as light as the title…This production is a delight.”


  • “It was more than Italy’s light which affected Spencer’s work; the focus of her writing changed while she was there…In writing about Italy, Spencer began to place female protagonists at the forefront. Italy also challenged her to rethink what it meant to be ‘southern.’”

    Robert Phillips, author and critic

  • “Margaret’s poignant attachment to Clara…is symptomatic of the gaps in her own romantic life, as her marriage to a cigarette company executive has grown as stale to her as Italy comes to seem throbbingly alive.”

    Washington Post

  • “Spencer understood that American innocence can be every bit as morally dubious as European sophistication, and a melodrama of black and white is avoided by the grayness of both sides.”

    Los Angeles Times

  • “Perhaps [Spencer’s] most triumphantly Jamesian contrast of American and European manners and morals.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • New York Times Bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Marie | 8/7/2013

    " a cute read... although Mr. Niccorelli is rather creepy in my opinion. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Samantha | 5/15/2013

    " Short stories about Southerners in Italy. I think Elizabeth Spencer would be my best friend. Intriguing reading up to this point. Loving every minute. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Emily | 5/13/2013

    " I want to revisit this one again someday! I read most of the stories in this collection. My favorite was "The Light in the Piazza." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Bebop2 | 1/1/2013

    " Three stars for Light in the Piazza and Knights and Dragons. Four stars for The Cousins. "

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About the Author

Elizabeth Spencer was born in Mississippi in 1921. Her first book, Fire in the Morning, was published in 1948, but it was the publication of The Light in the Piazza in 1960 that brought her widespread acclaim, becoming a New York Times bestseller and the basis of a major motion picture. Her writing is distinguished by fine craftsmanship and intense plotting that reveals the essential nature of the characters. She is a five-time recipient of the O. Henry Award for short fiction. She lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.