The Lives of Stella Bain

  • by Anita Shreve
  • Narrated by Penelope Rawlins
  • 8 hrs and 1 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When an American woman, Stella Bain, is found suffering from severe shell shock in a London garden, surgeon August Bridge and his wife selflessly agree to take her in. However, Bridge quickly develops a clinical interest in his houseguest.
Stella had been working as a nurse's aide near the front, but she can't remember anything prior to four months earlier when she was found wounded on a French battlefield.


What the Critics Say

"Poised and absolutely steady-handed, this is a gripping piece of deconstruction" ( Sunday Times on Testimony)


See More Like This

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Great story

Loved it. But what a shame about most of the male voices. Dreadful. I almost gave up listening.
Read full review


Poor narration spoils an ok story.

Bought this for my wife, as she's an Anita Shreve fan, but as yet she's not listened to it. As a man, I've found it passable listening. Storyline was decent but not gripping. The fly in the ointment was Penelope Rawlins's performance. Other listeners may differ, but her 'normal' voice was difficult to take, but then there came all the different male voices: oh dear. She tends to make them all sound like automatons with a lack of variation in tone or emphasis. The nearer the end, the more male voices there are, the less ignorable the problem was. Maybe it won't bother you as much. I would be wary of other narrations by Ms Rawlins, I'm afraid.
The story tells of an American woman's experiences around a difficult marriage and as a nurse/driver during WW1 in France when she loses her memory. Whilst she faces some horrific events in the War, I feel that Shreve doesn't really give them full weight, rather surfing over them. As I'm not familiar with her writing, I don't know if that is her style. The effect for me was to have less belief in her understanding of what her characters were going through.
Read full review

- Liz... Bristol

Book Details

  • Release Date: 25-11-2013
  • Publisher: Whole Story Audiobooks