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Download Wives and Daughters Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Wives and Daughters Audiobook, by Elizabeth Gaskell
4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 4.00 (15,312 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Elizabeth Gaskell Narrator: Penelope Wilton Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: November 2012 ISBN:
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Penguin Classics presents Elizabeth Gaskell's Wives and Daughters, adapted for audio and available as a digital download as part of the Penguin English Library series. Read by Penelope Wilton.

Eh, miss, but that is a rare young lady! She does have such pretty coaxing ways....

Seventeen-year-old Molly Gibson worships her widowed father. But when he decides to remarry, Molly's life is thrown off course by the arrival of her vain, shallow, and selfish stepmother. There is some solace in the shape of her new stepsister, Cynthia, who is beautiful, sophisticated and irresistible to every man she meets. Soon the girls become close, and Molly finds herself cajoled into becoming a go-between in Cynthia's love affairs. But in doing so, Molly risks ruining her reputation in the gossiping village of Hollingford - and jeopardizing everything with the man she is secretly in love with.

Part of a series of vintage recordings taken from the Penguin Archives. Affordable, collectable, quality productions - perfect for on-the-go listening.

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Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Laurie | 2/7/2014

    " Someone should have warned me that this book wasn't finished by the author. Another author wrote the last chapter and tried to wrap things up, but I felt very unfinished and disappointed at the end. The author wrote almost to the end and you knew what was going to happen, but I missed hearing how it would have happened from the author. I loved the female characters in this book. They were strong and well-developed. I was a little disappointed with the male characters. Molly's father was supposed to be the ultimate man and father, but he rushes into an ill-advised marriage. And Roger is supposed to be the ultimate man to marry, but he falls for the shallow, deceitful Cynthia. I can't help thinking that if the author lived to finish this I would have enjoyed it a lot more. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Caroline Herbert | 2/4/2014

    " My first foray into the writings of 19th century author Elizabeth Gaskell, recommended by a friend as similar to Jane Austen but "with a social conscience." I would have to agree with that assessment. Gaskell tackles many of the same themes as Austen--women's roles, the politics of romance and marriage proposals, staying true to your moral compass, but Gaskell touches a little bit more on the world outside the drawing room--certainly that's not to say she's better than Austen, just different! Wives and Daughters focuses on the Gibsons, a widowed country doctor and his innocent daughter, and the main plot examines the influence on Molly of her father's new wife and Molly's new step-sister, Cynthia. Cynthia is much more wordly than Molly, and as the story develops we see Molly's gradual realization that not everyone is as good as she is and that the people she loves are deeply flawed (Cynthia and her mother). Luckily Molly is written so that she is sympathetic and not holier-than-thou, so you cheer her on as she stays true to her moral compass. Her step-mother is a fascinating character who turns out to be incredibly selfish and narcissistic, which explains much of Cynthia's "bad" behavior. All of the characters are complex and well-written, and Gaskell's parodies of small-town gossips are fun to read. My only complaint was with the ending--it comes on much too suddenly! A happy ending is implied, but unlike an Austen novel there is no wedding to finish up the book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Makenna | 1/30/2014

    " So...it takes me two weeks to get through this book. Books usually take me 1 to 2 days tops. I don't handle suspense very well. I finally become attached to the characters toward the last 1/3 and get that drive to finish. I notice I am nearing the end of this 650 page novel and am wondering how in the world the author is going to wrap the plot up with so few pages left. I turn the next page and there is a note from the editor stating the author died and was unable to finish. Fantastic. I don't think I would have read it had I known that from the beginning. Why didn't someone finish it for her? Why didn't they make a note of this in the prologue? What in the world? A little frustrated and annoyed to say the least. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ginny | 1/16/2014

    " Not so much about wives---Mrs. Gibson reminded me of Mrs. Olsen on Little House on the Prairie. I could almost hear her voice in the dialogue. The daughters were so different---one a flirt, selfish, and unfeeling. The other was quiet, sensitive and extremely kind. After 600 plus pages, I was relieved to reach the end and it didn't matter that the author died before the book was finished because it was such a continuing story. This book was written as a serial, to be read in installments. Too bad books aren't published like that anymore. I know I'd be running to the bookstore for the next volume to satisfy my book fever! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Laurele | 1/12/2014

    " An excellent study of relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed everything about this book. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Candi | 11/28/2013

    " This was a great book, but I didn't love the main character, I wanted her to stand up for herself. This was like Mansfield Park for me, I feel like the marriage in the end is sort of an afterthought, something the characters settle for, I want lightening bolts, not calm realizations. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colleen | 11/4/2013

    " Obviously, it would be a 5-star book if it had actually been completed. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abbey | 10/23/2013

    " Saw the BBC 4-part miniseries - ravishing photography, great storytelling, good editing down to make it fit in time allotted. Elizabeth Gaskell is better than Jane Austen. There. I said it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Vicki | 10/4/2013

    " I already loved this book, and the narrator for this audiobook is wonderful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jenni Buckley | 8/26/2013

    " The whole time I was reading this book, I felt like I was reading Austen. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who loves Jane Austen novels. It's very witty and romantic. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stephanie Judice | 7/3/2013

    " Great story, and while Victorian-era literature takes me longer to get through, this was worth the effort. Gaskell is somewhere in between Austen and Bronte in writing style (Bronte being at the top in my opinion). "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Beth | 6/24/2013

    " Alas, Mrs. Gaskell did not finish this novel. Happily, we can guess how it ends (or just watch the well-done mini-series). "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Samm | 6/3/2013

    " Even though Gaskell never finish the ending of this book, I loved reading it. I also like how the movie took what was in this book and created a very pleasing ending that would have matched the way this book was written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aimee | 2/25/2013

    " This book is a lot in the same lines as Pride and Prejudice. I really loved this book and it's been a few years since I read it so I think it's time to read it again. I also enjoyed the movie adaptation of this book. Good stuff. Oh, and one of the characters in the book has my name. Aimee. :) "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Cynthia Olson | 2/21/2013

    " It took me awhile to get into this book, but now that I'm into it, I find it very enjoyable, It's always fun to read a book with a character in it that has your name. I just wish that "Cynthia" was more like Molly in the book. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Claire | 2/1/2013

    " A bit too mannered for modern taste, I think. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Eliz Eames | 12/24/2012

    " I really enjoyed this book. I find the writing strangely contemporary, the characters finely drawn and real. It is a gentle, quiet book but never boring. "

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About the Author
Author Elizabeth Gaskell

Elizabeth Gaskell (1810–1865) was an English novelist and short-story writer born in London and raised in Knutsford, Cheshire, which became the model for village settings in her novels. In 1832 she married William Gaskell, a Unitarian minister. Her first novel, Mary Barton, published in 1848, was immensely popular and brought her to the attention of Charles Dickens, who solicited her work for his periodical, Household Words, for which she wrote the series subsequently reprinted as Cranford.