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Summary

Sylvie, Jude, Wendy and Adele have a lifelong friendship of the best kind: loving, practical, frank and steadfast. But when Sylvie dies, the ground shifts dangerously for the remaining three. 

These women couldn't be more different: Jude, a once-famous restaurateur with a spotless life and a long-standing affair with a married man; Wendy, an acclaimed feminist intellectual; and Adele, a former star of the stage, now practically homeless. Struggling to recall exactly why they've remained close all these years, the grieving women gather for one last weekend at Sylvie's old beach house - not for a celebration of her life, but to clean the place out before it is sold. 

But without Sylvie to maintain the group's delicate equilibrium, frustrations build and painful memories press in. Fraying tempers, an elderly dog, unwelcome guests and too much wine collide in a storm that brings long-buried hurts to the surface - a storm that will either remind them of the bond they share or sweep away their friendship for good.

©2020 Charlotte Wood (P)2020 Orion Publishing Group

Critic reviews

"Charlotte Wood's writing crackles with vivid precision." (NPR)

"An unflinching eye and audacious imagination." (Guardian

What listeners say about The Weekend

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Very disappointing

The synopsis for this book seemed interesting, so it was chosen as our most recent book club choice, but the story wasn’t in the least bit interesting. I kept thinking that it was going to get better and build up to a great plot ending, but it didn’t. It focused heavily on the dog! I didn’t invest in any of the characters and the friendships between these women wasn’t at all how I hope my friendships over 30+ years will be!
I also did not take to the narrators delivery style or voice, it was slow, somewhat monotone and as if she was reading for children.

4 people found this helpful

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Female friendship at its best and worst

I wasn’t sure that I was going to enjoy this book, notably because it took me quite a long time to decide to stick with it. The blurb about the book made it sound an interesting proposition, but the actuality was very different.

Basically the plot was about three friends getting together over the Christmas period to clear out their dead friend’s house. The four women had been friends for a long time and, as with all long friendships, there was a lot of history between them, some good and some incredibly bad. Overall, as the book progressed, I began to wonder why these three women were friends at all. There seemed to be a toxicity and narcissism at the heart of their relationship that would shatter an awful lot of friendships very quickly. How had these women survived as friends for so long?

The final third of the story became much more interesting to me and the final reveal of secrets and lies was its saving grace.

For me, the narration of the story was a basic problem. I did not enjoy the narrator’s voice and it spoiled the story for me.

3 people found this helpful

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Ruined by annoying narration

There was probably a brilliant book here struggling to make itself heard but I couldn't get past the awful drawling, monotonous narration so I gave up at Chapter five!

1 person found this helpful

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Unbearably S L O W!

I can’t truthfully comment on the story because I’m finding it impossible to get past the first 10 minutes. The narration is so slow and over dramatic that I just can’t bear to listen to it. It’s like listening to a ‘wannabe’ actress doing a over dramatised audition for an Ibsen play, or someone trying to explain a point, very slowly and clearly, to a listener who does not speak English. Appalling. I can’t get past the first chapter without giving up in frustration.

1 person found this helpful

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Terrible narration

Although the book was well written and the characters interesting, the narration was terribly over-acted. I had to give up in the end. Too annoying.

1 person found this helpful

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Terrible narration spoilt this magnificent literary event

A rewarding but uncomfortable book. Age and friendship are the driving force of this tale but it’s about so much more. Unsettling read in parts but brilliant - and one you won’t forget. But the plodding over enunciated narration destroy it - read the book instead

1 person found this helpful

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Appalling narration. So disappointing.

I have managed sixteen minutes of what promises to be a good and interesting book, (which I cannot rate properly as a result). However, the narration is appalling. Unnecessary emphasis on words in the same slow, monotonous tone, with no inflection, in every sentence. I have listened to about twelve audiobooks in the last eighteen months and none have disappointed. This has. I am not impatient, but cannot listen anymore. What a waste of an Audible credit. Should have listened to the sample/trailer.

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Strong characters

Could easily have been a little cliched, but I found the characters well drawn and believable. Have read interviews with the author on the art of writing - this is the first novel of hers I've read. And I'm off to buy more now. I really enjoyed the book and in the days afterwards I've found myself thinking about the characters often... wondering what they're doing now. For me this is always the sign of beautiful writing :)

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Unfulfilled

unfortunately I really didn't feel the novel fulfilled the promise of the premise. perhaps it was because it was narrated, but Finn was so up front & centre throughout I didn't feel the women's stories were fully realised. I am frustrated as I think it was well written but the focus wrong.