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Where can a woman turn when her own life threatens to overwhelm her ability to keep her children safe? New York Times best-selling author Jacquelyn Mitchard takes the readers of her newest novel on a wry and moving journey of loss and healing.

Giving advice is what Julieanne does for a living; every Sunday she doles it out in a column in her local Wisconsin paper. But when it comes to her personal life, Julie herself seems to have missed some clues. Having worked creatively to keep her 20-year marriage to Leo fresh and exciting and to be a good mother, she is completely caught off guard when he tells her he needs to go on a "sabbatical" from their life together, leaving Julie and their three children behind. But it soon becomes clear that his leave of absence is meant to be permanent. Things take a turn for the worse when Julie is diagnosed with a serious illness and the children undertake a dangerous journey to find Leo...before it's too late. As the known world sinks precariously from view, the clan must navigate their way through the shoals of love, guilt, and betrayal. Together, with the help of Leo's parents and Julie's best friend, they work their way back to solid ground and a new definition of family.

No one illuminates modern love, marriage, and parenting better than Jacquelyn Mitchard. Written with her trademark poignancy, humor, and insight, The Breakdown Lane is her most moving, eloquent, and life-affirming work yet.

©2005 Jacquelyn Mitchard (P)2005 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic reviews

"Rousing melodrama, fluid, often funny, dialogue, and the convincing portrayal of children involved in the collapse of a marriage add up to another page-turner from Mitchard." (Publishers Weekly)
"An astute observer of family dynamics, Mitchard renders her characters flawlessly, endowing them with a humanity that is both accessibly grounded and astonishingly deep." (Booklist)

What listeners say about The Breakdown Lane

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 05-04-13

The worst performance of a book ever

What disappointed you about The Breakdown Lane?

The book is great, but it is the worst listen I have ever experienced from audible, the only worse listen was a nevada barr book where the performer gulped and swallowed through the whole thing, it was appalling. But this was just awful. I am sorry to say that because I love J.Mitchard's books. Maybe someone who cared should review an author's performance before letting them ruin their own work. It was truly excruciating.

Who was your favorite character and why?


Would you be willing to try another one of Jacquelyn Mitchard’s performances?

I would rather eat my own liver.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Breakdown Lane?

none, its a great book.

Any additional comments?

While I have had several great experiences with authors reading their own work, after listening to this terrible rendition, I absolutely champion the great performers who read these works. I feel the author and her work was not done justice by not telling her she would not be the best person to render the story.
Again, it makes me grateful and impressed with those who tell the stories well.