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Publisher's Summary

Yvonne Carmichael has worked hard to achieve the life that she always wanted: a high-flying career in genetics, a beautiful home, a good relationship with her husband and their two grown-up children. Then one day she meets a stranger at the Houses of Parliament and begins a passionate affair with him - a decision that will put everything she values at risk.
At first she believes she can keep the relationship separate from the rest of her life, but she can't control what happens next. All of her careful plans spiral into greater deceit and, eventually, a life-changing act of violence.
Apple Tree Yard is a psychological thriller about a woman's adultery and an insightful examination of the values we live by and the choices we make, from an acclaimed writer at the height of her powers.
©2014 Louise Doughty (P)2014 Faber Audio
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Critic Reviews

“Doughty is a brilliant storyteller who knows how to build the suspense to breaking point.” ( The Times)
“A compelling cautionary tale of what happens when fantasy begins to occlude real life. ‘The trouble with stories is, they are addictive,’ Doughty states. In this case, she may never have written a truer word.” ( Guardian)
Apple Tree Yard is a chilling novel, in part because of the unsparing light it shines on our ability to deceive ourselves. Doughty has a particular gift for unsettling stories, for making us ask difficult questions of ourselves, our own relationships and choices, and this is her strongest book yet. It's not a comfortable read, but it is entirely compelling.” (Stephanie Merritt, Observer)
“Taut and psychologically persuasive ... A disquieting, perceptive and gripping read.” ( Daily Mail)
“Gripping.” ( Sunday Times)
“Welcome to Louise Doughty's world in which individuals are complex and fallible ... Doughty drops sharp, shiver-inducing insights, like winter raindrops, on every page ... The story is compelling but Doughty makes sure that we're enthralled by teasing us with tantalising glimpses of future events ... Her writing is piercing and potent, overpowering emotions captured in sharp, pithy phrases ... The court scene is one of the best I've ever read, the suspense and tension building to a taut peak ... Riveting.” ( Independent on Sunday)
“If a prologue to a novel is to whet the reader's appetite, Louise Doughty provides irresistible temptation with the opening of Apple Tree Yard... A compelling read ... Recollection, interspersed with the growing tension as the trial plays out in the Old Bailey, provides a perfectly dovetailed structure. But within the thriller framework lies a wealth of acutely observed detail, a dissection of social attitudes and an examination of lust, trust, predatory sex, risky behaviour and responsibility ... there is considerably more to Apple Tree Yard than thrilling narrative alone.” ( Herald)
“Nobody who reads Apple Tree Yard is likely to complain about feeling short-changed ... Here the sharp domestic details are powerfully combined with (among other things) a dark crime thriller, a gripping courtroom drama and an unforced meditation on the pleasures and dangers of self-deception ... Superbly teasing.” ( Readers Digest)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By andrew on 01-29-17

The reveal

Would you consider the audio edition of Apple Tree Yard to be better than the print version?

I was intrigued by Part 1 of the TV version so decided to hear it and was delighted to find the narrator was Juliet Stevenson.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

(Minor spoiler alert)
I do not know why the author gave away the courtroom reveal earlier in the story. There were enough other hints such as the chimp experiment discussion Yvonne had with her solicitor. I would have omitted that earlier piece of the barrister's cross examination as it comes up again virtually verbatim later. Always difficult to get stories told in flashback right and balance out suspense versus too much information.

What does Juliet Stevenson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Incredible characterizations by Ms.Stevenson. Sometimes I can imagine voices when reading in print but not all the time. She adds so much by her voice acting.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I was moved by the family and friends' reactions. I was also moved by the human fallibility component in general and how life can "turn on a dime".

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Bjerkana on 10-07-14

Complex questions

Where do I start to review this book. It has so much in it. A profound psychological drama, cleverly unfolded, with so many facets. The book explores relationships, morality, motivations, perceptions, personality and the exigencies of circumstance which can turn our lives inside out. The author considers the working of the law and its relationship to underlying moralities, the meaning of truth and lies. Her central character lives and breathes through the outstanding performance of Juliet Stevenson. I loved this book and will look for more by this author.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Jill on 02-08-14

Multi-layered and absorbing

I really enjoyed this book. Excellent characterization, complex plot and very thought-provoking indeed. Juliet Stevenson's narration is utterly superb. I had never heard of this author before; I'm glad I decided to follow the recommendations of other readers, she is a great discovery!

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24 of 25 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Mrs. Helen M. Herbert on 02-09-14

Brilliant Recommendation!

What made the experience of listening to Apple Tree Yard the most enjoyable?

What a great choice of narrator, Juliet Stephenson used just the right tempo and intonation in her voice, which is like silk, to keep you wanting to hear more.

What did you like best about this story?

The way the story unfolds as Yvonne narrates her experiences, leaving you wanting to listen more and more. The twists and turns in the plot keep you guessing continually about the outcome.

Have you listened to any of Juliet Stevenson’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No I haven't but I will be checking out other books that she has narrated.

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10 of 10 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Lyn McQuade on 08-20-14

Enthralling

What did you like most about Apple Tree Yard?

I found this book a little confusing to start with but once I got into it I couldn't put it down.

What other book might you compare Apple Tree Yard to, and why?

This book is different to anything I've read so find it hard to compare.

What about Juliet Stevenson’s performance did you like?

Juliet has a well modulated voice and was easy to listen to. She didn't try to overdo the reading. She just let the story tell the tale.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I listen to audio books on my train journey to and from work. I was never ready to turn it off when I reached my destination.

Any additional comments?

very entertaining and kept you interested.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Can't listen enough on 03-26-14

Loved it!

What made the experience of listening to Apple Tree Yard the most enjoyable?

Well read. Well paced. Very suspenseful. Well written, gives you empathy for the characters. I changed my mind at every chapter.

What did you like best about this story?

It starts briefly with the end and then returns to the beginning. You get to see the characters from the beginning develop and you love them, like them, don't agree and then change your mind all over again at the next chapter.

What does Juliet Stevenson bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Excellent Orator. Well read, well paced and lovely on the ear. If I had read this book I would have probably sped through some spots to find out what happened!!

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Lots of emotions. I could empathise with main character and then at times not at all. It was all a mixture of reactions. The depth that this book explored is brilliant.
At times I was questioning why why why! It all ties up in the end.

Any additional comments?

You won't be disappointed.

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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