cover image Loss of Innocence

Loss of Innocence

Richard North Patterson, read by Julia Whelan. AudioGO, unabridged, nine CDs, 10.5 hrs., $29.95 ISBN 978-1-4829-2627-9

Twenty-two-year-old Whitney Dane is spending the summer of 1968 at her family’s mansion on Martha’s Vineyard, planning her upcoming marriage to Peter Brooks. But everything changes when she meets embittered but charismatic Ben Blaine, who is facing the draft and a tour in Vietnam. Their mutual attraction eventually blossoms, but with very unexpected consequences. Julia Whelan reads with a low and intimate voice, and provides appropriate voices for Patterson’s characters. Outlier Ben speaks with a seductive take-charge boldness. Whitney’s mother is a mixture of hauteur and self-delusion, while her father’s apparent fairness is undercut by his coldly unemotional demands. Because the story is book-ended by a 65-year-old Whitney recalling that unforgettable summer, Whelan gives us a double dose of the protagonist—as an insulated, confused young woman determined to forge her own future and as an elderly, successful novelist who speaks with a subtly deeper voice that possesses the confidence and satisfaction to indicate she has achieved her goals. A Quercus hardcover. (Oct.)