An Unfinished Life

  • by Mark Spragg
  • Narrated by Tony Amendola, Judith Marx
  • 7 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Jean Gilkyson is floundering in a trailer house in Iowa with yet another brutal boyfriend when she realizes this kind of life has got to stop, especially for the sake of her daughter, Griff. But the only place they can run to is Ishawooa, Wyoming, where Jean's loved ones are dead and her father-in-law, the only person who could take them in, wishes that she was, too. For a decade, Einar Gilkyson has blamed her for the accident that took his son's life, and he has chosen to go on living himself largely because his oldest friend couldn't otherwise survive. They've been bound together like brothers since the Korean War and now face old age on a faltering ranch, their intimacy even more acute after Mitch was horribly crippled while Einar helplessly watched.Of course, 10-year-old Griff knows none of this, only that her father is dead and her mother has bad taste in men. But once she encounters this grandfather she'd never heard about, and the black cowboy confined to the bunkhouse, with irrepressible courage and great spunk she attempts to turn grievous loss, wrath, and recrimination, to which she's naturally the most vulnerable, toward reconciliation and love.

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What the Critics Say

"Generations come of age, each in its own way, as tenderness survives stubbornness, pain, and silence. Each word counts for more than it says in this achingly beautiful story of courage and endurance." (Booklist)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Unfortunately I have lived this book.

I live in Wyoming. I definately feel a "kinship" with the main character in this story. Sadness prevails here where I live alone, because I lost my son also, August 2008.
Although the movie is very good, played by my favorite movie actors Redford & Freeman, I feel the book is much better, and I wish the movie had stayed closer to the way the book was written.
I hope no one ever has to go through the loss of their child. As was said in the movie, "We (parents), are not supposed to outlive our children".
To bad I don't have someone like Morgan Freeman to lean on. You will enjoy this book.
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- Timothy

An enjoyable story

I am not good at this but liked this book enough to give it a try. It is a simple story that has no surprizing twists along the way but the narration is very good and the characters are people you can like. The 10 year old girl that is the central character is a treat and so are the two old men in her life. I enjoyed it and hope others will get the same good feelings and enjoyment from it.
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- Marie E Nelson

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-16-2005
  • Publisher: HighBridge, a division of Recorded Books