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Download The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.: A Novel Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D.: A Novel Audiobook, by Nichole Bernier Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,038 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Nichole Bernier Narrator: Angela Brazil Publisher: Blackstone Publishing Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2012 ISBN: 9781482974942
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Summer vacation on the island was supposed to be a restorative time for Kate, who’d lost her close friend Elizabeth in a sudden accident. But when she inherits a trunk of Elizabeth’s journals, they reveal a woman far different than the cheerful wife and mother Kate had known. The complicated portrait of Elizabeth—her upbringing, her marriage, and journey to motherhood—makes Kate question not just their friendship, but her most fundamental beliefs about loyalty and deception at a time when she is uncertain in her own marriage. When an unfamiliar man’s name appears in the pages, Kate realizes the extent of what she didn’t know about her friend—including where she was really going when she died. Set in the anxious post–September 11th summer of 2002, this story of two women—their friendship, their marriages, private ambitions, and fearsconsiders the aspects of ourselves we show and those we conceal, and the repercussions of our choices.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “I loved this bittersweet novel, which manages to be both a compelling mystery and a wise meditation on friendship, marriage, and motherhood in an age of great anxiety. Bernier will have you thinking about her characters long after you’ve turned the final page.”

    J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times bestselling author

  • “A smart, poignant novel about the bittersweet choices women make and the secrets they keep. This is one of those rare novels that’s so real you forget it’s written; I literally carried it around with me, and I missed the characters when I was done.”

    Jenna Blum, New York Times bestselling author

  • “An absorbing, bittersweet novel that examines the vast grey area between protecting and deceiving the ones we love.”

    Vanessa Diffenbaugh, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Bernier’s excellent storytelling skills will keep you pondering long after the final page.”

    Washington Post

  • “Bernier masterfully eases open the doors that guard our deepest fears and, against a backdrop of a New England beach vacation, sweeps in fresh air and hope.”


  • “Thanks to incredibly realistic characters, this smart, bittersweet tale brilliantly captures what it means to be a mom, wife, and friend.”

    Family Circle

  • “Moments of beauty and depth of spirit will appeal to readers interested in secrets revealed.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Debut novelist Bernier’s thoughtful observations on friendship, identity, motherhood, work, and marriage wrap around the mystery of Elizabeth, whose journal writing enlivens the book and gives readers much to think about. This literary novel should be a favorite of book groups and have broad appeal beyond.”

    Library Journal

  • “Bernier successfully explores how women manage to balance so much in their everyday life and the complicated emotions (guilt, frustration, fear) that go along with being a working mother...The Unfinished Work of Elizabeth D. is an important read for anyone who dares to ask just how well we really know our friends and neighbors, and what those discoveries mean about us.”


Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Erika Ensminger krohn | 1/30/2014

    " I really liked the concept of the book. However, it was slow in parts. The ending and lesson to the story is one that I feel many of us struggle with. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Allison | 1/22/2014

    " Maybe it's because I used to be an avid journal writer or just the time in my life that I'm reading this book, but I loved it. It's such an interesting look at what is said and unsaid in relationships and how it affects all aspects of a person's life. I found this book enjoyable and would definitely recommend it. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Julie Barker johnson | 1/11/2014

    " it was good. i liked how you really never heard from the person in the title. it gave it an element that made me think: how would your closest friends think of you after you're gone? what do they really know about you? "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelley | 1/11/2014

    " well, I have been waiting to read this for a few months and although I did enjoy it, I was not thrilled with it. I think it would be a great book to discuss with people because I imagine everyone has different takes on the 2 main women characters and their husbands. I can't say that I really liked any of the characters. I didnt feel a connection to any of them but also didnt really like them much, yet, the story was great and a page turner. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Isabel | 1/6/2014

    " kinda good, it was a bit too much much though. Perhaps because I was listening on audio and therefore was trying to digest more at a time than if I had been reading, yet at the same time I think that if I had been reading I would have felt it was moving too slowly, taking for--ev--er. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Danielle | 1/5/2014

    " This book was just way too much of a whine fest for me. None of the characters were likable, and the "story" (it's a bit of stretch to call it that) really drags. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Juliette | 1/5/2014

    " How well do we really know our friends, our spouses, ourselves? The way the story slowly revealed each secret was fascinating. One of my favorite books of 2012. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenny Angel | 1/2/2014

    " This was a deeply affecting novel for me. It's the story of two close friends, one of whom dies and leaves her diaries to the surviving friend. It's all about who we are and who we believe we are. I give it four stars because, even though I enjoyed the story, the writing wasn't always very polished. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kimberley Hogan | 12/29/2013

    " Maybe more like a 3.5. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Marzia Bianchi | 12/29/2013

    " This is Lifetime movie stuff. Angst of trying to juggle motherhood, marriage, and profession and deal with loss. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel Berens-VanHeest | 12/24/2013

    " I had some issues (a little heavy-handed at times, I didn't like the main character, etc.) but it brought up enough interesting ideas and things to think about that I bumped it up to 4 stars. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jlizzy1960 | 12/16/2013

    " interesting. glad i read it but could not identify with kate the chef, kate the non- reverant funny person, kate the fun wife, and kate paranoid mother. "

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

    " Definitely chic lit. Talks about the thoughts that women can have when they give up a career to be a SAHM. Kate's friend Elizabeth died in a plane crash and left her journals to Kate. As she reads them on summer vacation, Kate realizes there is a lot she didn't know about her friend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tory | 9/4/2013

    " I thought I had the story line pegged, and I was pleasantly surprised by the ending. A nice read during the dark days of winter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Pam Howell | 6/25/2013

    " Good story ... life, friendship, marriage & secrets. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Beth Arocha | 11/24/2012

    " This book asks the question- How well do we really know our best friend and also ourselves? Kate is left her friend's journals and gains insight into the lives of many people as well as herself. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maureen | 9/23/2012

    " A beautifully woven, subtle story; the writing is worth it, even if the ending leaves you wanting. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Amy Warrick | 9/22/2012

    " Pretty meh. Interesting premise, kind of clumsily done. Can't recommend it, but not a total disaster. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Knows | 8/31/2012

    " I found this to be a little overwrought. But I do reccomend the book...the mystery that develops as Kate reads the journals is quite interesting and the characters are extremely well drawn...I think that many women will find this study of today's young family life extremely gratifying. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Amy | 8/21/2012

    " I couldn't really get past the first chapter. Not my cup of tea, I guess. :o( "

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About the Author

Nichole Bernier is a writer for such magazines as Elle, Self, Health, Men’s Journal, and Boston Magazine, and she is a fourteen-year contributing editor with Conde Nast Traveler, where she was previously on staff as the golf and ski editor and columnist. She is a founder of the literary website BeyondTheMargins.com and lives outside of Boston with her husband and five children.

About the Narrator

Angela Brazil is an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator and a professional actor who is proud to be a long-standing member of the Resident Acting Company at Trinity Repertory Company. She also teaches at the Brown/Trinity Conservatory.