Extended Audio Sample

Download The School on Heart's Content Road Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The School on Hearts Content Road (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Carolyn Chute
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (210 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Carolyn Chute Narrator: Susan Ericksen Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2008 ISBN:
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The School on Heart's Content Road spirals out from the story of Mickey Gammon, a disaffected 15-year-old dropout who has been evicted from his home by his overwrought half-brother. With the help of his new friend, Rex York, the captain of the local militia, Mickey is introduced to the secretive world of the Settlement.

Run by a man known to many as The Prophet, the Settlement is a rural cooperative in alternative energy, farm produce, and locally made goods. Falsely demonized by the media as a compound of sin, the Settlement's true nature remains foreign to outsiders.

It is at the Settlement where Mickey's life collides with that of another deserted child, six-year-old Jane - a cunning, beautiful girl of mixed race, whose mother is in jail on trumped-up drug charges. Secret Agent Jane prowls the Settlement in her heart-shaped sunglasses, imagining that her childish plans to bring down the community will reunite her with her mother.

As they struggle to adjust to their new, complex surrogate family, Mickey and Jane witness the mounting unrest within the Settlement's ranks, which soon builds to a shocking and devastating crescendo.

Vehement and poetic, The School on Heart's Content Road questions the nature of family, struggle, and authority in an intensely diverse nation. It is an urgent plea for the disenfranchised who, though disregarded and shoved to the fringes of society, refuse to be silenced. 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 Jayne | 2/9/2014

    " Not sure about this one - she is preaching for sure - especially given the autobio info I know about her. I do not object to her position - just that it is too overt and too much! She is clever in pointing out that the very situation we may- in our self righteous indignant mind sets- be trying to end - in our response to militias and fundamentalist religious communes - we are practicing the same narrow tolerance that these groups are. This is not put very well. The bottom line is that I really did not enjoy reading the book but I see her point that when you are sure you are right about something - there - you are probably only partly right. And I still am intolerant of the sects and their practices. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karen | 1/20/2014

    " The School on Heart's Content Road can be read as an intimate view into the lives of those considered on the "fringe" of mainstream America and how those "outsiders" can come together to be a positive (or not) influence on their communities. As the saying goes, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions." "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Josie Lathrop | 1/17/2014

    " Recommended. Chute captures life in poor, rural America beautifully. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Carrie | 1/16/2014

    " I've always loved Carolyn Chute's books, despite the fact that they are often panned by Mainers like myself, especially those with Bean's in their family tree. This book was no exception. It felt like going home. I know these people, every one of them. The super conservative militant types, the way-out-there liberal peace lovers, and everyone in between. I love the way it was written, the many points of view, and overall picture it gave you. And I love the ending, no spoilers though. Only reason it didn't get five stars is that I don't think I'd read it again. The story gets played out, and maybe I concentrated hard on every detail (it took me much longer to read than a usual book its size) so I don't feel like I missed anything. Great book, recommended read for sure. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Danette | 12/27/2013

    " I read as much of this book as I could and just couldn't read anymore. It was horrible. I had no clue what this book was about. The crow talks, the tv talks, different stories intermingled. It read like a play but very bizzare. I saw no order to it. I usually finish a book no matter how bad but I just couldn't do it. Had to be the worst book I ever attempted to read. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kelly (TheWellReadRedhead) | 12/25/2013

    " Not a fan at all. I found it slow moving, terribly boring, and overly preachy. It's fine if you're anti-establishment, but this book had a very clear, repetitive, and (after a while) annoying agenda. It was a struggle to get through. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Anne | 12/18/2013

    " Carolyn Chute delivers another wild, gritty ride through the lives of the residents of rural Maine. A wide variety of narrators offer their takes on events, life, and each other, and the reader is informed, entertained and shocked, by turn, as the holy and the not-so-holy members of a religious cult family strive with and against each other and the outside world, trying to make a living and achieve their goals. If you liked The Beans of Egypt, Maine you will like this novel too. If not, then not. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kary Jarred | 12/17/2013

    " Couldn't finish it...seems to be about a dying baby and scary militia people. It might be that it gets really good right after I stopped reading, but I wasn't willing to go any further. "

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

    " people in maine are crazy. all of 'em. especially the author. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Deandrea | 10/18/2013

    " I didn't even finish this. I thought it was going to be cute and creative with the little icons and sections, but, yuck. I could not get into the characters at all, and I was going to rip the pages out if the author reminded me one more time that therre a character list at the end of the book! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Fran | 10/4/2013

    " Fabulous writing, but I got tired of the clipped prose. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lisa | 10/2/2013

    " It was better than I expected, and a good airport book. The structure allows you to pick it up and put it down without loosing your orientation. The story is good, characters are rounded, the culture depicted familiar in a side-glanced kind of way. I may try to get a copy of her first book, Beans. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Poppy | 9/29/2013

    " Politics are great, believable, etc. The structure, plot and style are irritating. Couldn't finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane Isaac Friedman | 9/19/2013

    " This one isn't a quickie. It's sad, a tiny bit funny, but mostly sad. It didn't hurt that I agree with her cultural view of television's news broadcasts. Some found it too sad to read beyond the beginning, but I managed to finish it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jim | 9/14/2013

    " Great to see C. Chute back in her "Beans of Egypt, Maine" and "Letourneau's Auto Parts" form...original, heartbreaking, funny. First of five completed and interrelated books, the word is. Which is very good. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 RH Walters | 7/13/2013

    " This book opened my eyes to the militia culture in this country and issues I was surprised to find myself agreeing with, which is a great part of why I like the book so much. Rousing and tragic. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 martha | 6/22/2013

    " quirky book - format is unusual, characters follow, and good writing "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alyssa | 2/24/2013

    " Thank goodness this book was written. It captures authentic voices of rural America, disturbs the reader in all the right ways, and successfully connects the fuzzy dots between fundamentalists on both sides of the spectrum. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mia | 10/2/2012

    " I liked the shifts in narrative structure and style, and the ideas it played with, but the increased preachiness started to grate by the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Samantha | 9/4/2012

    " i am hooked. can't wait for the next one. can't get it out of my mind. made me think of poligomy in a different light. may not be for me but... loved the digs at education, big business and government. at heart i am a bean. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mindy | 4/25/2012

    " I have enjoyed all of her previous books but I just could not get into this book. I did not finish it - which is rare for me, I almost always will finish a book no matter how bad. I guess my reading pile was just too big and so much else was calling my name. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Donna Jo Atwood | 2/3/2012

    " This book wasn't at all what I expected. The story of dysfunctional family told in conjunction with the story of a commune with a different feel for what is a family. It was pretty slow moving. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Daphne Atkeson | 12/19/2011

    " Similar tone to Kurt Vonnegut. Poignant and came to the edge of tragedy without going over the falls. Author of THE BEANS OF EGYPT, MAINE. Great characters. Heart-warming and scrappy. Survivalists meet genial, good-hearted polygamist commune. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie Benay | 11/27/2011

    " I loved "The Beans of Egypt Maine," but I'm having trouble getting into this one... "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Royce Houthuijzen | 10/20/2011

    " this was one of the worst books I have ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mia | 3/23/2011

    " I liked the shifts in narrative structure and style, and the ideas it played with, but the increased preachiness started to grate by the end. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 RH | 2/17/2010

    " This book opened my eyes to the militia culture in this country and issues I was surprised to find myself agreeing with, which is a great part of why I like the book so much. Rousing and tragic. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Deandrea | 10/21/2009

    " I didn't even finish this. I thought it was going to be cute and creative with the little icons and sections, but, yuck. I could not get into the characters at all, and I was going to rip the pages out if the author reminded me one more time that therre a character list at the end of the book! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Kary | 10/21/2009

    " Couldn't finish it...seems to be about a dying baby and scary militia people. It might be that it gets really good right after I stopped reading, but I wasn't willing to go any further. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Royce | 9/22/2009

    " this was one of the worst books I have ever read!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Donna Jo | 9/17/2009

    " This book wasn't at all what I expected. The story of dysfunctional family told in conjunction with the story of a commune with a different feel for what is a family. It was pretty slow moving. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alyssa | 8/20/2009

    " Thank goodness this book was written. It captures authentic voices of rural America, disturbs the reader in all the right ways, and successfully connects the fuzzy dots between fundamentalists on both sides of the spectrum. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diane | 8/2/2009

    " This one isn't a quickie. It's sad, a tiny bit funny, but mostly sad. It didn't hurt that I agree with her cultural view of television's news broadcasts. Some found it too sad to read beyond the beginning, but I managed to finish it. "

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About the Author
Author Carolyn ChuteCarolyn Chute is the author of The Beans of Egypt, Maine; Letourneau’s Used Auto Parts; Snow Man; and Merry Men, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. She has been awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Thorton Wilder Fellowship. She currently lives in Maine with her husband.
About the Narrator

Susan Ericksen is an actor and voice-over artist. She has been awarded nineteen AudioFile Earphones Awards as well as the prestigious Audie Award. As an actor and director, she has worked in theaters throughout the country.