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Extended Audio Sample The Private Lives of Pippa Lee Audiobook, by Rebecca Miller Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,522 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Rebecca Miller Narrator: Bernadette Dunne Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2015 ISBN: 9781504627030
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At age fifty, Pippa Lee seems perfectly content. The devoted wife of a successful publisher and proud mother of grown twins, a consummate hostess to the literati and an admired and trusted neighbor, her life seems to lack for nothing. But when she and her eighty-year-old husband move to a quiet retirement village, the routines and distractions that have upheld Pippa’s flawless feminine persona begin to crumble away. And under the surface, her surprisingly gritty and adventurous past is beginning to break through.

When Pippa finds herself acting out strange yearnings in her sleep, she gradually allows the voice of her lost self to come through into her consciousness, recounting a wild and reckless youth full of experimentation and heartbreak, passion and guilt. We learn how she ran away from home to escape the manic-depression of her pill-popping mother, only to fall into drugs herself among the loose New York art crowd. Leaving a trail of broken hearts and messy affairs behind her, it is only when she meets the older Herb that she discovers her longing for security and resolves to steal him from his wife in order to settle down and create a family of her own.

Written with quirky humor, intelligence and compassion, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee is a wise and acute portrait of the many lives behind a single name.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Wise and irreverent.” 

    Nick Flynn, New York Times bestselling author of Another Bullshit Night in Suck City

  • “[Miller] delves into the fraught relationships of families, particularly mothers and daughters, exploring the ways one woman deals with life’s surprises.”

    New York Times

  • “Strikingly unconventional.”

    Elle

  • “Dreamy, elegant…Miller’s astute, beautifully nuanced novel explores the unpredictable consequences of choosing to live a safe but emotionally compromised life.”

    Daily Mail (UK) 

  • “Miller is a luminous writer…Gazing into these multiple private Pippas is like opening a series of Russian dolls, each intricately wrought, self-contained, and self-revealing.”

    Observer (London)

  • “Miller stands on her own with Pippa Lee as she has with much of her previous work…One is reminded of T. S. Eliot’s play The Cocktail Party, masquerading as drawing room comedy, to lure us into deeper waters.”

    Buffalo News 

  • “Vivid, brave and experimental.”

    New York Observer

  • “Miller’s quietly devastating examination of ageing, love and loyalty is never less than compelling.”

    Psychologies

  • “Magnificent…Miller’s depiction of her title character’s tangled universe is so nuanced, so lovingly detailed, that it’s impossible not to get drawn in.”

    Nylon 

  • “[A] promising first novel…Pippa’s struggle to break the ‘chain of misunderstandings and adjustments’ that passes from parent to child is moving…The story’s held together by Miller’s sincere and intelligent protagonist.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Miller brings a simmering intelligence and verbal flair to this deft exploration of the courage required to own your own life.”

    Booklist

  • “[A] beautifully layered and subtle novel of identity…hesitatingly wise in all sorts of ways.”

    Joseph O’Connor, author 

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jessica Bell | 2/16/2014

    " A plotless page-turner! Sounds impossible? Read this and see why it's not! And just a note, her metaphors are so unique and interesting that the first time you read them they don't sound like metaphors. Then you do a double take, "Ohh, what a wonderful phrase." and you read it again, and realise how freakin talented you have to be to think of such a thing! Loved this! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Emma | 1/16/2014

    " started ok but in the end thought it was a weak story/character and a dull read "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anne | 12/31/2013

    " What an excellent read - very surprising twists and turns. Her first novel. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jane | 12/31/2013

    " Can't put this ice berg book down - you start at the tip and the story gets deeper and darker as you descend into it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Catherine | 12/16/2013

    " It's true....we live many lives. Pippa has led a few and clearly, at age fifty, has at least one more reinvention awaiting her. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Melanie | 12/12/2013

    " Great first (I believe) novel.... loved the allusions to her family (Arthur Miller, Inge Morath) and the story, too. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Lisa Hayes | 12/9/2013

    " This book became so awful, so filled with filth that I couldn't stomach it and just plain threw it into the book drop at the library. If you enjoy porn, you might enjoy this. I can't imagine anyone else enjoying it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Maria | 6/27/2013

    " Just a flat-out excellent writer with a flair for suburban angst? What's not to like?! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jaclyn Balogh | 11/10/2012

    " I think every woman should read this book at some point in her life. Great, original & creative timeline of an individual life. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Montana | 10/20/2012

    " Brilliant. Not so foo-foo girly book on a midlife crisis. It has depth, creativity, and is psychologically crazy, in the best way possible. Love it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samra Muslim | 7/21/2012

    " Best part - simple real-life story, written in a simplestic manner! It is chick-lit of the maturer kind - where one woman (Pippa) looks back on her 'seemingly' great life and wonders where (and IF) things went wrong somewhere in her attempt to be a good wife and mother!!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nixycoco | 3/11/2012

    " thought this was sloppy in places, and ultimately not that interesting. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 3/5/2012

    " Started off quite dull and nearly gave up but then suddenly as we delve into Pippa's childhood and the book really gets going. I loved it. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stephanie | 11/22/2011

    " As with anything else I've read or seen of Miller's, this novel disappoints. The characters are one-note, the plot is thin, and yet I kept reading it, hoping for better. Don't: it's not coming. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ann | 10/26/2011

    " I was really liking this book until the end. The end was a bit unsatisfying for me. I didn't hate it; I just was disappointed. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Felicity | 10/22/2011

    " What was this about again? Infinitely forgettable. Apparently, it's soon to be a major motion picture. I think that might be wishful thinking on somebody's part because I don't know who would sit through a movie of the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Samantha | 10/16/2011

    " Starts off showing me why retirement villages won't be my thing! Then looks back at Pippa's early life. Didn't enjoy it that much and don't recommend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kathleen | 5/5/2011

    " I hated liking this book, because Pippa Lee's character had such a fucked-up relationship with her mother. I could handle it in the book, but the movie sent me into an anxiety attack. Good thing it was on cable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Montana | 4/9/2011

    " Brilliant. Not so foo-foo girly book on a midlife crisis. It has depth, creativity, and is psychologically crazy, in the best way possible. Love it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Estelle | 2/9/2011

    " Read this in one sitting; as I could not put it down.
    Amazing Characters, plot and executed perfectly.
    Evokes every emotion and lingers in the mind for weeks.
    "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katie | 1/18/2011

    " I really enjoyed this in a laugh out loud sort of way! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara | 1/3/2011

    " So much potential, ended up being kind of cliche and so-so. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Medlibrarian | 11/18/2010

    " I read this after seeing the movie of the same name. It's a thoughtful read, but this may be one instance where I preferred the film to the novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brigid | 10/21/2010

    " Fun, breezy, interesting read. I loved Miller's voice, especially when Pippa narrated. The book won't change your life, but it's worth picking up. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Heather | 9/22/2010

    " This is an interesting book. I did see the movie first which helped me to understand what was happening. I might have been confused if I did it the other way around. I do wish I had put more time between them. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 8/29/2010

    " Started off quite dull and nearly gave up but then suddenly as we delve into Pippa's childhood and the book really gets going. I loved it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mindy | 8/27/2010

    " Captivating from the beginning. A fun, easy read. This would be great for the beach. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lilpunkk12 | 8/25/2010

    " I think every woman should read this book at some point in her life. Great, original & creative timeline of an individual life. "

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About the Author
Author Rebecca Miller

Rebecca Miller is the daughter of playwright Arthur Miller and is married to Academy Award–winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis. She lives in New York City with their two sons. Her feature film, Personal Velocity, won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance, and her latest movie, The Ballad of Jack and Rose, received rave reviews.

About the Narrator

Bernadette Dunne is the winner of numerous AudioFile Earphones Awards and has twice been nominated for the prestigious Audie Award. She studied at the Royal National Theatre in London and the Studio Theater in Washington, DC, and has appeared at the Kennedy Center and off Broadway. She lives in Brooklyn.