The Things We Do for Love: A Novel Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Audible Audiobook, Unabridged
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Years of trying unsuccessfully to conceive a child have broken more than Angie DeSaria’s heart. Following a painful divorce, she moves back to her small Pacific Northwest hometown and takes over management of her family’s restaurant. In West End, where life rises and falls like the tides, Angie’s fortunes will drastically change yet again when she meets and befriends a troubled young woman.
Angie hires Lauren Ribido because she sees something special in the seventeen-year-old. They quickly form a deep bond, and when Lauren is abandoned by her mother, Angie offers the girl a place to stay. But nothing could have prepared Angie for the far-reaching repercussions of this act of kindness. Together, these two women - one who longs for a child and the other who longs for a mother’s love - will be tested in ways that neither could have imagined.
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|Listening Length||13 hours|
|Whispersync for Voice||Ready|
|Audible.com Release Date||June 15, 2021|
|Best Sellers Rank||
#1,507 in Audible Books & Originals (See Top 100 in Audible Books & Originals)
#19 in Psychological Fiction (Audible Books & Originals)
#28 in Fiction Sagas
#58 in Psychological Thrillers (Audible Books & Originals)
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If I had not read The Nightingale first, maybe I would’ve liked her other books.
Angie's longing for a child has been the death of her marriage, and she returns to her giant Italian family in the West End to discover that the family restaurant has its own death sentence. She throws herself into saving the restaurant, and bit by bit, she refinds herself. In the process, she meets Lauren, a 17-year-old girl with a drive to improve herself but also a deep desire to have a mother. Will their friendship turn into something good or ruin their hope of good?
Time and time again, I've returned to Kristin Hannah for her gritty writing on relationships. Although this book is absolutely a love story, it's about all types of loves--not just romantic love. Kristin Hannah asks the questions with her characters of "What would you do for love?" Would you willingly walk through another hard time for the sake of love? She takes Angie and Lauren to the absolute worst thing that could happen to them and walks them though it.
I truly loved this book, and I highly recommend it if you enjoy books that explore family relationships.
“There is no us, Angie,” The gentle way he said it broke her heart. This vibrant poignancy washes through this book.
So it's no wonder that it's heart wrenching when Angela ‘Angie’ Malone’s 14-year old marriage ends (on page 14) to Conlan, a Seattle Times journalist. Angie leaves her job and returns to her childhood home to West End (a small town 120 miles from Seattle).
"As always, Mama smelled of thyme, Tabu perfume, and Aqua Net hair spray. The scents of Angie’s youth."
Here is where her close-knit DeSaria family lives going on 40 years, owns an Italian trattoria, her sisters’ marriages flourish, and where she must come to terms with life without a baby and without a husband. Months before she lost her daughter on five days old. The grief and desire to be a mother, ripped a hole in Angie and engulfed her marriage.
In a flash, the reader is transported to the Pacific West Coast, into a corner Victorian house that is well-cared for and where love (and food) abound. Hannah paints the fine details, from the crucifix on the wall, to the murmur of the dinner prayers, to the scents that pervade the air. Not to be outdone though are the family dynamics, the love, devotion, exasperation felt and the parsing of character idiosyncrasies are, for the most part, realistically woven. With the recent death of her father, there’s tincture of poignant sadness, if not longing for the past, peppered here and there. Throughout the book, it is evident that this is where the author shines (to an extreme).
The old adage ‘You can’t go home’ is tested, torqued, and explored when Angie decides to help out in the family run restaurant that might have to close if they can’t get in step with the times. Instead of moving in with her mother, Angie opts to stay in the beachfront cottage built by her dad. “…it was wild here. Primitive. The ocean roared… The property was covered by fallen pine needles and oversized ferns.”
With complex stories, come complex journeys so enter Lauren Ribido, the other heroine of TTWDFL. A senior who attends a private, exclusive catholic school on scholarship and has the brains and determination to make it into Stanford, in hopes of becoming a journalist. The only thing missing from Lauren’s life is a stable parent. The only child of a woman who became pregnant at 17, Lauren’s mom is a dysfunctional parent. An alcoholic, hair dresser, who’s been married a few times, and is emotionally unavailable for Lauren. It’s here where a few times, I felt pulled out of the story, questioning the plausibility of this ‘perfect’ teenager and some details (even if the story was published in 2004) as well as Lauren’s self-talk, which didn’t seem authentic. But not enough to put aside the book.
Lauren and Angie meet by accident, then again and they connect. Angie feels drawn to the girl, obviously in need. She offers her a job at the restaurant, much to the chagrin of Mrs. DiSaria.
The main story line is Lauren has a great boyfriend, David Haynes also a senior who attends Fircrest Academy : smart, sweet, caring, athletic, present, and all it takes is one oversight to change the course of a person’s life. Lauren becomes pregnant. A huge situation that impacts not only Lauren and David but of course, Angie is there to help. Except Angie’s been through assisting a teenager girl pregnant and in need. The last time, the young lady (who had been given a place in Angie’s heart and household) who was going to let Conlan and Angie adopt her baby, decided in the end, she couldn’t.
This time, it’ll be different, Angie tells herself, her family, and eventually when she reconnects with her ex-husband. But can it?
Sorry, no spoilers this time around except to say that based on Angie's and Lauren's arc the ending fits the story and it's emotionally gratifying. So for reveal, if you’d like to find out, grab this book and prepare to be delighted.
4.5 Stars (Rounded Up)
This reviewer enjoyed this story immensely. If you’re a reader who gets into layered family drama where there’s lots of love, a few laughs, and hard work, and in the end, it’s the deeply sewn ties that bind, then The Things We Do For Love will surely please.