The Optimist's Daughter

  • by Eudora Welty
  • Narrated by Eudora Welty
  • 4 hrs and 2 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This story of a young woman's confrontation with death and her past is a poetic study of human relations.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Beautiful writing

Like most people I don't like abridged versions of books and avoid them. So I WISH that Eudora Welty had recorded the unabridged version of this book, but to the best of my knowledge she didn't.

That being said, the beauty of the writing and the wonderful narration by the author outweigh any frustration resulting from abridgment. I have owned this recording for 10 - 15 years (first in audio cassettes), and returning to it is always a pleasure. I hear something new each time I listen.

I highly recommend this recording.
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- Teresa

velvety cloak of words... stitched with gold....

A story of an adult daughter's (Laurel) struggle with the death of her father, after already having lost her husband and her mother. She recalls her mom and dad reading parts of books to each other:

“She was sent to sleep under a velvety cloak of words, richly patterned and stitched with gold, straight out of a fairy tale, while they went reading on into her dreams.”

It is a story of the people and things we recall upon the death of a parent, the loss of that part of your life, the rooms, the stories, and the attempt to hold onto what others see as the smaller things. It is also about contemplating the defects of the parents through others you see after the loss.

We have all known folks like the busy-body neighbors and friends here. Perhaps we have all known despicable human beings like the step-mother (a younger self-centered and completely negative nelly married late in life by Laurel's widowed father). She is a dismal, awful spirit that you cannot help but wonder what the father could have seen in her to marry. This part of the novel made my stomach churn and my hair stand on end.

A poetic, semi-autobiographical look at death and life, as peculiarly experienced in the South, sure to strike a chord with anyone who has lost a parent.
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- W Perry Hall

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-19-2011
  • Publisher: Random House Audio