A Quitter’s Paradise

Zando Audio. Jun. 2023. 7:23 hrs. ISBN 9781666634495. $17.99. F
Chang debuts with a poignant coming-of-age tale revolving around Eleanor, who’s overwhelmed by a whirlwind of emotions as she contends with a strained marriage, a failing career, and the loss of her mother. Eleanor’s life is falling apart, despite outward appearances to the contrary. Trying to cope with her mother’s death, she abandons her doctoral program and starts working as a lab tech for her husband. She is determined to avoid her feelings, but this approach leads her to make unexpectedly bold and often comical decisions. As the story unfolds, Chang provides glimpses into Eleanor’s childhood, her parents’ relationship, and her family history in Taiwan, all of which shed light on family secrets. Soon, Eleanor is forced to confront both her grief and the complexities of family dynamics. Chang’s artfully subtle style, sprinkled with grim humor, allows listeners to draw their own conclusions about the difficulties of navigating the future while facing the weight of the past. Throughout the novel, Angela Lin’s sublime narration captivates, skillfully conveying the work’s thoughtful tone and expertly drawing listeners into Eleanor’s world.
VERDICT Chang’s delicate writing, enhanced by Lin’s expert narration, breathes life into Eleanor’s character, allowing listeners to connect deeply with her journey of self-discovery and healing.
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