Download They May Not Mean To, But They Do: A Novel Audiobook

They May Not Mean To, But They Do: A Novel Audiobook, by Cathleen Schine Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Cathleen Schine Narrator: Cynthia Darlow Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: June 2016 ISBN: 9781427272676
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Joy Bergman is not slipping into old age with the quiet grace her children, Molly and Daniel, would prefer. She won't take their advice, and she won't take an antidepressant. Her marriage to their father, Aaron, has lasted through health and dementia, as well as some phenomenally lousy business decisions. The Bergman clan has always stuck together, growing as it incorporated in-laws, ex-in-laws, and same-sex spouses. But families don't just grow, they grow old. Cathleen Schine's They May Not Mean To, but They Do is a tender, sometimes hilarious intergenerational story about searching for where you belong as your family changes with age.

When Aaron dies, Molly and Daniel have no shortage of solutions for their mother's loneliness and despair, but there is one challenge they did not count on: the reappearance of an ardent suitor from Joy's college days. They didn't count on Joy suddenly becoming as willful and rebellious as their own kids.

With sympathy, humor, and truth, Schine explores the intrusion of old age into a large and loving family. They May Not Mean To, but They Do is a radiantly compassionate look at three generations, all coming of age together.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A very funny novel…Schine reminds us that a family is as united by its trials as by its triumphs.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “[A] hugely satisfying novel.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “A seamless blend of humor and heartbreak.”

    Miami Herald

  • “This is one of those laugh-out-loud-on-the-subway novels, but it also manages to be sad and authentic…A story that is tender, wise, hilarious, and painful. Give this book to your siblings and your parents: everyone will find a passage to love.”

    Toronto Star

  • “Schine’s painfully beautiful depiction of a woman’s heroism in the face of that abyss offers, like the best literature, a reminder of the tender, frightening vulnerability we all share.”

    Los Angeles Review of Books

  • “Schine brings humor and warm insight to her group portrait of the Bergman clan, particularly its feisty eighty-six-year-old matriarch…With its wise perspectives on aging and family dynamics, this is a story to savor.”


  • “Joy’s doggedness when it comes to taking care of herself is recognizable and understandable, showcasing Schine’s intuitive empathy, and any adult with an aged parent will recognize her children’s well-meaning concern.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Replete with aging parents, grandchildren growing up faster than one would like, and adult children wanting to take charge but being stifled by their mother’s stubbornness, this could be any reader’s clan…Schine’s ability to shift seamlessly from one person’s point of view to another’s adds depth and richness.”

    Library Journal

  • “This is a great story, beautifully narrated by Cynthia Darlow. She portrays each of the characters so well that listeners will feel like part of the family.”

    Library Journal (audio review)

  • An Amazon Editor’s Top Pick for February 2016
  • A BookPage Top Pick for June 2016
  • A Los Angeles Times Pick of Best Audiobooks of 2016
  • Winner of Triangle Awards - Winner, 2017
  • Nominated for Triangle Awards - Nominee, 2017
  • Among longlisted titles for NPR Best Book of the Year, 2016

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About the Author

Cathleen Schine is the author of The New Yorkers and The Love Letter, among other novels. She has contributed to the New Yorker, New York Review of Books, New York Times Magazine, and New York Times Book Review.

About the Narrator

Cynthia Darlow’s unusual voice makes her devotion to the spoken arts a natural fit. As a narrator and veteran of Broadway, off-Broadway, regional theater, film, and television, her characterizations and facility with dialects are unforgettable. Her audiobook narrations have earned her seven AudioFile Earphones Awards. She is a member of The Actors Company Theatre (TACT), whose mission it is to present concert performances of long-neglected, language-driven plays.