Download The Magnificent Esme Wells: A Novel Audiobook

The Magnificent Esme Wells: A Novel Audiobook, by Adrienne Sharp Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Adrienne Sharp Narrator: Saskia Maarleveld Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2018 ISBN: 9780062799234
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From the nationally bestselling author of The True Memoirs of Little K, a deeply felt and historically detailed novel of family, loss, and love, told by an irrepressible young girl—the daughter of a two-bit gangster and a movie showgirl—growing up in golden-age Hollywood and Las Vegas in its early days.

Esme Silver has always taken care of her charming ne’er-do-well father, Ike Silver, a small-time crook with dreams of making it big with Bugsy Siegel. Devoted to her daddy, Esme is often his "date" at the racetrack, where she amiably fetches the hot dogs while keeping an eye to the ground for any cast-off tickets that may be winners.

In awe of her mother, Dina Wells, Esme is more than happy to be the foil who gets the beautiful Dina into meetings and screen tests with some of Hollywood’s greats. When Ike gets an opportunity to move to Vegas—and, in what could at last be his big break, to help the man she knows as "Benny" open the Flamingo Hotel—life takes an unexpected turn for Esme. A stunner like her mother, the young girl catches the attention of Nate Stein, one of the Strip’s most powerful men.

Narrated by the twenty-year-old Esme, The Magnificent Esme Wells moves between pre–WWII Hollywood and postwar Las Vegas—a golden age when Jewish gangsters and movie moguls were often indistinguishable in looks and behavior. Esme’s voice—sharp, observant, and with a quiet, mordant wit—chronicles the rise and fall and further fall of her complicated parents, as well as her own painful reckoning with love and life. A coming-of-age story with a tinge of noir, and a tale that illuminates the promise and perils of the American dream and its dreamers, The Magnificent Esme Wells is immersive, moving, and compelling.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Adrienne Sharp brilliantly recreates the tawdry magic of twin dream machines, studio-era Hollywood and early Las Vegas, in this tale of…the scrappy, precocious Esme Wells, her go-for-broke parents, and the toll these dreams took on their dreamers.”

    Janet Fitch, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Part family drama, part coming-of-age novel, Sharp’s tale of the beginnings of Sin City has well-crafted prose with a colorful setting and unique characters.”

    RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

  • “Esme’s dramatic and irresistible story sparkles with psychological nuance, sumptuous detail, and vivid historical perceptions…Propulsive and profound.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • “This glittering noirish tragedy, with its lushly imagined period landscape and subtle feminist trajectory, is both fun to read and sad to think about.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “Sharp’s narrative is a bold and gritty portrayal of unreachable dreams, anchored by its notable depiction of Esme.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Esme is street-smart and tough but vulnerable…A memorable character in an unforgettable era.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “This lovely novel, alternately dark and funny, is a powerful examination of both the nature of love and the will to survive.”

    Ayelet Waldman, author of Love and Treasure

  • “Violent and voluptuous, heartbreaking and profound, The Magnificent Esme Wells is about the losses we endure, and the love we keep betting on, despite the odds. Truly, a showstopper.”

    Caroline Leavitt, author of Pictures of You

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About the Author

Adrienne Sharp entered the world of ballet at age seven and trained at the prestigious Harkness Ballet in New York. She received her MA with honors from the Writing Seminars at John Hopkins University, her MPW from the University of Southern California, and was awarded a Henry Hoyns Fellowship at the University of Virginia. She has been a fiction fellow at MacDowell, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, and the Squaw Valley Writers Conference.

About the Narrator

Saskia Maarleveld is an experienced voice-over actress and Earphones Award–winning narrator. Raised in New Zealand and France, she is highly skilled with accents and dialects, and many of her books have been narrated entirely in accents other than her own. In addition to audiobooks, her voice can be heard in animation, video games, and commercials.