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Extended Audio Sample The Light of Evening Audiobook, by Edna O’Brien Click for printable size audiobook cover
2.81 out of 52.81 out of 52.81 out of 52.81 out of 52.81 out of 5 2.81 (36 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Edna O’Brien Narrator: Dearbhla Molloy Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2006 ISBN: 9781482976632
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From her hospital bed in Dublin, the elderly Dilly awaits the visit of her daughter, Eleanora, from London. The epochs of her life pass before her; she also retraces Eleanora’s precipitate marriage to a foreigner, which alienated mother and daughter, and Dilly's heart rending letters sent over the years in a determination to reclaim her daughter. But Eleanora’s visit does not prove to be the glad reunion Dilly prayed for. And in her hasty departure, Eleanora leaves behind a secret journal of their stormy relationship—a revelation that brings the novel to a shocking close. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A book supple with mature power and feeling, where a delicate everyday, even humorous love between mother and daughter is revealed as the grandest of passions.”

    Nuala O’Faolain

  • “Lush with portent, alive with Irish lore and sprinkled with autobiographical elements.”

    Winnipeg Free Press

  • “Graceful, bittersweet new novel about the ache of maternal love…one of Ireland’s finest novelists…She manages to touch on life’s most complex and painful issues in ways that are both deft and tender.”

    The Telegram

  • “O’Brien meditates with haunting lyricism on the lure of home and the compulsion to leave…The award-winning [author] evokes the cruelty of estrangement while allowing her characters to remain sympathetic and giving them real voice.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “O’Brien’s poetic language is delightful…Molloy’s narration is a welcome aid. The heavy brogue she falls into whenever she’s speaking in the mother or grandmother’s voice provides clear character differentiation for the listener.”

    AudioFile

  • “Speaking specifically to mother-daughter relationships, this poignant novel also explores the larger issue of the Irish American consciousness: why Irishmen and Irishwomen came to America, what they did here, and why many returned home.”

    Booklist

  • “A novel of powerful, complicated emotions and rapturous writing.”

    Kirkus

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 A. Mary Murphy | 2/18/2014

    " This is an extremely layered story, full of many cultural markers and recognizable O'Brien staples, yet somehow quite different from her novels and short stories I've read. It isn't a happy story. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Judith Yeabsley | 2/14/2014

    " This was one of the most boring books I have ever read. I could not wait for it to be over but almost groaned every time I picked it up. The only redeeming part was a section set in New York in the early 1900's. The characters were odd and the plot meandering and pointless. The sections with the daughter were the most tedious as the author went into long, literary monologues to prove she was well read ?!?!!??! Would avoid her other books like a Danielle Steel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hilary | 2/9/2014

    " The style of writing in very flowery, but I found this book jumped around a lot and was difficult to follow and also very depressing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shari | 2/6/2014

    " Reading Edna O'Brien's latest novel was sort of like reading a cross between James Joyce -- I definitely noticed his influence here -- and Alice Munro, and maybe a little Virginia Woolf, too. I wish I remembered more of The House of Splendid Isolation, which I read in 2000. Reading this was a lovely yet somewhat devastating experience, but then, I read about mothers and daughters differently now. The story centers around Dilly, a woman dying from ovarian cancer, and Eleanora, her daughter. Eleanora is a writer with a scandalous personal life, and her relationship with her mother is, predictably, often strained. Her final visit to her mother's bedside doesn't provide the closure her mother hopes for; instead, it opens new wounds and much is left unsaid. O'Brien takes us through Dilly's life and experiences as a young Irish woman living in New York City in the 1920's to Eleanora's adult life. It is a heartbreaking yet somehow lovely and familiar account of all the ways in which we lose each other. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Paige Bennett | 2/3/2014

    " Just not my kind of a read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane Riley | 1/23/2014

    " This is a book about a complicated relationship between a conservative irish Catholic mother and her wild slightly messed up daughter. I bought it at my favorite book store in Kinsale Ireland . It's set in Ireland and written by an Irish author. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Ta | 1/20/2014

    " a rather depressing read and a bit confusing as to who was the narrator in some parts. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Debra | 1/10/2014

    " the premise was okay on this book, but the flow of the story was really hard to follow. I kept getting lost, and re-reading chapters to try to figure out how it fit together. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 11/7/2013

    " The story unfolds through three generations of women in an Irish family that is struggling to escape poverty and the limitations of their lives. Lots of mother-daughter angst. Rich plotting for a story told largely through correspondence. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 11/3/2013

    " A moving account of a mother's life, a daughter's life and their relationship. Edna O'Brien is a brilliant wordsmith; the prologue is a one-page masterpiece. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Thom Dunn | 8/26/2013

    " Ashamed to say I couldn't make clear sense of it. Some terrible conflict going on in the daughter with respect to her mother's old homestead...but the why of it is not clear. It is my hope that other readers of this very Irish novel can explain to me what it is I missed. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Chris | 7/5/2013

    " Tragic lives and hopes dashed, told through the interwoven stories of mother and daughter. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Jenny Gutwein | 6/23/2013

    " Honestly, this book did not keep my interest & therefore was hard to understand. -J "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 4/2/2013

    " the language is gorgeous; the narrative, which switches back and forth over several decades and between mother and daughter, is often confusing, but nonetheless I found myself captivated by the book (probably not for everyone---she's written many better novels). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deb | 12/28/2012

    " Okay - sad. Saving grace was memorable letters from a mom to her daughter in last chapter. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Chandra | 11/9/2012

    " Tough read. Irish brogue. It is a good book if you can get past that. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 10/13/2012

    " This book affected me more deeply than anything I have read in a long time, with its beautiful account of the complicated relationship of a mother and her daughter. Edna O'Brien is a writer for the ages. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kimberly | 7/15/2012

    " I couldn't get into this book. I read the first several chapters and gave up because there wasn't anything to draw me in to the characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kamile | 4/19/2012

    " Not an overly exciting read, but it has quite a few good thoughts about life, family, death, home, etc. I wouldn't read it again though, just not one of those books. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diane | 4/14/2012

    " Didn't enjoy this too much.... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Bettie | 11/9/2011

    " Portrait of a mother-daughter relationship read by Tina Kellegher. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Macy | 6/30/2011

    " O'Brien's language is beautiful but the book was a bit hard to follow. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Don | 5/1/2011

    " Takes awhile to get used to the prose of O'Brien, but eventually it tends to make the novel much more poetic. Provides glimpses of immigrant life and insight into the strain of mother-daughter (parent-child) relationships. Good read, more here "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 5/1/2011

    " The story unfolds through three generations of women in an Irish family that is struggling to escape poverty and the limitations of their lives. Lots of mother-daughter angst. Rich plotting for a story told largely through correspondence. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Marie | 3/24/2011

    " I think Edna o Brien is a superb writer....any of her books "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Deb | 11/3/2010

    " Okay - sad. Saving grace was memorable letters from a mom to her daughter in last chapter. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Debra | 6/27/2010

    " the premise was okay on this book, but the flow of the story was really hard to follow. I kept getting lost, and re-reading chapters to try to figure out how it fit together. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Laura | 5/18/2010

    " I'm still cogitating on this one. Veering between 3.5 and 4 stars. It was beautifully written, and the beginning and end were awesome, but the middle was a little flat for me.

    Also, I think you need to veg on this one for awhile to figure everything out. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Hilary | 5/9/2010

    " The style of writing in very flowery, but I found this book jumped around a lot and was difficult to follow and also very depressing. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kimberly | 5/1/2010

    " I couldn't get into this book. I read the first several chapters and gave up because there wasn't anything to draw me in to the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carol | 4/30/2010

    " the language is gorgeous; the narrative, which switches back and forth over several decades and between mother and daughter, is often confusing, but nonetheless I found myself captivated by the book (probably not for everyone---she's written many better novels). "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Diane | 4/28/2010

    " Didn't enjoy this too much.... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Joan | 4/20/2010

    " A moving account of a mother's life, a daughter's life and their relationship. Edna O'Brien is a brilliant wordsmith; the prologue is a one-page masterpiece. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 DaisyChains | 8/27/2009

    " I enjoyed this and found it moving in parts, but I was left strangely dissatisfied at the end - which might have been the point, I suppose?! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jane | 3/13/2009

    " This is a book about a complicated relationship between a conservative irish Catholic mother and her wild slightly messed up daughter. I bought it at my favorite book store in Kinsale Ireland . It's set in Ireland and written by an Irish author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Macy | 3/2/2009

    " O'Brien's language is beautiful but the book was a bit hard to follow. "

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About the Author
Author Edna O’Brien

Edna O’Brien has authored over fifteen novels, including Wild Decembers and In the Forest. She was the winner of the prestigious 2011 Frank O’Connor Short Story Award.

About the Narrator

Dearbhla Molloy is an actress and narrator and was nominated for Broadway’s 1992 Tony Award as Best Actress for Brian Friel’s Dancing at Lughnasa. On television she has appeared in Foyle’s War, Waking the Dead, Midsomer Murders, Holby City, and New Tricks.