Download We Were Strangers Once Audiobook

We Were Strangers Once Audiobook, by Betsy Carter Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Betsy Carter Narrator: Suzanne Toren Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: September 2017 ISBN: 9781478916574
3.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 53.67 out of 5 3.67 (1 ratings) (rate this audio book)
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For readers of The Nightingale and Brooklyn, an exquisitely moving novel about friendship, love, and redemption in a circle of immigrants who flee Europe for 1930s-era New York City.

On the eve of World War II Egon Schneider--a gallant and successful Jewish doctor, son of two world-famous naturalists--escapes Germany to an uncertain future across the sea. Settling into the unfamiliar rhythms of upper Manhattan, he finds solace among a tight-knit group of fellow immigrants, tenacious men and women drawn together as much by their differences as by their memories of the world they left behind.

They each suffer degradations and triumphs large and small: Egon's terminally acerbic lifelong friend, bestselling author Meyer Leavitt, now wears a sandwich board on a New York street corner; Catrina Harty, the headstrong daughter of a dirt-poor Irish trolley driver, survives heartbreak and loss to forge an unlikely alliance; and Egon himself is forced to abandon his thriving medical practice to become the "Cheese Man" at a Washington Heights grocery. But their spirits remain unbroken, and when their little community is faced with an existential threat, these strangers rise up together in hopes of creating a permanent home. With her uncanny ability to create indelible characters in unforgettable circumstances, Betsy Carter has crafted a gorgeous novel that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt adrift and longed for home. Download and start listening now!


Quotes & Awards

  • Moving and intensely personal, this subtle novel of the immigrant experience in 1940s Manhattan boasts impressive and varied character development... There are multiple read-alikes here: Kristin Hannah's The Nightingale (2015) for Carter's lovely writing style and the pathos in her story; Dinaw Mengestu's The Beautiful Things That Heaven Bears (2007) for Carter's evocation of the poverty and yearning to belong that are so often the immigrant's lot; and Natasha Solomons' Mr. Rosenblum Dreams (2010) for Carter's endearing characters with their unbridled determination and positive attitude. A memorable, important, and insightful novel. Booklist, starred review
  • "This is a gorgeous, heartbreaking book... beautiful in its characters' resilience and reminders of the contributions immigrants have made to this country... Carter has created a vivid world... Their stories are unique and distinctive, and yet their struggles feel familiar. Could this be required reading for anyone who seeks to keep refugees out of this country? Historical Novels Review
  • The sights, the sounds, the fears, the disappointments, the hopes, the triumphs and the passion of a group of people are so real, readers will believe they are their friends and neighbors. RT Reviews
  • “Betsy Carter’s warm and beautiful prose brings us love, tragedy, mystery, and hope.”

    Amy Bloom, New York Times bestselling author

  • In this sharply observed historical novel, a web of friendships connect German Jews in pre-Hitler Germany after they emigrate to America. In their complex relationships and struggles both emotional and cultural, we are given insight into life at its most resilient and joyous. An important book to remind us of the humanity in the current wave of immigrants, and how much they have to offer us. Alice LaPlante, New York Times bestselling author of Turn of Mind
  • "Betsy Carter's warm and beautiful prose brings us love, tragedy, mystery and hope in a moving celebration of America and the people who have come to it. Amy Bloom, New York Times bestselling author of Lucky Us and Away
  • I was carried through We Were Strangers Once by a story as swiftly paced affecting as the events that deposit its characters on wartime American shores. I believed in this desperate flotsam of immigrant souls, drawn with keen historical accuracy, humor, and a lackmaker's eye for detail. I didn't want to leave these benighted, unlikely lovers. Imagine: A literate, deft and moving binge read. Gerri Hirshey, author of Not Pretty Enough: The Unlikely Triumph of Helen Gurley Brown

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About the Author

Betsy Carter is the daughter of German immigrants and the author of the novels Swim to Me, The Orange Blossom Special, and The Puzzle King, as well as her memoir, Nothing to Fall Back On.

About the Narrator

Suzanne Toren, award-winning narrator, has over thirty years of experience in narration. She was named a “Golden Voice” by AudioFile magazine in 2019. She has won the American Foundation for the Blind’s Scourby Award for Narrator of the Year, AudioFile magazine named her the 2009 Best Voice in Nonfiction & Culture, and she is the recipient of multiple Earphones Awards. She performs on and off Broadway and in regional theaters and has appeared on Law & Order and in various soap operas.