The Awakening (version 2)

Read by Elizabeth Klett

(4.4 stars; 214 reviews)

Kate Chopin's 1899 novella The Awakening is about the personal, sexual, and artistic awakening of a young wife and mother, Edna Pontellier. While on vacation at Grand Isle, an island in the Gulf of Mexico, Edna befriends the talented pianist Mlle. Reisz and the sympathetic Robert Lebrun, both of whom will influence her startling life choices. Chopin's novel created a scandal upon its original publication and effectively destroyed her writing career. Now, however, it is considered one of the finest American novels of the 19th century. (Summary by Elizabeth Klett) (4 hr 37 min)


1 - Part 1 (Chapters 1-5) 28:56 Read by Elizabeth Klett
2 - Part 2 (Chapters 6-10) 43:34 Read by Elizabeth Klett
3 - Part 3 (Chapters 11-15) 36:53 Read by Elizabeth Klett
4 - Part 4 (Chapters 16-20) 38:38 Read by Elizabeth Klett
5 - Part 5 (Chapters 21-25) 39:37 Read by Elizabeth Klett
6 - Part 6 (Chapters 26-30) 31:53 Read by Elizabeth Klett
7 - Part 7 (Chapters 31-35) 30:48 Read by Elizabeth Klett
8 - Part 8 (Chapters 36-39) 27:26 Read by Elizabeth Klett


Victorian "feminism"

(3 stars)

The reader does a wonderful job and Chopin's writing was adequate, but I had a hard time relating to the neurotic, self-absorbed Edna. I realize that many consider The Awakening a "feminist manifesto", but all I could think of is how much better Edna's life was compared to her servants. Instead of trying to "find herself" by lusting after other men and neglecting her children, perhaps getting involved in charity or community works would have been a better path to self discovery. But then the story would not have shocked Victorian readers and become a classic .

(5 stars)

One of the best books ever written. Some found it boring, but the book is about the expectations of women in every manner of their life. For example, feeling owned by a husband, how she should “mother” her children, how she should be knitting to have warm items for their children, and find complete happiness in all that along with a box of chocolates. The main character found herself not fitting for her. It’s what others would have considered a happy life. But she yearned for more.

Well read, mixed feelings about the book itself

(3 stars)

The themes of the book did not appeal to me personally, it had a lot of restlessness and hopelessness and little guidance on how one might find happiness. The main character seemed like a leaf in the wind of her capricious desires but I can sympathize with her feeling of being trapped by duty and routine.

A good story to remind us not to concentrate too much on our own

(4 stars)

I listened to this because EK is one of the best readers on LV. The story is predictable. A wife taken for granted. A husband who worries what everyone will think. The other man. Never a good outcome.

The Awakening review

(2 stars)

I like how the lady read. It is quite fast but you get done with the book so much quicker. The book is kind of boring though. The concept of the story is good but the actual book kind of sucks.

(5 stars)

I can relate to Edna. I'm sure many women of this time felt this way. You were “owned” by a man-- how else were you to survive? All she really wanted was her freedom and found it in an unfortunate way.

A different time and place?

(4 stars)

Selfish entitlement at its best begging for sympathies from the seemingly vulgar soulless underclass, working class, poor and darkies and savage Mexicans. And thus book ended her career? Hmmm...

Very Good

(5 stars)

Not only is the story interesting, provocative, and enlightening, but the recording gives you the sense of the dazed and exuberant epiphany of life having just been realized.