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Extended Audio Sample The Rest of Her Life, by Laura Moriarty Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.6 out of 53.6 out of 53.6 out of 53.6 out of 53.6 out of 5 3.60 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Laura Moriarty Narrator: Julia Gibso Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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In The Rest of Her Life, Laura Moriarty delivers a luminous, compassionate, and provocative look at how mothers and daughters with the best intentions can be blind to the harm they do to one another.

Leigh is the mother of high-achieving, popular high school senior Kara. Their relationship is already strained for reasons Leigh does not fully understand when, in a moment of carelessness, Kara makes a mistake that ends in tragedy—the effects of which not only divide Leigh’s family, but polarize the entire community. We see the story from Leigh’s perspective, as she grapples with the hard reality of what her daughter has done and the devastating consequences her actions have on the family of another teenage girl in town, all while struggling to protect Kara in the face of rising public outcry.

Like the best works of Jane Hamilton, Jodi Picoult, and Alice Sebold, Laura Moriarty’s The Rest of Her Life is a novel of complex moral dilemma, filled with nuanced characters and a page-turning plot that makes readers ask themselves, “What would I do?”

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Moriarty manages subtly to build a case for compassion for all of her characters, and especially for Leigh…[her] novel shows that…it is literature’s job to say yes, to every corner of life…yes to grief as much as to solace.”

    Washington Post

  • “One second really can change your life forever. In her deftly dramatic family drama…Moriarty paints a solid picture of a family in crisis trying to survive the unthinkable.”

    USA Today

  • The Rest of Her Life means to be piercing and at the same time exacting. When it comes to mothers and daughters, Moriarty gets it right, never more so than when things go wrong.”

    New York Daily News

  • “Leigh is a multi-dimensional character—a mother who is also a professional with intellectual interests. Having overcome childhood deprivations, she has gained a toughness and a perspective that keeps readers engaged. Moriarty had drawn Leigh with such fine strokes…in this quietly engaging story.”

    Baltimore Sun

  • “Moriarty has taken a close look at a family in a way that is sympathetic, yet unflinching. As in her earlier work, Moriarty doesn’t take the easy way out: Although the characters do find a semblance of peace, their definition of a happy ending has been forever altered.”


  • “In this compelling story of female relationships—mothers, sisters, daughters, and best friends—Moriarty’s characters grab readers the minute they enter the story, and recollections of their vivid personalities will linger long after the last page. Well-written, convincing, and impossible to put down.”

    Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

  • “A mother-daughter relationship can be a tenuous walk on a tightrope of power and control…and the delicate balance and love shared by a mother and daughter is the focus of…[this] contemplative book that reminds us how little control we really have in our lives.”


  • “The intricacies of this relationship are at the heart of The Rest of Her Life, a tense and completely absorbing novel by Laura Moriarty. Set against the backdrop of a single moment that will completely change a family’s life forever, this is the kind of book that will keep you up and reading until the last page is turned.”


Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Kimberly | 5/15/2011

    " Not bad just heavy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Sheila | 4/11/2011

    " The premise was heartbreaking but it was well written and believable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Judy | 4/7/2011

    " I enjoyed this story, although not much happened. It was a similar style to Jodi Piccoult.

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Nancy | 2/21/2011

    " As the mother of a pre teen the feelings of protector shot right up. would hate If this was my daughter "

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