Patience and Sarah

  • by Isabel Miller
  • Narrated by Jean Smart, Janis Ian
  • 5 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Grammy Award Nominee, Best Spoken Word Album, 2016
Set in the 19th century, Isabel Miller's classic lesbian novel traces the relationship between Patience White, an educated painter, and Sarah Dowling, a farmer's daughter, whose romantic bond does not sit well with the puritanical New England community in which they live. They choose to live together and love each other freely, even though they know of no precedents for their relationship; they must trust their own instincts and see beyond the disdain of their neighbors.
Patience and Sarah is a meticulously researched historical novel, originally self-published by the author in 1969. This classic of GLBT literature garnered so much attention that the American Library Association created its first Stonewall Award specifically for it in 1971. Grammy Award-winning narrator Janis Ian and Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress Jean Smart each perform as one of the characters in this dual-point-of-view love story. Their narration marks the first time that this beautiful work is available in audio and brings new life into this inspiring novel that is just as relevant today as it was decades ago.
In addition to being an inspiring love story, the audiobook for Patience and Sarah is an ideal listen for young-adult audiences. It is a story that shows how irrelevant race, religion, and gender are to love and that loving and being loved are what keep us human and sane.


What the Critics Say

"The writing has the directness and whimsicality of primitive paintings - it is like spiked gingerbread or surprising samplers. The tone is sweetly bold. And the tale evokes many kinds of frontier at once." (The Village Voice)
"The story of a painter and a farmer in 19th-century New England. One of the first lesbian novels with a happy ending and, in 1971, the first recipient of ALA's Stonewall Book Award." (Library Journal)
"Janis Ian and Jean Smart bring exquisite joy, vulnerability, and honesty to their narration of Isabel Miller's 1969 historical fiction novel.... As the two women realize their feelings for each other, the narrators take on a tender tone and slow their pace, allowing their romantic epiphany to unfold. This makes for a touchingly intimate listening experience." (AudioFile)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Beautiful story, superbly performed

This is a touching story of two women in love, trying to make a life together in 19th century rural America. The story is inspired by a real life couple which makes it even more poignant. Jean Smart and Janis Ian do an amazing job of embodying Patience and Sarah and their different characters. The portrayal of their relationship is brilliantly realistic - they each have differing strengths and weaknesses and don't always do the right thing by each other. But their love for each other gives them the strength to find their happy ending.
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- Catherine


This must be the finest audio book I've heard. The quality of the writing, the narrative and dialogue is superb, mental images inspired sublime. Oh, and the narrators subtly enhance what is already a rare treat. I shall no doubt return to this little joy again, once my imagination has stopped playing with it.
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- J.K. Taylor

Book Details

  • Release Date: 15-09-2015
  • Publisher: Audible Studios