Book Rating (127)
Narrator Rating (29)

What She Left Behind

Unabridged Audio Book

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Tavia Gilbert

12 Hours 0 Minutes

Tantor Media

June 2014

Audio Book Summary

Ten years ago, Izzy Stone's mother fatally shot her father while he slept. Devastated by her mother's apparent insanity, Izzy, now seventeen, refuses to visit her in prison. But her new foster parents, employees at the local museum, have enlisted Izzy's help in cataloguing items at a long-shuttered state asylum. There, amid piles of abandoned belongings, Izzy discovers a stack of unopened letters, a decades-old journal, and a window into her own past.
Clara Cartwright, eighteen years old in 1929, is caught between her overbearing parents and her love for an Italian immigrant. Furious when she rejects an arranged marriage, Clara's father sends her to a genteel home for nervous invalids. But when his fortune is lost in the stock market crash, he can no longer afford her care-and Clara is committed to the public asylum. Even as Izzy deals with the challenges of yet another new beginning, Clara's story keeps drawing her into the past. If Clara was never really mentally ill, could something else explain her own mother's violent act? Piecing together Clara's fate compels Izzy to re-examine her own choices-with shocking and unexpected results.

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  • Deborah T.

    Great historical fiction...but I wish the reader got a chance to feel a little vindication for the main character...Tough sitting through all the horror and corruption even with the ultimate message of perseverance....

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  • Tekka C.

    Great book, I really enjoyed the storyline.

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  • Priscilla Saavedra

    Loved it! There were many twist and turns. Fascinating story.

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  • Nelly Navarro-Britt

    This book is historical fiction. The main character is fiction but the State insane asylum is real. In the book

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  • Katie R.

    I enjoyed listening. Some parts broke my heart but never saw the ending coming

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  • Anonymous

    I love this book It keeps you captivated and intrested the near raider does an amazing job.

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  • Lisa J.

    The Italian accent was very difficult to listen to. Main female character’s voice was very whiny. Another character had a lisp at times and spoke normally at other times. It was historical fiction but parts did not make sense. At one point the main character finds out she has been operated on so that she can no longer have children. Since tubal ligation was not routinely done at this point in history then it would be a hysterectomy. Later in the book it talks about the character having her period. Predictable storyline.

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  • Pam B.

    It was a good listen . A bit disturbing at times.... hard to imagine the horror of it all in an insane asylum.... was a touching ending . Did enjoy listening to it .

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  • Anonymous

    Great book with twisting storyline

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  • Hanifa Barnes

    Very disturbing to read about how women were thrown in institutions for arbitrary reasons. I enjoyed the beginning of the book with the focus on Clara's determination. But story started to feel like a coming of age story filled with redundant similes and phrases.

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