Synopses & Reviews
For years Helen Knightly has given her life to others: to her haunted mother, to her enigmatic father, to her husband and grown children. When she finally crosses a terrible boundary, her life comes rushing in at her in a way she never could have imagined.
Unfolding over the next twenty-four hours, this searing, fast-paced audiobook explores the complex ties between mothers and daughters, wives and lovers, the meaning of devotion, and the line between love and hate. It is a challenging, moving, gripping story, written with the fluidity and strength of voice that only Alice Sebold has.
"Joan Allen fails to breathe sufficient life into Alice Sebold's second novel to make it worth the listen, but she really doesn't have much to work with. Helen Knightly, a divorced mother of two grown daughters, impulsively murders her 88-year-old mother, Claire. The story then flips back and forth between Helen's response to her present-day act and long flashbacks exploring her love/hate relationships with her emotionally volatile, agoraphobic mother and her suicidal, peculiarly obsessed father. Allen's calm, even voice makes Helen's most irrational actions (smothering her mother, cutting her clothes off, bathing her dead body and dragging it down to the basement) sound nearly as reasonable to listeners as they do to Helen. Allen also marvelously evokes the cracked, demented tones of Helen's aged mother. Unfortunately, the older Claire Knightly appears in only the smallest portion of the book, and Allen barely troubles to distinguish the voices of the other characters. Her unvarying voice, combined with the tediously introspective text, make this audio a real slog. Simultaneous release with the Little, Brown hardcover (Reviews, Aug. 27). (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
When all is said and done, killing my mother came easily. A woman steps over the line into the unthinkable, in this brilliant, powerful, and unforgettable new novel by the author of "The Lovely Bones" and "Lucky." Unabridged. 7 CDs.