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Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel

Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Date: September 2017

Duration: 8 hours 23 minutes


*Finalist for the Kirkus Prize
*Finalist for the Andrew Carnegie Medal
*Publishers Weekly Top 10 of 2017

The searing and profound odyssey of a Southern family-by National Book Award-winner Jesmyn Ward.

In Jesmyn Wards's first novel since her National Book Award-winner, Salvage the Bones, she returns to Mississippi and the grand themes of her earlier work. Confronting the realities of life in the rural South, Ward gives us an epochal story, a road novel through Mississippi's past and present that explores the bonds of family as tested by racism and poverty. Told in Ward's rich, lyrical language, this majestic novel is impossible to ignore.

For Pop and Mam, their daughter Leonie, and her kids Jojo and Kayla, life is hard: Mam has cancer, Pop is preoccupied by working their small parcel of land, Leonie has a meth problem, and Jojo and Kayla seek love from their grandparents rather than their absent mother. Their lives are further complicated when Leonie gets the call from the white father of her children that he's up for parole. She quickly gathers her kids, recruits a friend for the ride, and embarks on the journey north to the Delta to collect Michael at Parchman Farm, the Mississippi State Penitentiary. But no journey for a woman like Leonie through this state is without danger, and many things go wrong, sometimes dramatically.

If the trip to Parchman is rocky, the return is worse, and arriving at home doesn't bring Leonie and her family the peace they seek. Instead, two battles ensue: one with Mississippi's present and another with its horrific past. Raw, heartbreaking, and ultimately hopeful, Jesmyn Ward's novel grapples with the ugly truths at the heart of our national story, paying tribute to Faulkner and Morrison, The Odyssey and the Old Testament, all while showcasing the major talents of this singular American voice.


  • Diana C

    The voices we so believable as the actual characters that I kept forgetting I was listening to a novel. The lives of the characters are tragic and yet told with such empathy. I miss those characters. I hope there is a book two or a movie.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Monica M

    This book was personal and Soulful and intimate and devastating and uplifting. The narration was excruciatingly beautiful. Its tragic , its sweet , it's infuriating and justifying. I just loved it absolutely loved it.... I miss the book already.....

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful.

  • Melodie S.

    Could not stop listening to this book! I felt so sorry for the children and was compelled to listen to chapters over just to hear the narration over again.

  • Linda C

    Beautifully written and narrated. Enjoyed every minute.

  • Danielle D

    Loved the reading of this book. I could listen to Rutina Wesley read all day. I was sucked into the story by the characters. It was interesting the way time gets bent a bit in this book. I'm transplanted in rural south of the past. Actual history was interwoven into the story to give a glimpse of what it was like at Parchman, which I just learned is a real place. I like the analogy of dealing with ghosts from the past. The thing I loved most is the author's ability to bring me into a moment and make me feel every bit of it.

  • Meka M

    Awesome! This book is almost too good for words. The authors words combined with the narrators' talent made me zone out of everything around me and become one with the story. This was my first audio book and what a truly incredible experience it was!

  • David P

    The female narrator was terrible. Over the top angry and dramatic. Content of book was great.