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Download The Mineral Palace: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Mineral Palace: A Novel, by Heidi Julavits Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (230 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Heidi Julavits Narrator: Susan Ericksen Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In a bold debut novel of the Great Depression, a young dosctor's wife uncovers the sordid secrets of a withering Colorado mining town, even as she struggles with the ravaging truths about her marriage and her child. In the drought-ridden spring of 1934, Bena Jonnsen, her husband Ted, and their newborn baby relocate from their home in Minnesota to Pueblo, a Western plains town plagued by suffocating dust storms and equally suffocating social structures. Little can thrive in this bleak environment, neither Bena and Ted's marriage nor the baby, whom Bena believes - despite her husband's constant assurances - is slipping away from her. To distract herself from worrying, Bena accepts a part-time position at Pueblo's daily newspaper, The Chieftain, reporting on the "good works' of the town's elite Ladies' Club leaders, women such as Reimer Lee Jackson and her plans to restore the town's crumbling monument tot he mining industry - the Mineral Palace - to its turn-of-the-century grandeur. Bena is drawn to the Mineral Palace and to the lurid hallways of Pueblo's brothel, befriending a prostitute, Maude, and Red, a reticent cowpoke. Through these new emotional entanglements, Bena slowly exposes not only the sexual corruption on which the entire town is founded, but also the lies enclosing her own marriage and the sanctity of motherhood. She returns again and again to the decaying architecture of the Mineral Palace; within its eroding walls she is forced to confront her most terrifying secret, which becomes her only means for salvation. With her gritty and magical prose, Heidi Julavits elegantly examines the darker side of paternity and maternity, as well as the intersection of parental love and merciful destruction. The Mineral Palace is a startling and authentic story of survival in a world of decadence and depravity. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Erinkate | 1/30/2014

    " I generally adore what Julavits does with character and structure, but the dark and painful nature of this book make it hard for me to finish. And when I did, I felt a little raw, like I'd just lost a scab. The writing itself, the craft, of course, was lovely. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sherry | 1/29/2014

    " I loved this book. I picked it up not knowing what to expect, didn't read the dust jacket and just jumped into it. After getting into it a little bit, I did read the dust jacket and learned that it was the authors first book. Wow! What an amazing talent. I was mesmerized by the story. I will be looking for more books by this author. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Sarah | 12/24/2013

    " Bena is the female representative of settling for less and wanting so much more than a women of that time (perhaps, any time period) can have. She is plagued with boredom, isolation, temptation, and stereotypes that mean to keep her in her place and to prevent her from mixing with people that society deems beneath her. And so, like the moth to a flame, she is drawn to what is forbidden and dangerous. It is Bena's internal questions and external behaviors that fascinated me and has kept her in my memory. Yes, it is a sad and depressing story that takes place in a sad and depressing time and town. But, I believe this struggle, perhaps uniquely female struggle (ie Madame Bovary) will continue to be relevant until it has been replaced in our minds with a new struggle. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by ilana stern | 12/20/2013

    " i dont know... 1/2 way done and debating whether or not i should put it down. i like her. sorta. maybe i just like the way she looks, but not how she writes. to be honest... "

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