cover image The Maytrees

The Maytrees

Annie Dillard, , read by David Rasche. . HarperAudio, $29.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-06-128546-2

David Rasche's reading of Annie Dillard's lovely new novel is the epitome of serene. He appropriately treats this tale of love lost and regained with calm attention and stillness. However, the combination of his deliberate and thoughtful reading, similar to the way many poets read their poetry, and Dillard's spare and elegant prose may not be for everyone. Add to the mix the soothing sounds of the Windham Hillesque piano pieces that open and close each disc and a listener may be lulled into an almost meditative state or beyond. This audio experience is like floating on ocean swells as the surf roars in the distance: powerful, mesmerizing and relaxing. In a way, it is the perfect beach book: listen as you soak in the sun's rays and drift in and out of the finely crafted, lithe narrative. Be warned, however: this vast and loving epic may not be suitable listening for a tired driver with a long night's journey ahead. Simultaneous release with the HarperCollins hardcover (Reviews, Feb. 5). (July)