The Practice House

  • by Laura McNeal
  • Narrated by Angela Dawe
  • 14 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Nineteen-year-old Aldine McKenna is stuck at home with her sister and aunt in a Scottish village in 1929 when two Mormon missionaries ring the doorbell. Aldine's sister converts and moves to America to marry, and Aldine follows, hoping to find the life she's meant to lead and the person she's meant to love.
In New York, Aldine answers an ad soliciting a teacher for a one-room schoolhouse in a place she can't possibly imagine: drought-stricken Kansas. She arrives as farms on the Great Plains have begun to fail and schools are going bankrupt, unable to pay or house new teachers. With no money and too much pride to turn back, she lives uneasily with the family of Ansel Price - the charming, optimistic man who placed the ad - and his family responds to her with kind curiosity, suspicion, and, most dangerously, love. Just as she's settling into her strange new life, a storm forces unspoken thoughts to the surface that will forever alter the course of their lives.
Laura McNeal's novel is a sweeping and timeless love story about leaving - and finding - home.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Well, written, interesting, different family saga

I wasn’t sold till Scotland and NY was behind Aldine—those parts felt almost superfluous to the story. But I kept listening because Angela Dawe is my favorite female audio narrator. As soon as Aldine gets to Kansas, the story picks up.

I could have listened to an entire book about Aldine, but the book takes a turn and we end up with the POVs of all the Price family members. I was especially impressed how McNeal took unlikeable characters seen from Aldine’s POV, who became much more sympathetic when we were in their heads. Nevertheless, it did not make Aldine an unreliable narrator, the reader just understands the character’s motivation better.

I don’t want to give any spoilers, but the book went in many directions that I didn’t expect, all of which were interesting and satisfying. Also loved the historical details of time, place, and events.
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- NMwritergal

I want my 13 hours back

This is one of those books that tricks you into thinking it's going to get better, but it never truly does. Chapter after chapter I was waiting to get to know the characters more, and finally get the sense of emotion from any of them, but nothing! Don't expect it either if you decide to invest your time into a book that really goes no where.

I didn't find any of the characters likable, and no matter what bad thing happened to them, they responded to their circumstances coldly and without emotion. They ended up driving me crazy. The one redeeming factor to this was the narrator - she was very good and nailed her accents. I bought this after reading the reviews and I'm really surprised that people found this book 'gripping'. It's intriguing but leaves you empty for wanting a lot more.
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- lzos

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-01-2017
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio