The Rainbow : Brangwen Family

  • by D. H. Lawrence
  • Narrated by Maureen O'Brien
  • Series: Brangwen Family
  • 20 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Set in the rural midlands of England, The Rainbow revolves around three generations of Brangwens, a family deeply involved with the land and noted for their strength and vigour. When Tom Brangwen marries a Polish widow, Lydia Lensky, and adopts her daughter, Anna, as his own, he is unprepared for the conflict and passion that erupts between them. Their stories continue in Women in Love.

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What the Critics Say

"O'Brien reads the Brangwens, both women and men, as vital people, with instinctive lines that are both sensual and spiritual; always they are whole and organic as they are drawn inexorably into the Rainbow. Both book and reading give us Lawrence at his best." (AudioFile)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Death and Rebirth, the Old and New.

A brilliant telling of the Brangwen family's 3 generations, before and after the industrial revolution from their small bit of England, and their rise from people of the land, to people of culture and worldly knowledge, with moral, spiritual and earthly struggles. Eventually revolving around the granddaughter, Ursula, a 'modern' women of free thought and the challenges that envelope her. It is a story of great passions, misfortunes, loves and agonies, always surrounded by their small place in the world of earthly power.
If you love this book as much as I have, 'Women in Love' continues the tale, this time focusing on Ursula's younger sister, Gudrun.

Maureen O'Brien is the best narrator I have, to this point, heard! Remarkable!
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- Geoffrey

Strangely Contemporary

Written in the early 1900's this novel seems strangely contemporary with characters and situations that still resonate. This novel is primarily about characters and their relationship to environment, and not much about story. The novel follows the lives of a family that transitions from rural to industrial life in turn of the century Britain. There is some mildly erotic bi-curious scenes and lots of frank sexuality. All the action in this book is quite slow and almost all is internal to the characters. The writing is touching and subtly powerful. The story mirrors real life, over multiple generations, so there is a balance of death and birth, and happiness and despair, but I did not find this at all depressing, but life affirming.

This book reminded me a bit of Jude of Obscure, which I also liked quite a bit.

I had read Sons and Lovers and liked it a lot. I liked this more, and just added the sequel Women in Love to my queue.
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- Michael

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-13-2011
  • Publisher: Audible Studios