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The Invitation

Narrated by: Caroline Lee
Length: 15 hrs and 42 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
4.5 out of 5 stars (32 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

In Gilded Age New York, money buys everything. What is your price? From the best-selling author of Tuscan Rose comes a mesmerising tale of two sisters and the dangers and seductions of excess. 

Sometimes the ties that bind are the most dangerous of all....

Paris, 1899. Emma Lacasse has been estranged from her older sister for nearly 20 years, since Caroline married a wealthy American and left France. So when Emma receives a request from Caroline to meet her, she is intrigued. Caroline invites Emma to visit her in New York, on one condition: Emma must tutor her shy, young niece, Isadora, and help her prepare for her society debut. 

Caroline lives a life of unimaginable excess and opulence as one of New York's Gilded Age millionaires, and Emma is soon immersed in a world of luxury beyond her wildest dreams - a far cry from her bohemian lifestyle as a harpist and writer with her lover, Claude, in Montmartre.  

Emma hopes for an emotional reunion with her only family, but instead she finds herself in the viselike grip of her charismatic and manipulative sister, who revels in the machinations of the ultrarich. As Emma begins to question her sister's true motives, a disaster strikes, and New York society is stripped bare - beneath the glittering exterior lies a seething nest of deceit, betrayal, moral corruption...and perhaps even murder.

©2018 Belinda Alexandra (P)2019 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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

Very enjoyable

An interesting look at the high society in New York at the turn of the century. The batttles with new and old money, the thoughts of independent women and the pressure to conform to what is expected. I’ve read all Belindas books and throughly enjoy led them all. I find I have to turn up the speed on Caroline Lees narration to 1.25 otherwise its way tooooo slow!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Suzanne-Marie
  • 08-04-2019

A mixed bag for this reader, this time!

While I’ve read and enjoyed four others of Belinda Alexander’s books and have been confident of Caroline Lee’s narration, this wasn’t one of my favorite collaborations, at all.

I thought The Invitation was slow to gain steam. Between it nearly losing me in interest, content and pace for about the first 1/3,I almost stopped listening and returned it because of the narration. With this book, I could barely stand Ms Lee’s reading: her interpretation of French words and phrases made me cringe every time. I found her verbal contortions of these French attempts to be painful distractions. Unfortunately, these occasions happened many times in every chapter and it was like nails on the chalkboard for me, every time.

The Invitation did have some interesting descriptions and factoids of the many preposterous aspects of the Gilded Age woven throughout, and, this aspect became a greater proportion as the story progressed. One can tell that Belinda Alexander always does a good job of researching her books. I appreciate that.

Some Audible selections I listen to more than once. I can’t imagine I would do so with The Invitation.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • M. Diamond
  • 26-05-2019

“A Must Listen “

Belinda Alexandra has become one of my most favorite writers, combined with Caroline Lee’s narration it’s a pure joy to listen to.
As soon as a book is finished I usually skip the acknowledgments and move on , not here I want to listen to every last word .
The story takes place during the Gilded Age of New York when great fortunes were made . Like Dickens the writer also reveals the darker side and the plight of those less fortunate.
Plus I wish there was a category at the Grammy’s for best narration because Caroline Lee would get it ,.
I highly recommend!

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Assaka115
  • 05-04-2019

Mispronunciations abound

This is actually a very good story, however my issue is with the narrator. She keeps mispronouncing words and it started to make me nuts. She has the same person with an British accent speak with an American accent. The word “debut” seems to be extra tough.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful

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  • Enchantment1
  • 27-11-2019

Excellent in every way

Belinda Alexandra is so amazing how she fits the story and characters into the authentic setting of the times. And Caroline Lee is the absolute best narrator. I love her beautiful elegant pronunciation and expression, and she often makes me smile.

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  • Christine
  • 01-10-2019

Terrible

Predictable and boring story. Like a mediocre Harlequin novel read by an uninspired school teacher.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful