Caroline Leavitt is at her mesmerizing best in this haunting, nuanced portrait of love, sisters, and the impossible legacy of family. It's 1969, and sixteen-year-old Lucy is about to run away with a much older man to live off the grid in rural Pennsylvania, a rash act that will have vicious repercussions for both her and her older sister, Charlotte. As Lucy's default caretaker for most of their lives, Charlotte's youth has been marked by the burden of responsibility, but never more so than when Lucy's dream of a rural paradise turns into a nightmare.Cruel Beautiful World examines the intricate, infinitesimal distance between seduction and love, loyalty and duty, and explores what happens when you're responsible for things you cannot make right.
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by Caroline Leavitt
by Kristan Higgins
"Narrator Xe Sands's soothing voice and evocative performance of this novel about relationships, family, and loneliness is an audiobook lover's dream. In 1970, 16-year-old Lucy runs away from Boston to set up house with her English teacher, William, in rural Pennsylvania. Sands changes up her volume, pacing, and expression to create a range of moods that mirror each character's inner world after the teen disappears. Noteworthy are her portrayals of Lucy's oppressive isolation and dawning realization that William is not the man of her dreams, her older sister's distress and determination to find the girl, and their adoptive mother's worry and guilt about her own failures. Sands slips easily among the different viewpoints, including those of the men, building the tension and keeping listeners fully invested in Lucy's story. C.B.L. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2016, Portland, Maine"
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