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Download The Sweet By and By: A Novel Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Sweet By and By: A Novel (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Todd Johnson
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,336 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Todd Johnson Narrator: Becky Ann Baker, Adriane Lenox, Robin Miles, Lois Smith Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2010 ISBN:
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Among the longleaf pines and family farms of eastern North Carolina, days seem to pass without incident for Margaret Clayton and Bernice Stokes, until they discover each other in a friendship that will take them on the most important journey of their lives.

Margaret, droll and whip smart, has a will of iron that never fails her even when her body does, while Bernice, an avid country-music fan, is rarely lucid. Irreverent and brazen at every turn, they make a formidable pair at the home where they live, breaking all the rules and ultimately changing the lives of those around them.

Lorraine, their churchgoing, God-questioning nurse, both protects and provokes them while they are under her watchful eye, as her daughter, April, bright and ambitious, determinedly makes her way through medical school. Rounding out the group of unlikely and often outrageous friends is Rhonda, the Bud-swilling beautician who does the ladies' hair on her day off and whose sassy talk hides a vulnerable heart, one that finally opens to love.

Weaving this tightly knit and compelling novel in alternating chapters, each woman gets to tell her story her own way, as all five learn to reconcile troubled pasts, find forgiveness, choose hope, and relish the joy of life. Rich with irresistible characters whose uniquely musical voices overflow the pages, The Sweet By and By is a testament to the truth that the most vibrant lives are not necessarily the most visible ones.

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Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Taj Bortz | 2/20/2014

    " A lot of people reviewed this book well, and I agree with the points they made, but this book didn't do much for me. It was so good, yet I had a hard time finishing it. I think I just need a real story, not just some meandering snapshots into several womens lives. Just a 3 for me, but I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it. Especially if you know someone in an assisted living home or someone aging, I strongly recommend it! The characters were very vivid. Amazing that a man wrote women so well. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 ccqdesigns | 2/13/2014

    " A nice Southern fiction easy read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Casey | 2/10/2014

    " I am a sucker for Southern Lit, so I probably would've given this a good review regardless. It's a lot like The Help (told from the perspective of different women). Some really beautiful writing in this one - especially at the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Terri | 2/1/2014

    " Truly I would probably give this book 3.5 stars. I liked it but didn't love it. This is the story of several women all living or working in a nursing home and how their lives intertwine together. These are all good women who have tried their best in often difficult circumstances throughout their lives. They find one another and their friendship grows. I loved how they supported each other even as the older women became feebler and in need need of so much assistance. Johnson's depiction of dignity and respect for the elderly was excellent. And I loved when Margaret and Bernice escaped and tried one last time to feel normal. A really good book, I think it just didn't resonate with me at the time I read it. :) "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Olivia | 1/27/2014

    " I liked this but reading about the end of life in a nursing home is not especially uplifting at my age. Although the characters were well done and it did have it's positive moments. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kris | 1/3/2014

    " I enjoyed this very much. It is a story of five women and how their lives intertwine. Four of them are the narrators, telling us their stories in alternating chapters (headed with their names, which was very helpful putting them into perspective). Set in a nursing home, we learn about the lives of Margaret and Bernice, elderly residents of the home; Lorraine, their caring nurse; April, Lorraine's daughter, as she continues her education to become a physician; and Rhonda, a hairdresser who works at the nursing home once a week. Each of their personalities become fully developed as the reader learns about the events in their lives which shaped them. They are funny, caring, sympathetic characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Ann DeMeyer | 1/2/2014

    " Good book, but kind of slow... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mripma | 1/2/2014

    " Is there a male in the world? One would not believe it from the pages of this book. Wonderful capture of joy, religious faith, and human connection. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 10/26/2013

    " Sweet Southern story surrounding five gour women as they age and face the changes that come with life and death. Really enjoyed the characters and their interaction. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 10/21/2013

    " Thoroughly enjoyed this book, so glad to have seen it on a friend's feed. Book group--we may need to look for this one! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peggy Hess Greenawalt | 9/17/2013

    " This book made me smile and cry. Anyone that has friends or relatives in a nursing home will find this a great read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jriley55 | 9/13/2013

    " Tops on insight! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Gina | 7/16/2013

    " Four and a half stars- great story. I enjoyed the characters and the sweet story line. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patsy | 7/2/2013

    " An interesting and well written book about aging . "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy Aquila | 9/8/2012

    " 3 1/2 stars. Well developed characters and dialogue. Hard to believe it was written by a man. There wasn't much of a plot. Just slow and sweet. An overall very pleasant read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lweslock | 9/4/2012

    " I really liked this book. Todd Johnson has an interesting perspective on aging. It made me be a little more patient and sensitive to those that I know who are older and starting to lose some of their independence. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Debbie Mcafee | 7/28/2012

    " loved this book! one of the most interesting novels on aging and changing that I've ever read. Totally amazed that the author was male because he captures the women's friendships and relationships so accurately. I'll be recommending this one to lots of people. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jen | 6/18/2012

    " I like this book. It reminded me of The Help where each chapter was written from a different person's perspective. It was about 2 women in a rest home and some others that were in their life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Karol | 5/19/2012

    " 1st novel for this author, watch for him in the future...more books to come and this one in particular would make a wonderful movie "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Carmie | 4/14/2012

    " Slice of life in a nursing home told in the voices of five southern women give this novel poignancy, but the lack of plot keeps it from being a great read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lynn | 4/8/2012

    " Nice story! Great characters. I really liked Rhonda and Margaret! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lori Lobchuk | 3/28/2012

    " I can't believe this book is written by a man! Amazing! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Janeene | 2/27/2012

    " I was torn between giving this 2 or 3 stars. Overall the book was pretty good, but it wasn't a "must read" and I had a hard time finishing it because the ending was so slow. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Connie Schneider | 6/9/2011

    " Mainly observations on growing older; perhaps it hit a little too close to home and I found it sad--but also humorous "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Shannon | 6/6/2011

    " Page turner. Just a really good story. I needed that. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paula | 5/18/2011

    " Really fun and touching read. Deals with friendship and the challenges of aging. Written by a man about five women. For me, he captures suble friendship and relationship nuances that most people would consider would have come from a feminine perspective. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Carma | 5/7/2011

    " This was just an OK story with a few quotable lines, but not memorable. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jodi | 4/26/2011

    " I highly recommend this book! So beautifully written and I enjoyed reading it so much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Ellen | 4/19/2011

    " Along the same vein as The Help, this is a very enjoyable southern novel. Enjoyed the character development and would definitely recommend this book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Cathy | 4/2/2011

    " 3 1/2 stars. Well developed characters and dialogue. Hard to believe it was written by a man. There wasn't much of a plot. Just slow and sweet. An overall very pleasant read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Perkimom | 3/1/2011

    " Lovely story about aging with grace. Beautiful characters. Hard truths written with love. Can't believe the author is male. Amazing. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kelly | 2/24/2011

    "
    Heartwarming, sweet, funny story about friendship in old age. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bschulman87 | 2/3/2011

    " It took me awhile to get into the story and figure out who the characters were and how they were connected. I felt like it started a little abruptly, but I eventually got hooked. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 1/27/2011

    " Excellent. Can't believe this was written by a man! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Polly | 1/26/2011

    " Funny, sad, lovely--just like life. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Dick | 1/24/2011

    " This book was a gift from our daughter to my wife. I just didn't relate to this story of the interaction of 5 Southern women. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nancy | 1/22/2011

    " Food for thought in this good-humored and touching story of how two nursing home residents, a nurse, and a hair sytlist affect each other's lives. Remarkable that its author is a young man. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Leslie | 12/29/2010

    " the relationships are portrayed so realistically. Excellent writing...flows well. "

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