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Publisher's Summary

When Pippa Dunn, adopted as an infant and raised terribly British, discovers that her birth parents are from the American South, she finds that "culture clash" has layers of meaning she'd never imagined. Meet The English American, a fabulously funny, deeply poignant debut novel that sprang from Alison Larkin's autobiographical one-woman show of the same name.The very English Pippa knows how to make a proper cup of tea, has attended a posh English boarding school, and discusses the crossword rather than exchange any cross words with her proper English family. Yet Pippa - creative, disheveled, and impulsive to the core - has always felt different from her perfectly poised, smartly coiffed sister and steady, practical parents, whose pastimes include Scottish dancing, gardening, and watching cricket.When Pippa learns, at age 28, that her birth parents are from the American South, she feels that lifelong questions have been answered. She meets her birth mother, an untidy, artistic, free-spirited redhead, and her birth father, a charismatic (and politically involved) businessman, and she moves to America to be near them. At the same time, she relies on the guidance of a young man with whom she feels a mysterious connection - a man who discovered his own estranged father and who, like her birth parents, seems to understand her in a way that no one ever has before. Pippa feels she has found herself and everything she thought she wanted.But has she? Caught between two opposing cultures, two sets of parents, and two completely different men, Pippa is plunged into hilarious, heart-wrenching chaos. Her birth father turns out to be involved in neoconservative activities she hates, and the mesmerizing mother who once abandoned her now refuses to let her go. And the man of her fantasies may be just that.Larkin's compulsively readable first novel unearths universal truths about love, identity, and family with wit, warmth, and heart.
©2008 Alison Larkin; (P)2008 Audible, Inc.
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Critic Reviews

"Author and narrator Alison Larkin lights up the earphones with her portrayal of Pippa Dunn, an English young woman who discovers that her birth parents are Americans. Pippa decides to go to America to meet them and ends up finding herself—and true love. Larkin's heartfelt narration conveys Pippa's mixed up feelings of confusion and guilt—as well as the story's humor. Larkin moves delightfully between the various British and American accents. With gentle humor, she pokes fun at both American and British cultures while making it clear she loves them both. This audio experience is like watching a great romantic comedy. Have the tissues ready at the end—the romance is that good! Winner of the AudioFile Earphones Award." (AudioFile)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Michael on 07-05-09

Outstanding

This audio book is moving, funny, thought provoking, immensely entertaining and brilliantly narrated.

Alison Larkin is as gifted a narrator as she is an author. A visit to her website shows why. A classically trained Broadway actress before she became a novelist, Larkin also made a name for herself doing cartoons and voice-overs in Los Angeles, She also narrated audio books for Disney. Her American accents are impeccable and the performance superb.

It's a wonderful book. Deep but funny and accessible, covering an important subject with compassion, wisdom and humor. We end up loving Pippa Dunn even more than we did at the beginning, and learning more about ourselves in the process. It's been a long time since I heard an audio book that made me laugh and cry at the same time. And I don't even have any personal connection to the subject matter!

Alison Larkin and her novel are uniquely entertaining. Will appeal to people who like to listen to a terrific story. You have to know what happens next.

This is my first review. I had to write it because this book really deserves to be acknowledged for what it is. Something different. Something special. Something you won't forget in a hurry.

This one is a keeper, not just because of the writing, but also because of its perofrmance. A tour de force by an outstandingly gifted narrator.

i see she's narrating the Arthur Ransom series. I'd like to hear more books narrated by Alison - American, British, it doesn't matter what. This author/narrator is the real deal. More please!

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25 of 25 people found this review helpful


By Diana on 04-01-08

I loved this book!

Funny, serious, sweet and silly. This book didn't have a disappointing or dull moment. I loved all the characters and could really identify with Pippa's need to know her birth parents. A book on this subject could have been too pathetic or painful, but Alison delivers it perfectly --she delves into difficult situations but with a sense of humor and a sunny disposition.

There are so many unique characters in this book, and the author somehow manages to give each character a voice in her amazing narration. Highly recommended.

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25 of 27 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By KatMari on 08-10-17

Well worth a listen

If you could sum up The English American in three words, what would they be?

Heartwarming, thought-provoking, funny

What did you like best about this story?

I loved the warm honesty of the protagonist. Perhaps partly because this Alison Larkin narrating her own work - which is semi-based on her real life experience - the whole result is a completely authentic and real heroine.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

No spoilers! But there were plenty!

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

I really wanted to - as it was I listened to it over about four days, I didn't want to stop.

Any additional comments?

I really hope Alison writes more books and narrates them herself, she's a huge talent.

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22 of 23 people found this review helpful


By Graphite74 on 11-09-17

Gripping Listen

An amazing narrator who holds your attention throughout the whole book. Very well written too of course!

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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