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The Bar Harbor Retirement Home for Famous Writers (And Their Muses)

Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
Length: 12 hrs and 29 mins
5 out of 5 stars (1 rating)

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Summary

A whimsical, moving novel about a retirement home for literary legends who spar, conjure up new stories, and almost magically change the lives of the people around them.

Alfonse Carducci was a literary giant who lived his life to excess - lovers, alcohol, parties, and literary rivalries. But now he's come to the Bar Harbor Home for the Elderly to spend the remainder of his days among kindred spirits: the publishing industry's nearly gone but never forgotten greats. Only now, at the end of his life, does he comprehend the price of appeasing every desire, and the consequences of forsaking love to pursue greatness. For Alfonse has an unshakeable case of writer's block that distresses him much more than his precarious health.

Set on the water in one of New England's most beautiful locales, the Bar Harbor Home was established specifically for elderly writers needing a place to live out their golden years - or final days - in understated luxury and surrounded by congenial literary company. A faithful staff of nurses and orderlies surround the writers, and are drawn into their orbit, as they are forced to reckon with their own life stories. Among them are Cecibel Bringer, a young woman who knows first-hand the cost of chasing excess. A terrible accident destroyed her face and her sister in a split-second decision that Cecibel can never forgive, though she has tried to forget. Living quietly as an orderly, refusing to risk again the cost of love, Cecibel never anticipated the impact of meeting her favorite writer, Alfonse Carducci - or the effect he would have on her existence. In Cecibel, Alfonse finds a muse who returns him to the passion he thought he lost. As the words flow from him, weaving a tale taken up by the other residents of the Pen, Cecibel is reawakened to the idea of love and forgiveness.

As the edges between story and reality blur, a world within a world is created. It’s a place where the old are made young, the damaged are made whole, and anything is possible....

©2018 Terri-Lynne DeFino (P)2018 HarperCollins Publishers

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    5 out of 5 stars

Very unusual plot

I don't want to give the plot of this book away but it is quite clever and it had me intrigued. The characters are well developed and believable and I really enjoyed this story

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  • Elise Skidmore
  • 22-08-19

The title drew me in, the story kept me there

I had no previous knowledge of the author and no one recommended this book to me, but it popped up on my screen and, as a writer, I thought it sounded intriguing so decided to give it a shot. I am so glad I did. I really don't understand some of the negative comments I've read regarding the sex in the book. Yes, there is sex, but it's not terribly graphic or on every page, and it's a part of the story, not there to tittilate. In fact, at one point in the story, one of the seniors who is writing the story that's within the story comments to her writing partner that she's glad he moved away from the sex because too much gets boring. Part of me wonders if those who made the comments couldn't relate because it was old people who were thinking about it (whether in their actual life or the story they are writing together). Whatever.

I loved the characters and the insights gained. I was just as involved with the story within the story as the main plot. The narration is excellent. I'm very glad I took a chance and downloaded this book on a whim, simply because it had an intriguing title.

1 person found this helpful

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  • msk
  • 01-08-19

Boring

Who cares about all their over sexed lives? Not even in their retirement home either.

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  • Rhonda
  • 10-04-19

Good, but sometimes confusing

This was a good book. It was hard to get into and sometimes hard to follow because of the 2 story lines. It seemed very long.

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 25-08-18

nice story good narration

the narrator has a nice tone and the story kept my attention throughout the book

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  • Rio Delta Wild
  • 25-08-18

Lots of sex

I could do with more story and fewer sex scenes. It’s pretty formulaic. Just okay.