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  • The Things We Do for Love

  • A Novel
  • Written by: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
  • Length: 13 hrs
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (180 ratings)

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The Things We Do for Love

Written by: Kristin Hannah
Narrated by: Susan Ericksen
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Publisher's Summary

Years of trying unsuccessfully to conceive a child have broken more than Angie DeSaria’s heart. Following a painful divorce, she moves back to her small Pacific Northwest hometown and takes over management of her family’s restaurant. In West End, where life rises and falls like the tides, Angie’s fortunes will drastically change yet again when she meets and befriends a troubled young woman. 

Angie hires Lauren Ribido because she sees something special in the seventeen-year-old. They quickly form a deep bond, and when Lauren is abandoned by her mother, Angie offers the girl a place to stay. But nothing could have prepared Angie for the far-reaching repercussions of this act of kindness. Together, these two women - one who longs for a child and the other who longs for a mother’s love - will be tested in ways that neither could have imagined.

©2004 by Kristin Hannah. (P)2004 Brilliance Publishing, Inc., all rights reserved.

What the critics say

“[Kristin] Hannah is superb at delving into her main characters’ psyches and delineating nuances of feeling.” (The Washington Post Book World)

“Wonderful . . . enormously touching . . . The warmth and complexities of these characters grab hold of the heartstrings.” (RT Book Reviews)

“Wrenching, convincing . . . bittersweet.” (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Things We Do for Love

Average Customer Ratings
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    3 out of 5 stars
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Basic and a bit offensive

I've read "The Great Alone" and "The Four Winds" and found them deeply captivating. Kristin Hannah's strength seems to be detailing intense weather landscapes and the mirroring complexities in our relationships with others: neither are present in this book. The story line is basic and cliche. Even more basic and cliche are the women characters. Although I expect nothing more than white feminist renditions of womanhood from Hannah, I still expect complex characters - these woman are not that. Instead of approaching maternity and motherhood with the same complexity and care she approaches class issues or domestic violence, Hannah has an overly essentialist mentality that is also uninspired. I can deal with offensive and trite, that's the reality of popular women's literature, but at least make the story interesting and give me thoughtful characters. If I didn't love Hannah's other recent books, I wouldn't have bothered with this. Is listenable for unremarkable. For a complex and compelling narrative on motherhood, I strongly recommend you listen to "De:transition, baby" instead.

5 people found this helpful

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Not as good as other titles

I am a huge fan of Kristin Hannah but for me this book fell flat. I found the story line predictable from the start and I don’t care for how this one was read.

3 people found this helpful

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A different kind of love story

While I did enjoy this book, I didn't love it the way I usually love Kristin Hannah's books. it was a bit cheesy and sometimes predictable, very unlikely situations. It was a good light read just didn't quite hit the spot for me.

1 person found this helpful

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another great book by Kristin hannah

kristin hannah never disappoints great heart felt story yet again, i had tears:) a must read !

1 person found this helpful

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Great story! Narrator was exceptional!

Always love Kristin’s books! Susan was one of the best narrators I have listened to… and I listen to a lot of Audible books!

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Fantastic

Through the twists and turns you think you have everything predicted yet in the end it’s not what you think. I love finishing a book with a full heart!

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Beautiful story of love,

this is a beautiful story showing how important family love is - the type of lives that keeps on

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Had me through the whole story

I LOVE Kristen Hanna as an author…

Although predictable at times… I couldn’t stop listening. Many times I had tears… at times bawling… a story of a mother’s love.

Narration was AMAZING, kept me engaged and felt like I was there… 110% from me! Worth the listen!

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Kristin Hannah Consistently Delivers Good Read

Took a couple chapters for me to get into it but once I did, I was looking for reasons to keep listening! This story has all the feels.

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  • Sarah C.
  • 2021-06-23

Couldn’t recommend enough for anyone craving a read with which you can really connect

I don’t typically go for this kind of story or this kind of genre, but something drew me into listening to this one. It was so very special in how intimately you end up bonding with the characters, their backstories, flaws, deepest fears & emotions, their hope. This was such a pleasant listening/reading experience for various reasons I’ll go into but I’ll start with my favorite and, in my opinion, most helpful one: While it’s so captivating that I couldn’t stop listening to it and finished the whole audiobook in 3 days – it’s a story you can listen to and be fully immersed in while not having to pay hard attention to constantly follow the plot, read into the characters too much, or feel like you have to rewind every time you blank out for a bit because there is so much you will have missed that feels like you’re lost if you don’t intently listen the whole time. There’s a steady rhythm to the story that feels like whatever you’re doing, you can just tune in and are able to be there with the characters, their innermost dialogue & how they grow throughout the plot in a way that feels natural almost like listening to NPR in the background - except here every word is so easy to register and find yourself captivated in without having to try. I really liked that about this one, how it felt like hanging out with an old friend where you don’t really have to try and have a good time with them - you can just spend time with this audiobook. It’s nice & refreshing.

Some other reasons (on performance & more on the reading experience)

At the end, I was so sad that my time with them was over - I almost hadn’t realized the story was going to end because of how close I somehow felt to the story. I wished it could have kept going at least a little more - but that is only a testament to how powerfully touching of a read this is. And yet - not too mushy or corny or saccharine sweet. It felt very real in many ways, (again) like an old friend. I didn’t cry but for once - not even at the story’s plot line but because of the deeper emotions the vulnerability and depth of the characters’ internal dialogue brought out in me and how relatable some of their very personal universal-seeming sentiments were to me on a very personal level, despite not really having many similarities to the details of the story & the character’s lives. That is one of the things that makes this book special - the kind of book that it almost doesn’t matter what it’s about because of how well written it is and how much you end up no do my with the characters.

I quite liked the narration in this one too. I am very sensitive to the narration of audiobooks to the point there have been great books I have not been able to listen to because the narration felt too mechanical, flat, or the narrator had an annoying voice. This one was pleasant and very well performed, actually giving LIFE to the story but in a way that didn’t feel overly theatrical at the expense of the literary feel that can often be lost in audiobooks versus print books - not in this one at all. Many phrases and sentences hit home the way they would (perhaps even more) in a reading experience - I can’t think of a more perfect balance for how literature can be transposed into audio forms.

Once again, totally unexpected from my usual reads or reasons for loving a book. But couldn’t recommend enough - it also taught me a lot about womanhood, relationships, dealing with grief & hard times, reconnecting with what’s important in life in a way that was honestly very healing somehow.

10/10 read and couldn’t recommend enough for anyone craving a read with which you can really connect

105 people found this helpful

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  • Dora
  • 2021-07-08

"A plug for communism, 100 million deaths later..."

What a shame! This could have been a great novel. Hannah highlighted terrible injustices and tragedies that took place during the Great Depression. HOWEVER, how can it possibly be acceptable (after 100+ million deaths) to promote communism as the answer to ANYTHING?! Please, imagine if an author promoted fascism as a compassionate solution to poverty and injustice! I think it's terrible that she wrote this, and that a publisher accepted and promoted this book. Communism is evil, and crushes the God-given rights and dignity of the human being and the family.

45 people found this helpful

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  • Sheila Ayala
  • 2021-06-17

I LOVE THIS BOOK

This is one that I did not want to end. I enjoyed it so much. A keeper.

40 people found this helpful

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  • joy
  • 2021-06-23

disappointing

Lousy ending. Insufficient character development. Too much time wasted on sadness, tear jerker, life is terrible and too little on how people overcome . really disappointed invested this much time and money on pablam.

32 people found this helpful

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  • nancy.... Washington, d.c.
  • 2021-06-19

I have loved every KH book but…

This one had little substance and was predictable no meaty story nor developed characters except the fun of the description sisters and mom..but surface
That being said it’s always a pleasure to listen to this narrator and the books takes up space in a buzy day

31 people found this helpful

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  • Cat C
  • 2021-06-28

Dusted off from The 1980’s left over bin

It’s my own fault - when I see a book published in 2021 I believe it’s new. No way. All references are from the 1980’s. Not a cell phone or computer in site. It wouldn’t be so bad- kind of a remembrance of simpler times except for putting out there everything that was wrong about teenage pregnancy. Here the the poor girl from the wrong side of town lives the shame and rejection but the boy from the rich side of town gets to have his life and college simply because she knows deep down he truly loved her. She won’t ruin his life. He gets to graduate and head off to Stanford. His Family gets off easy by strong arming her and giving a paltry check. The hospital was portrayed as 1980. They left the poor girl in the maternity ward where she heard and saw the babies. They encouraged and allowed her to hold the baby. Way different now where the birth mother is protected and treated correctly. Where were her rights and her lawyer? Cannot recommend as it’s 40 year old information that could be very misleading.

25 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jeanne Abbott
  • 2021-06-17

Things we do for love.

Another Five Star book. You will need Kleenex in a couple of places. Kristin Hannah has another hit.

25 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2021-07-05

Not current with adoption language

The story lacked the depth of the author’s other work. Adoption language used is not current and the information on open adoption is not accurate, which unfortunately prolongs stereotypes.

20 people found this helpful

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  • Karizuk
  • 2021-06-19

Loved It!!!! Emotional Story with Heart

I was so excited when this book became available. Kristin Hannah is one of my favorite authors. This did not disappoint. I listened to it almost nonstop.

I was concerned about the narrative because I usually love Julia Whelans narration. I actually returned one KH because I couldn't get past the narrator...however, Susan Ericksen did a beautiful job and now I will start looking foe books narrated by her too.

I loved the Four Winds but it was a little dark especially the ending. This story was definitely more uplifting even though the context was often heavy with emotion. The family love throughout kept me warm and interested.

I won't give anything away and this book is NOT a spellbinder...just know it ends with a warm hug.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Melissa
  • 2021-06-19

Loved it

I love Kristin Hannah books and though this one was predictable it was well written and so touching. It was a definite feel good story and I loved every minute.
Though I don’t love Susan Erickson’s narration (which is true of all the books I’ve listened to that she narrates), it didn’t diminish the story for me.

10 people found this helpful