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Extended Audio Sample Under the Influence: A Novel Audiobook, by Joyce Maynard Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joyce Maynard Narrator: Joyce Maynard Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: February 2016 ISBN: 9780062257796
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The New York Times bestselling author of Labor Day and After Her returns with a poignant story about the true meaning—and the true price—of friendship.

Alcohol cost Helen her marriage and custody of David, her seven-year-old son. Though she once had aspirations to be an art photographer, she makes ends meet taking pictures of grade-school children and working society parties for a catering company. Recovering from her addiction, she spends her evenings checking out profiles on an online dating site. On the weekends, she has awkward visits with her son, but he seems to be drifting away from her, fast.

When she meets Ava and Swift Havilland, the vulnerable Helen is instantly enchanted. Wealthy, connected philanthropists, they have their own charity devoted to the care and welfare of dogs. Their home is filled with glamorous friends, edgy art, and fabulous parties.

As Helen increasingly falls under the Havillands’ influence—running errands, doing random chores, and cataloguing Ava’s art collection—Ava and Swift hire a good lawyer to help her regain custody of her son. But the debt Helen owes them is about to come due.

David witnesses an accident involving Swift, his grown son Cooper, and the daughter of the Havillands’ Guatemalan housekeeper. With David’s future in the balance, Helen must choose between the truth and the friends who have given her everything.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Maynard allows her readers to experience the disappointments, temptations and the hope of redemption experienced by a woman who doesn’t know herself…Under the Influence isn’t a fast-paced read, but instead unfolds slowly and steadily, with unexpected twists, allowing Maynard to explore what it means to be under the influence of other people and how to take control of your own identity and destiny.”

    RT Book Reviews (4 stars)

  • “Maynard’s latest is illuminating and mesmerizing, highlighting not only differing definitions of friendship, but the shades of gray between right and wrong and the lengths to which some will go to protect their self-interest.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “A story about the pull of consuming friendships, of seeking to escape into the lives of others, of possession and illusion—and you will not be able to put it down until Maynard herself releases you. Utterly captivating.”

    Megan Abbott, Edgar Award–winning author

  • “Just as Helen finds herself drawn in by the Havillands, so too will the reader be absorbed by this utterly beguiling, compulsively readable yarn.”


  • “Maynard’s expert narration and plotting plant the seeds for the explosive events at the end of her tale.”

    Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author
Author Joyce Maynard

Joyce Maynard is the author of eight previous novels, including To Die For, Labor Day, The Good Daughters, and four books of nonfiction. Her bestselling memoir, At Home in the World, has been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in California.