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Publisher's Summary

Autumn, 1918: Rumors of peace are spreading across America, but spreading even faster are the first cases of Spanish influenza, whispering of the epidemic to come. Maureen Ross, well past a safe childbearing age, is experiencing a difficult pregnancy. Her husband, Troop (cold and careless of her condition) is an emotional cripple who has battered her spirit throughout their marriage. As Maureen's time grows near, she becomes convinced she will die in childbirth. Into this loveless marriage comes Mary Oliver, Troop's niece. The sheltered child of a well-to-do freethinking Washington family, Mary arrives to help Maureen in the last weeks of her confinement. Horrified by Troop's bullying, she soon discovers that her true duty is to protect her aunt. As influenza spreads and the death toll grows, Troop's spiteful behaviors worsen. Tormenting his wife, taunting her for her "low birth," Troop terrorizes the household. When Mary fights back, he goes over the edge. Maureen rallies with a stunning confrontation and, ultimately, finds spiritual renewal.
©2004 Kaye Gibbons (P)2004 Simon & Schuster, Inc. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Gorgeously moody and piquant fairy tale." (Booklist)
"Gibbons's tale is atmospheric and unsettling, narrated in hushed Victorian tones and ornamented with period flourishes." (Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
2 out of 5 stars
By Nancy on 05-19-04

Didn't enjoy the narration.

I found this book tough to listen to. The author does the reading, but I found her delivery stiff, unnatural and forced. She has a Southern accent, which I generally enjoy listening to, but I found hers to be more of a whine. The story is OK, not great. It drags a bit, but the narration drags it down even more. If the quality of the narration matters a lot to you, pass on this one.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By Shrimpy on 01-25-07

Waste of money and time....

I really don't know where to start...the story was awful...there was nothing there to grab on to and enjoy..it actually was a bit confusing, worsened by the flat narration. I don't think I have ever heard such horrible narration. I gave this story an obligatory 45 minutes due to the fact that I did pay for it, but was relieved when my time was up. I wish I could get my money back....

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1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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