The Flight of the Maidens

  • by Jane Gardam
  • Narrated by June Barrie
  • 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

This delightful novel describes the post-war summer of 1946 - and follows the growing-up of three young women in the months between leaving school and taking up their scholarships at university. Una Vane, whose widowed mother runs a hairdressing salon in her front room, goes bicycling with Ray, the boy who delivers the fish and milk. Hetty Fallowes struggles to become independent of her possessive, loving, tactless mother. And Lieselotte Klein, who had arrived in 1939 on a train from Hamburg, uncovers tragedy in the past and magic in the present.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A charming book

This is a poignant story of the lives of three girls during and just after the Second World War and largely describes what happened to each of them during the short interval between their final exams at school and when they left home a few months later to go up to University. All three girls have action-packed adventures! The individual stories explore experiences of the transition to independent adult-hood that will be familiar to listeners of any generation: what does one want to do in life; relationships with the opposite sex; the desire to, and the fear of, leaving home for the first time; and the need to separate oneself a bit from motherly love. The book is full of humour counter-balanced by sadness and regret that are the ingredients of life.
My parents went through the War so the fears and privations of the girls? lives are familiar territory and I would guess that the book would be even more evocative to those who would be contemporaries of the characters.
The pleasure of the book is greatly enhanced by June Barrie?s excellent narration and ability to perform so many different accents ranging in age, gender and social origin.
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- Kirstine

Jane Gardam never disappoints

Where does The Flight of the Maidens rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Near the top of any list.


What other book might you compare The Flight of the Maidens to, and why?

'The Ruffian on the stair' read by Bill Wallis. Superbly drawn characters, all of them, even the minor ones


Have you listened to any of June Barrie’s other performances? How does this one compare?

She is a superb narrator, clearly differentiating the characters and being consistent throughout. - it is apparent that she has done a lot of reading/preparation before committing to tape.


Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

It reminded my of my own end-of-schooldays and preparation for university.


Any additional comments?

I have recommended the book to several friends. Some listened via Audible, some read hard copy, all greatly enjoyed it.

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- SEB

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-05-2012
  • Publisher: Audible Studios