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Find more Top 10 Women's Fiction on Audio
This year’s Top 10 Women’s Fiction titles on audio are steeped in themes of family, love, sisterhood, and intimate relationships, with narrations that tap into the emotional core of each book. All titles received starred reviews in Booklist from April 15, 2020 to April 15, 2021.
Faye, Faraway. By Helen Fisher. Read by Sophie Roberts. 2021. 9hr. Simon & Schuster Audio, DD, $19.99 (9781797116051).
This spellbinding story of loss and love marks Fisher’s debut. Roberts’ soft timbre and English accent lure the reader into the tale, which is almost like a bedtime story of magical realism.
The Girl with the Louding Voice. By Abi Daré. Read by Adjoa Andoh. 2020. 12hr. Books on Tape, DD, $95 (9780593168738).
Booklist’s Top of the List Adult Audio choice for 2020 displays Andoh’s empathetic narrative genius. As young Adunni strives for education and a brighter future, Andoh brings each character’s truth to the fore.
The Lying Life of Adults. By Elena Ferrante. Read by Marisa Tomei. 2020. 10.5hr. Books on Tape, DD, $40 (9780593340882).
Academy Award-winner Tomei pulls out all the stops in her clever and impassioned portrayal of Giovanna, matching the young woman punch-for-punch as she takes her first steps into adulthood.
Monogamy. By Sue Miller. Read by the author. 2020. 11hr. HarperAudio, DD, $26.99 (9780062969712).
Miller empathically embodies her thirteenth title. Her contemplative, resonating reading enhances her already affecting, haunting meditation on betrayal, familial bonds, and—most of all—enduring love.
The Secret Lives of Church Ladies. By Deesha Philyaw. Read by Janina Edwards. 2020. 4hr. Tantor, DD, $12.99 (9781705268803).
Throughout the nine consistently superb stories, Edwards adapts effortlessly when moving between mothers and daughters, friends and lovers, and careless cheaters and lonely singles. A raw, emotional, intimate narration.
Sisters. By Daisy Johnson. Read by Daisy Edgar-Jones and Anna Koval. 2020. 4.5hr. Books on Tape, DD, $38 (9780593211601).
In this brief, psychologically manipulative work, Edgar-Jones and Koval deliver intimate performances for sisters July and September. Each narrator displays both the public and the internal sides of their character.
She Gets That from Me. By Robin Wells. Read by a full cast. 2020. 14hr. Books on Tape, DD, $95 (9780593290835).
The concept of what makes a family is examined from multiple perspectives and through multiple voices in this emotionally satisfying novel. Thérèse Plummer, Abby Craden, Mark Deakins, and Cynthia Darlow deliver heartfelt performances.
The Switch. By Beth O’Leary. Read by Alison Steadman and Daisy Edgar-Jones. 2020. 10hr. Macmillan/AudioGO, DD, $26.99 (9781250751850).
This intergenerational country mouse-city mouse swap has all of the satisfying trappings that make such a story delightful, but the performances by veteran narrator Steadman and newcomer Edgar-Jones elevate it to tug at the heartstrings, boil the blood, and fully engage the listener.
Pretty Things. By Janelle Brown. Read by a full cast. 2020. 16hr. Books on Tape, CD, $45 (9780593209998).
Grifter Nina is portrayed as bright and driven by Julia Whelan; Lauren Fortgang voices Vanessa, a rich, self-absorbed internet star, with intriguing layers. As the plot flashes back and forth in time, the fun is in the dual perspectives as each character plots her course.
The Vanishing Half. By Brit Bennett. Read by Shayna Small. 2020. 12hr. Books on Tape, DD, $95 (9780525637165).
With exacting nuance, narrator Small immediately distinguishes one Vignes twin sister from the other. Transformations abound, yet Small never falters, carrying the many generations toward revelation and reunion with resonance and depth.
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