Get Your Free Audiobook

Non-member price: $42.90

After 30 days, Audible is $16.45/mo. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

“In The Lowering Days Gregory Brown gives us a lush, almost mythic portrait of a very specific place and time that feels all the more universal for its singularity. There’s magic here.” (Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls and Chances Are)

A promising literary star makes his debut with this emotionally powerful saga, set in 1980s Maine, that explores family love, the power of myths and storytelling, survival and environmental exploitation, and the ties between cultural identity and the land we live on

If you paid attention, you could see the entire unfolding of human history in a story....

Growing up, David Almerin Ames and his brothers, Link and Simon, believed the wild patch of Maine where they lived along the Penobscot River belonged to them. Running down the state like a spine, the river shared its name with the people of the Penobscot Nation, whose ancestral territory included the entire Penobscot watershed - the land upon which the Ames family eventually made their home.

The brothers’ affinity for the natural world derives from their iconoclastic parents, Arnoux, a romantic artist and Vietnam War deserter who builds boats by hand, and Falon, an activist journalist who runs The Lowering Days, a community newspaper which gives equal voice to indigenous and white issues. 

But the boys’ childhood reverie is shattered when a bankrupt paper mill, once the Penobscot Valley’s largest employer, is burned to the ground on the eve of potentially reopening. As the community grapples with the scope of the devastation, Falon receives a letter from a Penobscot teenager confessing to the crime - an act of justice for a sacred river under centuries of assault. 

For the residents of the Penobscot Valley, the fire reveals a stark truth. For many, the mill is a lifeline, providing working class jobs they need to survive. Within the Penobscot Nation, the mill is a bringer of death, spewing toxic chemicals and wastewater products that poison the river’s fish and plants. 

As the divide within the community widens, the building anger and resentment explodes in tragedy, wrecking the lives of David and those around him. 

Evocative and atmospheric, pulsating with the rhythms of the natural world, The Lowering Days is a meditation on the flow and weight of history, the power and fragility of love, the dangerous fault lines underlying families, and the enduring land where stories are created and told. 

©2021 Gregory Brown (P)2021 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about The Lowering Days

Average Customer Ratings

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

No Reviews are Available
Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Barbara S
  • Barbara S
  • 09-04-2021

amazing narrators

I listened to “The Lowering Days” by Gregory Brown, narrated by David Aaron Baker and Nicole Altvater. I loved listening to the story, but I wonder if I would have gotten more out of it if I had read it. It’s a lyrical story, meandering, with lots of details.

It’s a story that takes place in the 1980’s Maine where the Penobscot River meets the sea. The narrator is David Almerin, who tells his story in retrospect, as an adult. His father was a Vietnam War deserter, and his mother was a feminist and activist, not much of a mother. But this is the 80’s when children can run wild and learn from frolicking and antics. Adding to the narrative, is the proximity of the Penobscot Nation, an Indian reservation who honor the land. The Indian teachings reach the David and his two other brothers as they roam the landscape of Maine.

A pivotal event occurs in David’s childhood, when a mill is mysteriously burnt down. The Penobscot Nation always disagreed with the mill, as it destroyed the earth. A letter is sent, anonymously to David’s mother who works for the town paper. The letter confesses that this person burned the mill because it poisoned the river, killed plants, and spewed toxic chemicals. David’s mother agrees with the letter, thereby making her a political target.

Brown’s story follows three families, again in a meandering fashion. It’s a period story, about a family living in a rural area, appreciating the land, attempting to live in harmony with the inhabitants of the wooded area.

I enjoyed it and enjoyed the melodic voice of David Aaron Baker.

In the spirit of reconciliation, Audible Australia acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. We pay our respect to their elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.