Editor reviews

Stephen Gordon has led quite a life — and yet also has hardly any life at all. Born into the very best a loving but rather average family can provide, she is fraught with a sense of her innate differences from the other girls. This classic late Victorian novel charts the developmental course of a “sexual invert”, from her childish crush on the housemaid, to her dangerous infatuation with the neighbor’s wife, to her efforts at settling down into whatever small happiness society would begrudgingly permit. Narrating the deeply delicate sensibilities of Stephen’s painful coming of age is Audible newcomer Cecilia Fage, a London actress and back-up vocalist who lends all her many talents to this very weighty and pioneering piece of literature.
Stephen’s own background permits Fage the use of her lovely and strong natural voice for the majority of the text, but when the main character ventures into literary Paris after being booted from the family’s countryside home by an unforgiving mother, Fage’s command of the French language and accent is entirely persuasive. There are also Irish ladies and lower-class British servants with quite convincing dialogue. Fage’s only weakness is the Southern belle next door, a loathsome and self-pitying creature who tortures the helplessly devoted Stephen — but missteps in voice work here are much more forgivable than the evil deeds of the character they represent.
As Radclyffe Hall’s most important work, and indeed one of the most important early calls for homosexual equality in general, The Well of Loneliness is here preserved successfully thanks to the formidable talents of Cecilia Fage. Whether you are looking to delve into this controversial book for the first time, or rediscover why so many people consider this heart-wrenching book a touchstone, the audiobook really loses nothing in the translation from page to Fage. — Megan Volpert
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Stephen Gordon (named by a father desperate for a son) is not like other girls: she hunts, she fences, she reads books, wears trousers, and longs to cut her hair. As she grows up amidst the stifling grandeur of Morton Hall, the locals begin to draw away from her, aware of some indefinable thing that sets her apart. And when Stephen Gordon reaches maturity, she falls passionately in love - with another woman.
©1928 Radclyffe Hall; (P)2009 Audible Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Kaggy on 14-12-13

Moving and astonishing

This was one of those books I thought I should read but thought I wouldn't enjoy. How wrong I was. Although ultimately tragic, the main character is incredibly
enigmatic. A true heroine of her time.

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6 of 7 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By susie liggat on 09-01-18

Awful annoying voice/ reading

The narration ruined this for me
It’s such a brilliant and important story.. needs to be told in the right tone

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Erick on 26-05-10

Loved it!

Great book. Didn't love the narrator, but I didn't notice too much after a bit because I was so into the story. Hall's writing is beautifully rich. Well worth a listen!

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Barbara C Houston on 16-08-10

Wonderful read

I tried to read this more than 40 years ago but I was an incredibly naive teen; I hid the book under my mattress instead. Now, it has a huge impact on me. Written in the late 1920s, the language is very delicate in referring to homosexuality but the psychological impact is so painful. The descriptions are rich and compelling.

I have a friend who has always been a homophobe. This book is something I can recommend because of the beautiful language and no in-your-face sexual descriptions.

The narrator uses British English so there may be an initial disconnect. For example, she pronounces "ate" as "et."

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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