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The Children's House

Narrated by: Sarah Snook
Length: 8 hrs and 29 mins
4 out of 5 stars (37 ratings)

Non-member price: $28.99

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Publisher's Summary

A love song to the idea of families in all their mysteries and complexities, their different configurations and the hope that creates them.

Marina and her husband, Jacob, were each born on a kibbutz in Israel. They meet years later at a university in California, when Jacob is a successful psychiatrist with a young son, Ben, from a disastrous marriage. The family moves to a brownstone in Harlem, formerly a convent inhabited by elderly nuns. 

Outside the house one day Marina encounters Constance, a young refugee from Rwanda, and her toddler, Gabriel. Unmoored and devastated, Constance and Gabriel quickly come to depend on Marina, and her bond with the little boy intensifies. 

The pure, blinding love that it is possible to feel for children not our own is the thread that weaves through The Children's House.

When Marina learns some disturbing news about her long-disappeared mother, Gizela, she leaves New York in search of the loose ends of her life. As Christmas nears, her tight-knit, loving family, along with Constance and Gabriel, join Marina in her mother's former home, with a startling consequence, an act that will transform all of their lives forever.

Alice Nelson skilfully weaves together these shared stories about the terrible things humans are capable of into a beautifully told, hope-filled novel exploring the profound consolations that we can find in each other.

©2018 Alice Nelson (P)2018 Penguin Random House Australia

What listeners say about The Children's House

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Dull, slow, tedious.

Dull and tedious. Performance was annoying and often too fast. Story is uninspiring and bland.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Beautiful

A story about living with trauma and displacement, it is beautifully written, poetic and full.
The narrator does a great job, finding the rhythm in the story and conveying a sense of nostalgia for all that is lost.
Enjoyed every moment.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • M.
  • 07-07-2020

Tough listen

Incredible subject matter- well covered. But the complex plot, multiple characters and flash backs- made me rewind multiple times ad I got lost in the plot.
This dark story was made even darker but the full monotone voice of the narrator which gave it a further sad note.
Having said all that the twisting story of multiple refugee lives was compelling.