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Download When Madeline Was Young Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample When Madeline Was Young, by Jane Hamilton Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (1,511 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jane Hamilton Narrator: Richard Poe Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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When Aaron Maciver’s beautiful young wife, Madeline, suffers brain damage in a bike accident, she is left with the intellectual powers of a seven-year-old. In the years that follow, Aaron and his second wife care for Madeline with deep tenderness and devotion as they raise two children of their own.

Narrated by Aaron’s son Mac, When Madeline Was Young chronicles the Maciver family through the decades, from Mac’s childhood growing up in Wisconsin with Madeline and his cousin Buddy, through the Vietnam War, his years as a husband with children of his own, and his cousin’s involvement in the subsequent Gulf Wars. Jane Hamilton, with not only her usual keen observations of human relationships but also her humor, deftly explores the Macivers’ unusual situation as she examines notions of childhood (through Mac and Buddy’s actual youth as well as Madeline’s infantilization) and a rivalry between Buddy’s and Mac’s families that spans decades and various wars. She captures the pleasures and frustrations of marriage and family and exposes the role that past relationships, rivalries, and regrets inevitably play in the lives of adults.

Inspired in part by Elizabeth Spencer’s The Light in the Piazza, Hamilton offers an honest, exquisite portrait of how a family tragedy forever shapes and alters the boundaries of love.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Hamilton’s careful, unpretentious prose finds moral nuances both in a full-blown antiwar debate and in the small details of Madeline’s care.”

    People

  • “Hamilton’s beautifully written When Madeline Was Young is both an absorbing, nontraditional family portrait and a shaky meditation on American political passions.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Mesmerizing…Bittersweet, funny…Hamilton affirms her status as one of our most magnetic and provocative novelists.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “Hamilton brings characteristic empathy to the complex issues at the core of this patiently built novel.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Richard Poe gives a fine and nuanced performance of Mac’s tale about his odd, but loving family. As young Mac, he reads with an exuberance that implies youth, then slows to his well-known gravelly warmth as Mac ages. He’s equally skilled with women’s voices, making them real without a squeak. And his even, clear pace matches the book’s atmosphere of remembrance.”

    AudioFile

  • “While Hamilton gives the political climate of the sixties considerable attention, her story is more about how people, by bonding together, can transcend tragedy and loss with love, tolerance, and humor. Recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • “Hamilton is exquisitely observant and unfailingly generous to the characters she creates: every life has weight and dignity.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Dru | 2/16/2014

    " I got the vibe from the book that I was supposed to like one of the characters, yet I despised him. I felt disdain for him while others admired him. Maybe this is how the author intended the readers to feel? I don't know. It was an interesting read, but at the same time I couldn't wait to be finished with the book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Lisa | 2/16/2014

    " Hamilton's narrator is male in this book, albeit a sensitive male. I thought the book suffered from having three focal points -- Buddy, and Madeline, and Mac's parents' marriage. Overall it was a good book, but not Hamilton's best. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Claudia | 1/26/2014

    " I listened to this audiobook and kept asking myself, "Where is this going?" The answer: Nowhere. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 by Colleen | 1/16/2014

    " This book is a much slower read than what I expected. Strongly evokes a specific place and spans several decades. The title is a bit misleading, because Madeline seems to remain in the background througout the story. It does not compare to Map of The World as far as the tension level, but all in all it was a relaxing read. "

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