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Publisher's Summary

A perfect next listen for fans of Abbi Waxman and Katherine Center, Can't Take It Back is a fast-paced and relatable debut telling the interconnected stories of four women over the course of a kindergarten school year.

Huddled on their favorite park bench in a quiet Seattle suburb, Holly, Avery, Zoe, and Sasha might look like they've got it all figured out - but there’s more to their stories than meets the eye. When Avery’s husband Carter suggests they open up their marriage, she’s shocked and appalled - but could this new arrangement be the breath of fresh air she never knew she needed? Zoe and Aaron, whose connection has long been the standard by which their friends measure their own relationships, feel that their lives are taking them in different directions, but worry over how a divorce might affect their two young boys. Zoe turns to her best friend Holly for guidance, but as it turns out, this year has tested her own marriage to Jake in ways neither of them ever anticipated. And meanwhile, Holly’s sister Sasha - the no-nonsense PR executive and eternally single girl of the group - must decide if joining the ranks of motherhood is the right step for her. 

Captivating and immersive, Can't Take It Back is a deeply emotional novel that celebrates the complex bond of female friendships.

©2020 Kelly Duran (P)2020 Audible Originals, LLC.

What the critics say

Can’t Take It Back is the perfect escapist listen. From the first chapter, I was completely drawn into the story world. This plot is full of secrets, lies, and delicious twists...I couldn’t wait to find out what was going to happen. Duran does a great job of capturing the nuanced complexities of both romantic and platonic relationships.” (Ashley Sands, author of A Terribly Private Club)

“Nicely balanced with real heart and substance, Can’t Take It Back deftly explores the beauty of female friendships and the nuance of marriage.” (Alex Kiester, author of In Her Skin)

“A wonderfully written, complex story about love and friendship with relatable characters that support and uplift each other.” (Anita Kushwaha, author of Secret Lives of Mothers and Daughters)

“Duran’s debut is full of humor and heart. It’s a thoughtful, honest exploration of the female friendships that ground us through the ups and downs of life. How else could you get through an open marriage, a pending divorce and a budding relationship? A great listen for book clubs!” (Alison Hammer, author of You and Me and Us

What listeners say about Can't Take It Back

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  • Overall
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Love the characters in this book!

Loved this book! Was a pleasure to listen to.

The characters were easy to love and their struggles real and relatable. The friendships between the women were touching. The way the relationships developed with each other while they dealt with varying issues in their marriages, is a beautiful testament to female connection.

3 people found this helpful

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Loved it!

I didn’t know what to expect when I started this book! My expectations where exceeded. I found myself trying to find time to listen just for a couple minutes here and there during the day. Wondering what was going to happen next! Highly recommend. The characters/relationships were relatable as a mom married for 13 years with 2 small kids and girlfriend that would be there for me much like these ladies were. Can’t wait to see what Kelly Duran writes next!

1 person found this helpful

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Loved it

The voice actors were amazing and really brought Duran’s story to life! What a journey! With twists and turns throughout the piece, Duran really painted a group of characters you could love, hate, cheer for and cringe for. Great work!

1 person found this helpful

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Wonderful story of friendship

Loved this. A great story of female friendships amidst the trials of marriage and parenting. Beautifully intertwined storylines kept me trying to sneak away from my kids to listen more.

1 person found this helpful

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A must listen

Wow! This book is something special.
The author does an amazing job delivering an original, engaging and touching novel. One that shares the challenges of marriage and motherhood; and the power of sisterhood and female friendships.
There’s secrets and lies, romances and what-if’s; all tied up with a bow; into a book that will have you thinking about it long after your done.
The characters were compelling and relatable, and If you loved Desperate House Wives or Big Little Lies, and a fan ( like me ) of Katherine Center, then I’d definitely give this wonderful debut a listen.

1 person found this helpful

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Entertaining story!

This book just flew by for me while listening. Great diversity of characters and viewpoints. Touching and funny and relatable. Very well written- lots of action and development of the characters’ personalities.

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Incredible story lines had me hooked!

This is the kind of book that keeps you company even when you aren’t listening to it - I thought about it more and more the closer I got to ‘book time’. I developed such a fondness for and connection to the characters that I just had to know how their stories would progress. This resulted in many ‘just one more chapter’ nights! With just the right number of plot twists and cliffhangers, the pace was perfect. I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves to read about relationships and female friendships.

1 person found this helpful

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So relatable

This is a book for the times and so relatable. The deep friendships are believable to the point, where you wish to be adopted into their tribe. I really enjoyed reading this novel and look forward to more from this author.

1 person found this helpful

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I was hooked right from the beginning!

This was my first experience with an audiobook and I loved it! It was very relatable to follow a relationship between a group of women and friends and I enjoyed how the book allowed you to see the story from all different perspectives. I was really engaged by all the different story lines within the main plot. Each story has different aspects and key points, but they connect together so well. With each of these stories, you are bound to find several ways in which you can connect your own life to what the characters are experiencing. These connections to your own life bring some comfort as you are listening to the book, even if they are presented as challenges that the characters are facing in their relationships. I was hooked right from the beginning and I didn't want to stop listening. I highly recommend this book. I loved the author's style of writing and I look forward to her next release!

1 person found this helpful

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A complex story about love and friendship

This multiple pov story first drew me in with its wonderful writing and relatable characters. I wanted to know more about these women and how they would manage navigating their unique circumstances, whether it be their careers, identity, motherhood, marriage, infidelity or other betrayals. My heart often ached for them when their partners proved themselves unworthy and my blood boiled when they bore the brunt of the consequences as opposed to the men in their lives, a bold statement in and of itself. The stories interwine and live up to the title. I was happiest for Holly, Sasha, and Zoe. Saddest for Carmen and Avery. The female friendships were the constant throughout all the ups and downs and was for me the most uplifting aspect. No matter what the characters faced, they supported each other with love and honesty, like women do in real life. A story full of love, pain, forgiveness and redemption.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Rachel Wagner
  • 2020-04-23

WOW

This book was incredibly written and remarkably performed. I felt I was able to connect to every single character in a different way, which is not often. Additionally, I loved the theme of friendship and the way it was conveyed in the story. The different story lines made this book a book that I did not want to put down! Thank you so much for an wonderful book!

13 people found this helpful

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  • WR LMHC
  • 2020-10-07

Not what it’s billed to be

The review should have read, “story of author trying to find the true identity of her characters in the story but failing because she focused one-dimensionally on their sex lives.” Anyone who has been a mom of young kids know that most of this story is implausible and if readers think this is how moms should do life, they are being led very much down an irrational path. Could have been a good story if the characters had talked about more things than who they were and weren’t sleeping with. Life is more than just sex and had the book reflected that, the relationships between the characters could have been real. Skipped to the end after a disappointing few hours just to see if it improved. Didn’t. Not even a good escape novel.

12 people found this helpful

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 2020-10-02

Surprisingly Excellent Read

I saw this as an included title, and I thought that I had nothing to lose by checking it out. I was surprised to find that I really enjoyed this book. It looks like Kelly Duran is fairly new on the scene, and I look forward to more from her. This read like a Liane Moriarty novel, with all of the characters and their stories intertwining. The performances were well-done with the right amount of inflection and variance between the characters.

7 people found this helpful

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  • Alex Kiester
  • 2020-04-27

Fun read with lots of heart!

With its alternating points of view and smooth, crisp writing, this book is easy to sail through! I listened to it in only a few days and loved the time I spent with each different character. While it's light and fun, it's nicely balanced with real heart and substance, exploring the beauty of female friendships and the nuance of marriage. Five stars!!

7 people found this helpful

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  • RueRue
  • 2020-11-07

Borderline trash

This was pretty awful. It stared off pretty well, but then it turned into a sleazy soap opera. I had no patience or sympathy for these self-absorbed characters. The narrators were all good, such a waste of their talents.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Tabitha
  • 2020-10-16

One of my favorites

Interesting storyline that shows the dynamic relationships between husbands and wives and men and women. How different we all are and the choices that define us and affect those we live.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Bookworm
  • 2020-08-06

Great Story

Really enjoyed the storytelling with this one! Great job of weaving characters in and out of the story by their perspective. Kept it very interesting. Wasn't expecting the few scenes of 50 Shades-esque encounters, so listeners should probably be aware of some adult situations/language lightly interspersed throughout the book. Not overly so, but enough to warrant headphones or a solo listening environment. As others have said, wonderful escapism.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Stephanie - The Bookish Boy Mom
  • 2021-06-12

The Book is PHENOMINAL!

THIS STORY IS PHENOMINAL.
I can not believe this is Duran's debut novel, it's that fantastic. The multiple POV, twists and turns and unexpected character connections made this a binge listen for me. I am dying to get my hands on more books from Kelly Duran. If you enjoy books that are part family drama, part "what the actual Hell", this book is for you. You will be sucked in from page 1 and will be blown away by the end.

4 people found this helpful

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  • RedBone
  • 2020-12-20

Pretty Good

This book was very well written and the narration was on point. This had me searching for other books by the author, but looks like this is her first audible. Definitely worth the listen. Great Job!

3 people found this helpful

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  • Victoria
  • 2020-10-05

So accurate. So honest. So difficult to hear yet impossible to turn off

Friendship, relationships, marriage, trust, betrayal. I only wish I'd have had a group like this in my life during some of my most difficult moments. The emotions we're so fresh and accurate. Believable characters. Never a dull spot. The story allowed you to clearly see many different sides to the challenge of marriage and child-rearing. Amazingly well written.

3 people found this helpful