The Alternatives: A Novel


Unabridged Audiobook

Ratings
Book
Narrator
Release Date
April 2024
Duration
10 hours 56 minutes
Summary
“A bold, beautiful, complex novel, and I can’t wait to read what Hughes writes next. She, too, is an unstoppable force.” —New York Times Book Review

“A tale about sisterhood, a novel of ideas, a chronicle of our collective follies, a requiem for our agonizing species, The Alternatives unfolds in a prose full of gorgeous surprises and glows with intelligence, compassion, and beauty.”  —Hernan Diaz

From the writer Anthony Doerr calls “a massive talent,” the story of four brilliant Irish sisters, orphaned in childhood, who scramble to reconnect when the oldest disappears into the Irish countryside

The Flattery sisters were plunged prematurely into adulthood when their parents died in tragic circumstances. Now in their thirties—all single, all with PhDs—they are each attempting to do meaningful work in a rapidly foundering world. The four lead disparate, distanced lives, from classrooms in Connecticut to ritzy catering gigs in London’s Notting Hill, until one day their oldest sister, a geologist haunted by a terrible awareness of the earth’s future, abruptly vanishes from her work and home. Together for the first time in years, the Flatterys descend on the Irish countryside in search of a sister who doesn’t want to be found. Sheltered in a derelict bungalow, they reach into their common past, confronting both old wounds and a desperately uncertain future. Warm, fiercely witty, and unexpectedly hopeful, The Alternatives is an unforgettable portrait of a family perched on our collective precipice, told by one of Ireland’s most gifted storytellers.
Reviews
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Martha C.

This is a brilliant novel, with brilliant characters. My only issue with it is that much of the dialog and ideas are so brilliant that I have been very challenged to keep up with them! Much of it was way over my head, but I still enjoyed the challenge.

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