The Beautiful Visit

  • by Elizabeth Jane Howard
  • Narrated by Juliet Stevenson
  • 13 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

On the eve of an unusual voyage, a young woman reviews her life. Her story begins with a 'beautiful visit' to friends in the country which serves as an awakening experience. What follows is an account of her struggle to retain the mood of her visit.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

depressing and boring

I've always liked this narrator, which is why I gave this a try. Mistake. I listened to over half of it expecting something to catch on but finally skipped to the end to see if there was any kind of ending. I just don't get what the author was aiming for. The central character's life is so joyless and hopeless. Her way of resolving this is to take a big risk on something and then the book ends. All I could think is, I hope that works out for her.
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- Carl Smith

I loved this

If you could sum up The Beautiful Visit in three words, what would they be?

Well, first of all I refuse to "sum up" this book in three words. That really is ridiculous. Any work deserves more respect than that.

This is really what I call a "vertical" novel. There is relatively little horizontal or chronological "action" that propels the plot. It's not that kind of book. The development goes downwards, (or upwards, depending on your perspective) deeper into the people and places that inhabit the story. Think Graham Greene. Think Gaskell.


What did you like best about this story?

Howard is fantastic with character and place. I love her people. I care about them and even the enigmatic, keep me interested.


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

Well, she is, hands down, THE BEST. I would listen to anything she cared to read.


Any additional comments?

I don't think this is for everyone. Certainly not for those who must have something "happen" every moment. There are relatively few "dramatic" instances. Like Gaskell, she often examines quiet lives/

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- Mary Ellen

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-19-2009
  • Publisher: Audible Studios