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Sights Unseen

Narrated by: Kaye Gibbons
Length: 2 hrs and 58 mins

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Publisher's Summary

To the people of Bend of the River Road, Maggie Barnes is "the Barnes woman with all the problems." To her family, she is the unpredictable wife, elusive mother, and adored daughter-in-law, and to her maid, Pearl, she is the mistress who must be cared for like a child. Between the suicidal lows and delirious highs, young Hattie Barnes struggles to find a place in her mother's heart. She observes her mother's vain attempts at normalcy, and then watches as she is driven off to the hospital psychiatric ward. Only later will Hattie discover the deep-seated hopes and fears of the woman she loves unconditionally, and her inevitable connection to her family's past. In heartfelt and potent prose, through Hattie's hushed voice, Sights Unseen tells the story of a troubled relationship and the courage it takes to see it through.
©1995 Kaye Gibbons, All Rights Reserved (P)1995 Simon & Schuster Inc., All Rights Reserved

Critic Reviews

"[The] story of family dislocation and crisis in restrained prose of unflinching clarity, with a honing eye for the small domestic details that conjure a time, place, and emotional atmosphere." (Publishers Weekly)

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  • Fitzgerald Family
  • 12-02-2020


I was unaware till the end "credits" that this had been abridged, which was frustrating to learn. I looooove Kaye Gibbons' "Ellen Foster", so was expecting another of her works (read by the author herself, nonetheless!) to be just as wonderful. Alas, it was extraordinarily underwhelming. The reading was lackluster and the story was without plot. It was a painful listen about growing up with a mother suffering from significant mental illness. Perhaps I should be grateful it was abridged!