The Resurrection of Joan Ashby

  • by Cherise Wolas
  • Narrated by Gabra Zackman, Michael Dickes
  • 19 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

I viewed the consumptive nature of love as a threat to serious women. But the wonderful man I just married believes as I do - work is paramount, absolutely no children - and now love seems to me quite marvelous.
These words are spoken to a rapturous audience by Joan Ashby, a brilliant and intense literary sensation acclaimed for her explosively dark and singular stories.
When Joan finds herself unexpectedly pregnant, she is stunned by Martin's delight, his instant betrayal of their pact. She makes a fateful, selfless decision then, to embrace her unintentional family. Challenged by raising two precocious sons, it is decades before she finally completes her masterpiece novel. Poised to reclaim the spotlight, to resume the intended life she gave up for love, a betrayal of Shakespearean proportion forces her to question every choice she has made.
Epic, propulsive, incredibly ambitious, and dazzlingly written, The Resurrection of Joan Ashby is a story about sacrifice and motherhood, the burdens of expectation and genius. Cherise Wolas' gorgeous debut introduces an indelible heroine candid about her struggles and unapologetic in her ambition.

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What the Critics Say

"That I got so worked up about a person who doesn't exist is a testament to Cherise Wolas's success in creating a complex and distinct fictional character." (The New York Times Book Review)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Little More Than It Needed to Be

I got an email from Goodreads, but they said it was from A.M. Homes telling me I needed to read this book. I love her, so I listened. I knew it was a marketing ploy, but A.M. Homes!

She had this to say:

"stunning debut...reminds me of my most favorite authors: J.D. Salinger, Carson McCullers, Truman Capote, Joan Didion."

I NEEDED to spend Audible credits and it was 19 hours, a perfect storm for book selection. Only, it wasn't. Salinger? AM (can I call you AM?) ...

I got through this book in like 3 days, so I can't say I wasn't engaged. But holy moly it was flawed. And there was a lot going on. A writer has a couple of short story collections which just wow the world and she wins awards, and is this lauded famous author. Many of her short stories show up in the book, and I have to tell you. I didn't get the attraction, I mean they weren't bad, but not mind blowing.

She meets a guy (brilliant famous eye surgeon) and on like their first date she tells him, her writing comes first and she's never having kids. Well, I don't need to tell you what happens. They fall in love, get married, oops, she gets preggers. She rushes to finish her first novel, (to me the most interesting idea IN this book) and after she has the baby she decides the book isn't good enough and destroys it, and puts a pin in her career and naturally has another baby because there was never going to be just one.

There are other stories she knocks about to get her writing again, which we hear all about and when the boys are in elementary school she finally writes a (boring sounding) novel that we get to hear all about, and it's good and she knows it, and then one of her sons it turns out is a 13-year old computer whiz, and needs to run a billion dollar company from her house, so she puts the book in a box in the garage because you can't be an author and have a son running a billion dollar company out of your house.

Then something treacherous happens with the book, and she goes to India to have an Eat Pray Love moment, where she writes another novel we get to hear all about which again is not that interesting.

I didn't hate it, but there were some things I just couldn't get past ... like how famous this short story writer was. How many famous short story writers do we know? George Saunders. Even authors, I mean, you don't get to the level of celebrity this author portrayed J.K. Rowling or George R.R. Martin, Stephen King -- sure, but they all have TV or movies to back up their books. It just wasn't real. And then there's the stories and novels themselves. Like the author knew she was only ever going to publish one book so she put everything she ever wrote in it.

She's a good storyteller, but the writing and the ideas themselves were mostly average.
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- Nicole Del Sesto

A bit too long - but a great piece overall

I found this book intriguing because there are lots of stories within the story. The main story is about Joan Ashby, an author, who gets married and has two kids. Her whole life leading up to that she spoke openly about not wanting either of those things : no marriage, no kids. As someone with no kids I wanted to hear Joan’s point of view. She had them and she loved them. However, it ruined her career. Not just having the kids but the actual kids themselves ruined her career.
Anyway, lots of stories within the story. Because Joan Ashby is a writer there will be parts of the book where you read her works. Her short stories, parts of her novel. The book opens with some interviews and articles written about her. I liked this a lot. I did not like Part 3, it went on way too long. Overall it was enjoyable and I would recommend it to those who like character driven novels that move slowly without lots of action. Think John Irving or Kent Haruf.
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- Jennifer R.

Book Details

  • Release Date: 08-29-2017
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio