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Summary

From Gail Godwin, three-time National Book Award finalist and acclaimed New York Times best-selling author of Evensong and The Finishing School, comes a sweeping new novel of friendship, loyalty, rivalries, redemption, and memory.

It is the fall of 1951 at Mount St. Gabriels, an all-girls school tucked away in the mountains of North Carolina. Tildy Stratton, the undisputed queen bee of her class, befriends Chloe Starnes, a new student recently orphaned by the untimely and mysterious death of her mother. Their friendship fills a void for both girls but also sets in motion a chain of events that will profoundly affect the course of many lives, including the girls' young teacher and the school's matriarch, Mother Suzanne Ravenel.

Fifty years on, the headmistress relives one pivotal night, trying to reconcile past and present, reaching back even further to her own senior year at the school, where the roots of a tragedy are buried.

In Unfinished Desires, a beloved author delivers a gorgeous new novel in which thwarted desires are passed on for generations and captures the rare moment when a soul breaks free.

©2010 Gail Godwin; (P)2010 Random House

Critic reviews

"A strong story populated by a host of memorable characters - smart, satisfying fiction, one of the author's best in years." (Kirkus Reviews)

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • J. Sweeney
  • 27-12-10

Repetative

I generally enjoy Gail Godwin's work. However, in this case, while the recording is fine, the work itself is too repetitive - several lines of dialog are repeated verbatim in multiple scenes. I cannot recommend this title.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • jellibean
  • 13-06-15

Not Good For Audio

I did finish it but it was a chore. I think I should have read the book and maybe I would have appreciated it more. Or maybe not.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Cheryl
  • 15-08-13

Very Good Listen

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

yes - interesting, well told, great narration

What about Kimberly Farr’s performance did you like?

If I'm not thinking about the narration while listening, that is a good thing. In this book, all I thought about was the story. It was flawless.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mary Beth Kierstead
  • 01-10-12

Epic novel of friendship, loss and betrayal

What did you love best about Unfinished Desires?

Wonderfully written story, compelling narrative.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Probably Maude. She is trying to find her own way in the world and figure out who she is. She is smart and vulnerable.

Which scene was your favorite?

Any scene that focuses on the girls.

Who was the most memorable character of Unfinished Desires and why?

Maude. I found myself hoping something would happen for her.