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Publisher's Summary

A searing debut novel from the award-winning author of You Know When the Men Are Gone, about jealousy, the unpredictable path of friendship, and the secrets kept in marriage, all set within the US expat community of the Middle East during the rise of the Arab Spring.

Both Cassie Hugo and Margaret Brickshaw dutifully followed their soldier husbands to the US embassy in Jordan, but that's about all the women have in common. After two years Cassie's become an expert on the rules, but newly arrived Margaret sees only her chance to explore. So when a fender bender sends Margaret to the local police station, Cassie reluctantly agrees to watch Margaret's toddler son. But as the hours pass, Cassie's boredom and frustration turn to fear: Why isn't Margaret answering her phone, and why is it taking so long to sort out a routine accident? Snooping around Margaret's apartment, Cassie begins to question not only her friend's whereabouts but also her own role in Margaret's disappearance.

With achingly honest prose and riveting characters, The Confusion of Languages plunges listeners into a shattering collision between two women and two worlds, affirming Siobhan Fallon as a powerful voice in American fiction and a storyteller not to be missed.

©2017 Siobhan Fallon (P)2017 Penguin Audio

Critic Reviews

"A gripping, cleverly plotted novel with surprising bite." (Phil Klay)
"Mesmerizing and devastating...two military wives must explore a modern-day, cultural labyrinth in this insatiable read." (Sarah McCoy)

What listeners say about The Confusion of Languages

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  • CF
  • 15-06-2018

Miserable

The two main characters are unlikable and that makes the whole journey with them miserable. The story is ok, and some of the details about life in Jordan were interesting, but I kept waiting for something unexpected to happen. It never did. The worst part was the narration of Margaret's character. The narrator's silly, childish, nasal presentation of the character was unbearable. I cringed every time the narrator switched to Margaret. I wanted to quit the book several times due to the narration. This book was ultimately a waste of time.

3 people found this helpful

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  • RueRue
  • 04-10-2017

Depressing

A downbeat look at the lives of (2) military wives in Jordan, 2011. I found both of these characters very unsympathetic. They made terrible decisions with disastrous consequences. The story was depressing.

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • S. A. Lynch
  • 02-07-2017

as good as i was hoping

loved it. i was excited for this novel after reading her first collection of short stories. she writes with such insight and compassion- for all involved. it encourages the read to focus inward to review our own motivations. excellent

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Kelsi Gulig
  • 26-05-2020

Interesting, but lengthy, sad and unsatisfying

This book was an interesting peek at the Middle Eastern world and life on an embassy. I liked the two main female characters - both very different and each with her own good and bad traits. One kind but naive and headstrong to the point of dumb, and the other fearful and anxious to the point of insanity. But the story was long and sometimes dragged. The ending was sad in a way that felt unsatisfying. But perhaps that is the sign I liked it more than I think I did, since I attached enough to the characters to feel so sad for them.

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  • Jamie Lynn
  • 23-12-2018

Betrayal

Fallon wrote a fantastic book and I’m glad we get to hear the point of view from both women. As a military spouses, I identified with pieces of this story but hope never to befriend someone like Cassie. She was not what I call a true or good friend, but a judgmental b*tch who wants everyone around her to be as miserable as she is.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 02-07-2018

slow start

had to start it three times before I could get into the story. then finished it.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • amendoza4508
  • 03-10-2017

Bad!

Terrible book. Unintelligent a waste of my time. I think what I disliked the most is that the author presents American expatriate women as stupid. And of course the performances reinforced this last characteristic.

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