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Download What the Family Needed Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample What the Family Needed, by Steven Amsterdam 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: Steven Amsterdam Narrator: Tanya Eb Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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“Okay, tell me which you want,” Alek asks his cousin at the outset of What the Family Needed. “To be able to fly or to be invisible?” And soon Giordana, a teenager suffering the bitter fallout of her parents’ divorce, finds she can, at will, become as invisible as she feels. Later, Alek’s mother, newly adrift in the disturbing awareness that all is not well with her younger son, can suddenly swim with Olympic endurance. Steven Amsterdam’s incandescent novel follows the members of this gorgeously imagined extended family over three decades, as they each discover, at a moment of crisis, that they possess a supernatural power.

But instead of crimes to fight and villains to vanquish, the family confronts inner demons, and their extraordinary abilities prove to be not so much magic weapons but expressions of their fears and longings as they struggle to come to terms with who they are and what fate deals them. As the years pass, their lives intersect and overlap in surprising and poignant ways, and the real magic is revealed to lie not in their superpowers but in the very human and miraculous ways they are able to accept, protect, and love one another.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Brilliant, unexpected, wide-ranging and deeply moving, the story of one family’s extraordinary—and sometimes otherworldly— negotiation of the very real hazards of life.”

    Maile Meloy, author of Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It

  • “Steven Amsterdam is a superhero and his power is to create stunningly crafted, heartbreaking stories that are as fun as they are brilliant. In this story of a ‘super family,’ the greatest ability on display is Amsterdam’s own control of story, which outshines the fantastic by being even more so.”

    Mat Johnson, author of Pym

  • “A wonderful novel: imaginative, intelligent, empathetic. It’s like a cross between The Corrections and The Slap, except without any of the gloom or rage and with the addition of something that may or may not be either a form of magic realism or simply that old staple of the literary art, metaphor.”

    Sydney Morning Herald

  • “There are moments when the writing's simplicity soars becomes its own kind of superpower…The book soars.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Surreal and fantastic…Amsterdam develops his own kind of reality that has more than a tinge of fantasy.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • Nominated for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award in 2013
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