Extended Audio Sample

Download The Women in Black Audiobook (Unabridged)

Extended Audio Sample The Women in Black (Unabridged) Audiobook, by Madeleine St. John
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (207 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Madeleine St. John Narrator: Deidre Rubenstein Publisher: Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2009 ISBN:
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From the Booker-shortlisted-author of The Essence of the Thing comes a great novel, a lost Australian classic. Written by a superb novelist of contemporary manners, The Women in Black is a fairy tale which illuminates the extraordinariness of ordinary lives.

The women in black are run off their feet, what with the Christmas rush and the summer sales that follow. But it's Sydney in the 1950s, and there's still just enough time left on a hot and frantic day to dream and scheme... By the time the last marked-down frock has been sold, most of the staff of the Ladies' Cocktail section at F. G. Goode's have been launched into slightly different careers.

With the lightest touch and the most tender of comic instincts, Madeleine St. John conjures a vanished summer of innocence. Download and start listening now!

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Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Catherine Jones | 2/11/2014

    " In Curriculum Vitae, Muriel Spark wrote she would like to have written a novel called The Department Store. I wonder if the staff of the Ladies' Cocktail section at F.G. Goode's would have been to her taste? Set in 1950s' Sydney and full of fantastic dialogue. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Barbara Masiello | 1/17/2014

    " such a wonderful read this book brought me back to my mother's time when she worked at Pellew's in Fremantle. Service was very important and rules were starting to be broken. Great Read "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maggie Smith | 1/13/2014

    " Evocative (of the 50/60s) and fun. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 JC | 1/12/2014

    " If nothing else, this gentle comedy of manners made me very cross - cross at Bruce Beresford for sitting on the film rights and not doing anything about it (although I do hope he doesn't direct it himself because I tend to find his work rather ordinary). This novel rather perfectly captures a particular era in Australia where migrants were coming in, women were moving up and frocks were fabulous. The prose is sparse but quietly clever, and the characters tread the line of caricature (but in an endearing way). It is a slight read in many regards but I think it offers a quick insight into Sydney society of the 1950s that is invaluable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sara | 1/12/2014

    " A coming of age story set in a Sydney department store circa 1960s, what's not to love? "

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

    " This was a light fun read - it was good to catch up with an Australian author who obviously was very smart, intelligent and clever in her day to day life. A very enjoyable read with believable characters. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anita | 12/30/2013

    " A light touch, simple, pleasant. My mum couldn't get past chapter 2, but other reviews made me try it anyway. 3.5 stars (if there were 1/2 star ratings) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Nicky | 11/20/2013

    " Loved the feeling of Sydney in the 50/60's and the attitidue of the immigrants to the uncouth Australians. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Leanne | 11/12/2013

    " A nostalgic trip back to the 1960s where we follow the day to day lives of a group of ladies who work in the Cocktail Frock Department of the ficticious Goodes Store in the City. It brought back a lot of memories. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Shelley | 10/22/2013

    " Took a bit of time to get used to the style of writing, but I throughly enjoyed the book - evoked a wonderful, Australian bygone era. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tracey | 10/21/2013

    " This book was ok but not one I would recommend. It is the story of a group of women who in work in the cocktail dress section of a Sydney Department store in the 1950's. I expected it to have more to it, more humour, more drama, more something!! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Robyn | 10/20/2013

    " I loved this book. It brought me back to happy memories of my teenage years. However, I can imagine that anyone, who hadn't lived in Sydney during the time of the story, would probably not find it so captivating. A very easy and quick read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Patricia Kelmar | 3/13/2013

    " Book Tape. Really enjoyed this portrait of several Australian women in the 1950s. Magda is my favorite!!! I must read more of Madeleine St. John. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sybille | 1/14/2013

    " I liked it. A gentle read, Jane Austen style as the forward author suggests. It's a snapshot of Australian life in the early 60s. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Maria | 12/28/2012

    " Very easy read. I did like it and wanted to know what will eventually happen to these women lives but it was predictable. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristylemmon | 10/5/2012

    " Perfect light, yet substantive, read. Set in a Sydney department store in the 1960s and follows the lives of 4 women who work in the dress department during the Christmas shopping period. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Di | 1/7/2012

    " very typical of the era. Really enjoyed the development of the characters "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 12/14/2011

    " Just lovely. Australia in the 50s. So glad things have moved on! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda Markham | 11/20/2011

    " A sharp, ethnographic picture of late 1950s Sydney women. Fun, swift and intelligent. Read all too quickly in a few hours one Murray River afternoon. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Janine | 9/29/2011

    " A quirky little story set in the 1950's where womens dress sizes were described as XSSW, SSW, OS, etc. Very Australian story, brought back memories of my own childhood, and very much appropriate to that era. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Elise | 5/11/2011

    " Just delightful. That's the only word that fits for this. Set in David Jones in Elizabeth St in the 1960s, it's a charming period piece and perfectly written in a way that fits the time well and still feels natural and flows well. St John is a very skilled writer. And it has a happy ending :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sue | 12/30/2010

    " Reminded me of Barbara Pym, only in Sydney. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Liz | 9/29/2010

    " Just lovely. Australia in the 50s. So glad things have moved on! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Tracey | 2/14/2010

    " This book was ok but not one I would recommend. It is the story of a group of women who in work in the cocktail dress section of a Sydney Department store in the 1950's. I expected it to have more to it, more humour, more drama, more something!! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anita | 2/4/2010

    " A light touch, simple, pleasant. My mum couldn't get past chapter 2, but other reviews made me try it anyway. 3.5 stars (if there were 1/2 star ratings) "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sybille | 12/27/2009

    " I liked it. A gentle read, Jane Austen style as the forward author suggests. It's a snapshot of Australian life in the early 60s. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kristylemmon | 11/29/2009

    " Perfect light, yet substantive, read. Set in a Sydney department store in the 1960s and follows the lives of 4 women who work in the dress department during the Christmas shopping period. "

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