I Could Live Here Forever

Books on Tape Apr. 2023. 9:12 hrs. ISBN 9780593670750. $76. F
Halperin’s latest (following Something Wild) centers on Leah, a graduate student enrolled in an MFA writing program in Madison, WI. Her mother abandoned the family when Leah was 13, and Leah continues to process her grief through her writing. When Leah meets handsome musician Charlie, she is instantly drawn to him but soon discovers that he is recovering from heroin addiction. Leah is an unreliable and frustrating narrator, as she loves Charlie but cannot seem to see the writing on the wall. Megan Trout narrates Leah’s emotions well. However, she is less successful when giving voice to male characters, as her attempt to make her voice deeper results in a strange, gravelly whisper. The story is predictable and, unfortunately, is not elevated by the voice acting. However, the depiction of addiction—the routine, the lying, the tediousness—is realistic and painfully drawn.
VERDICT Listeners may respond to Halperin’s intimate portrait of Leah, who is vulnerable and heartbreakingly hopeful, but some may be frustrated by her choices. Halperin is one to watch, but this may be an uneasy fit for many.
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