OUR SHORT HISTORY by Lauren Grodstein
Available now from Highbridge Audio.
From the Publisher:
“Karen Neulander, a successful New York political consultant, has always been fiercely protective of her son, Jacob, now six. She’s had to be: when Jacob’s father, Dave, found out Karen was pregnant and made it clear that fatherhood wasn’t in his plans, Karen walked out of the relationship, never telling Dave her intention was to raise their child alone.
But now Jake is asking to meet his dad, and with good reason: Karen is dying. Worried that he’ll break Jake’s heart, Karen finally makes the call, and is shocked to find Dave ecstatic about the news. First, he can’t meet Jake fast enough, and then, he can’t seem to leave him alone. As she tries to play out her last days in the “right” way, Karen struggles with knowing that the only thing she cannot bring herself to do for her son—let his father become a permanent part of his life—is the thing he needs from her the most.
With heart-wrenching poignancy, unexpected wit, and mordant humor, Lauren Grodstein has created an unforgettable story about parenthood, sacrifice, and life itself.”
From the review at Every Day I Write the Book Blog:
“I listened to Our Short History on audio. It was performed by accomplished narrator and EDIWTB friend Karen White, who did a great job with this one. She conveyed (fictional) Karen’s desperation and anger as persuasively as she did Karen’s pride and pettiness. I wonder how hard it was to keep her composure when she got to some of the more difficult scenes in the novel. Overall, excellent audiobook.”
From the review at AudioFile Magazine:
“Narrator Karen White skillfully navigates the barrage of emotions in Grodstein’s heartrending story of a dying mother who is writing a memoir for her young son to read when he’s older. White’s clear delivery captures both the grim determination of the single mother as she fights to maintain normalcy while dealing with terminal cancer–as well as the anger she feels at the cruel hand she’s been dealt. White effectively conveys the anguish any parent would feel in this tragic scenario. The subtle use of tempo and intensity lets White bring the listener all the inherent drama and pathos without becoming maudlin. Pairing a talented author with a skilled narrator renders a difficult subject approachable–but bring the tissues.”
My recording experience:
With this book, Lauren Grodstein took me on a journey. I hope my performance will take listeners on it as well. It’s not a pleasant journey but one that was thought-provoking and moving, making me consider everything from my parenting and my family relationships to my own end of life. First time I’ve narrated a first person character with my own name, and first time I’ve recorded a book for Algonquin Press (I’m a fan; it was started in my hometown), but the real reward was in helping to bring to life a character that is so complicated, honest, flawed and fierce.
Listen to a sample here:
THIS GIVEAWAY IS NOW CLOSED. Mary C. is the randomly selected winner and the CDs will be mailed out to her as soon as I get her address. Thanks to all for entering! I give away lots of books – to find out about them in the future, please consider following this blog, or my Facebook page, or on Twitter. Oftentimes, you can also enter there!
(If you’d like to buy a copy, using this link, I’ll receive a small percentage from Amazon through their Associates program. Narrators don’t earn royalties, so this is a way I can be compensated for marketing the book.)