1 title per month from Audible’s entire catalog of best sellers, and new releases.
Access a growing selection of included Audible Originals, audiobooks and podcasts.
You will get an email reminder before your trial ends.
Your Premium Plus plan is $14.95 a month after 30 day trial. Cancel anytime.
Oh William!  By  cover art

Oh William!

By: Elizabeth Strout
Narrated by: Kimberly Farr
Try for $0.00

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Buy for $16.72

Buy for $16.72

Pay using card ending in
By confirming your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and Amazon's Privacy Notice. Taxes where applicable.

Publisher's Summary

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout explores the mysteries of marriage and the secrets we keep, as a former couple reckons with where they’ve come from—and what they’ve left behind. 

ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: Maureen Corrigan, NPR’s Fresh Air • ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR: The New York Times Book Review, The Washington Post, Time, Vulture, She Reads

“Elizabeth Strout is one of my very favorite writers, so the fact that Oh William! may well be my favorite of her books is a mathematical equation for joy. The depth, complexity, and love contained in these pages is a miraculous achievement.”—Ann Patchett, author of The Dutch House

I would like to say a few things about my first husband, William. 

Lucy Barton is a writer, but her ex-husband, William, remains a hard man to read. William, she confesses, has always been a mystery to me. Another mystery is why the two have remained connected after all these years. They just are. 

So Lucy is both surprised and not surprised when William asks her to join him on a trip to investigate a recently uncovered family secret—one of those secrets that rearrange everything we think we know about the people closest to us. What happens next is nothing less than another example of what Hilary Mantel has called Elizabeth Strout’s “perfect attunement to the human condition.” There are fears and insecurities, simple joys and acts of tenderness, and revelations about affairs and other spouses, parents and their children. On every page of this exquisite novel we learn more about the quiet forces that hold us together—even after we’ve grown apart. 

At the heart of this story is the indomitable voice of Lucy Barton, who offers a profound, lasting reflection on the very nature of existence. “This is the way of life,” Lucy says: “the many things we do not know until it is too late.”

©2021 Elizabeth Strout (P)2021 Random House Audio

Dear Listener,

What do I hope you will take away from Oh William!?
"This is what I hope the reader will feel after reading Oh William!, which is what I hope readers will feel after reading any of my books. I hope to provide a momentary sense of transcendence. What I mean by that is, I hope the reader will feel—even for a few moments—that a ceiling has been lifted. That they will see the world differently, that they will feel less alone in it, and they will find themselves in some of my characters. I also hope they will understand what it feels like to be a different person, because in this way literature can help the empathy muscle stay intact. And we all know what this world looks like without empathy." –- Elizabeth Strout, writer of Oh William!

Critic Reviews

“Loneliness and betrayal, themes to which the Pulitzer Prize-winning Strout has returned throughout her career, are ever present in this illuminating character-driven saga. ... Strout’s characters teem with angst and emotion, all of which [she] handles with a mastery of restraint and often in spare, true sentences.... It’s not for nothing that Strout has been compared to Hemingway. In some ways, she betters him.” (Publishers Weekly, starred review)

What listeners say about Oh William!

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    917
  • 4 Stars
    381
  • 3 Stars
    156
  • 2 Stars
    56
  • 1 Stars
    34
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,038
  • 4 Stars
    196
  • 3 Stars
    80
  • 2 Stars
    29
  • 1 Stars
    19
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    768
  • 4 Stars
    342
  • 3 Stars
    141
  • 2 Stars
    59
  • 1 Stars
    43

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

My God, this is dull

Oh William is so boring. Coming up with fifteen words is torture regarding the dullness that lives in this book.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The narrator spoiled a marvelous book for me

I preordered this book because I have loved all of Elizabeth Strout’s work. My sister shares my admiration and surprised me with a hardcover copy of Oh William! I decided to read it before listening and found it wonderful in so many ways. Many times an audiobook has enhanced my experience but not in this case. I had to stop after 30 minutes. What I already knew was an extraordinary and satisfying book was ruined by the wrong narrator. Lucy Barton would never sound like that. It pains me to say anything negative particularly in a public space but this book is far too fine to miss. Buy the hardcover.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Oh William

I always look forward to Elizabeth Strout’s novels. My first was Olive Kitteridge and I have read some others and listened to all of them. Kimberly Farr is able to make the characters come alive. She is the perfect narrator.
I can relate to so many of the themes that she explores which touch on some universal aspects of life.
Thank you Elizabeth and Kimberly.

9 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This book became my sole companion and my obsession until it was through…

I could not stop living with the characters and the thoughts of this book. Let it become your companion and when it is finished you will be left seeing the experiences of your own life not in terms of light and dark but wrapped in kindness. For yourself and for all the others too.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Speed up the playback setting

Excellent book, but the narrator speaks so slowly that I found it better at about 1.2 X speed, and I don’t usually do that.
You might like this book better if you have already read My Name Is Lucy Barton, but I think you don’t have to have done so. It stands well on its own.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

This writer writes directly into my heart mind

I love the voice of Lucy and the voice of the narrator. A good match. Strout’s writing is such a pure break from all the mediocre stuff out there. It is the story of how we are all wounded and lovable, reasonable and slightly mad… how we mostly just project everything on everybody.

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Oh, dear Lucy Barton!

I had read the book My Name is Lucy Barton a few years ago and I was surprised to find her telling this story, Oh William! I truly loved the voice and expressive delivery of Kimberly Farr and once again I was captivated by the down to earth look at the very real inner voice of Lucy Barton. She is so patient with her ex-husband William as he navigates his life. She does not see how attracting and engaging she is. She discounts herself. One of my favorite moments is when William declares that he loved her because she was pure joy! She did not know that other people would see her as joy!
I think that anyone who is reflective about what the keep private and what they show to the world will love this. ❤️

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

A rare find

part three of the series, what is the best one out of the three. You feel like Lucy is a part of your life, the writing is fantastic, the storyline is brilliant. I was fully absorbed and kept stopping the book because I almost feared the book ending…I loved it

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Unique, thought provoking...

Unique in that it listened more like a conversation than a book, as if you were hearing someone read their diary or thoughts aloud. Thought provoking because it was about life and I think we can all make connections when we listen to someone else's story. Nothing noteworthy, yet it captured my full attention like coffee with a friend.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Dreary, dreary, dreary.

Have not read other Lucy Barton books and would not do so, even if forced. The language was juvenile, and so halting and stilted I rolled my eyes so much Im surprised they didn''t stick. The pacing was beyond exhaustingly slow. The reader didnt help --- she read slowly and managed to pronounce every letter of every word, meanwhile eating up the scenery -ham.

There is no chance in hell the protaginist, lucy barton is meant to be a best selling author. Her observations, when they made sense ( Rarely) were inauthentic and shallow. And her timidness and provincial outlook sure made that career choice hard to swallow.


All told one of the most annoying, boring and dreary books I've ever had the misfortune to read. Blah.

2 people found this helpful