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Publisher's Summary

In the first line of Ocean State, we learn that a high school student was murdered, and we find out who did it. The story that unfolds from there with incredible momentum is thus one of the buildup to and fallout from the murder, told through the alternating perspectives of the four women at its heart. The murderer Angel, her mother Carol, and the victim Birdy, all come alive on the page as they converge in a climax both tragic and inevitable. Watching over it all is the retrospective testimony of Angel’s younger sister, Marie, who reflects on that doomed autumn of 2009 with all the wisdom of hindsight. 

Angel and Birdy love the same teenage boy, frantically and single mindedly, and are compelled by the intensity of their feelings to extremes neither could have anticipated. O’Nan’s expert hand paints a fully realized portrait of these women but also weaves a compelling and heartbreaking story of working-class life in Ashaway, Rhode Island. Propulsive, moving, and deeply rendered, Ocean State is a masterful novel by one of our greatest storytellers

©Stewart O'Nan (P)Dreamscape Media, LLC

What listeners say about Ocean State

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I Am Mad

What a disappointment. You know when you’re enjoying a book *well enough* and you expect the story to be resolved in a certain way, or at least in a way that makes sense and doesn’t leave you mad when you finish it? I’m completely dissatisfied with the story, especially the way the author chose to end it. There were hours of buildup and then the firework turned out to be a dud. It feels like he was going along fine and then got tired of how long it was taking to write a novel and just slapped an ending on there and called it a day. I can’t say WHY it was so annoying because I’m not one who spoils but what a waste of my time and money.

2 people found this helpful

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Glad she skips the gore.

The author could have given lots of gory details of the killing, but it works better this way, with just enough detail to make clear what happened - it brings out the horror much more effectively.
It’s not easy to do an authentic Rhode Island accent, so I’m glad the voice narrator doesn’t try and get it wrong.
Good read!

1 person found this helpful

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Good story

I read a preview of this book on LitHub before its release and the first line pulled me in. I was on pins and needles waiting to purchase it and it didn’t disappoint. I will say, however, that the direction it went in was—I don’t know—less than what I expected. Nevertheless, I truly appreciated the author’s ability to give insight into the pathos of the main characters. Also, the narration was pretty good. I would listen to her narrate again.

1 person found this helpful

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A heartrending story of loss

Do not miss this heart felt thought-provoking story. I couldn't stop listening to the audiobook.