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Publisher's Summary

New York Times Best Seller

Hidden desires, long-held secrets, and the sacrifices people make for family are at the heart of this powerful first novel by the popular Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist.

“A moving, unforgettable story about time, progress, and how the mistakes of one generation get repeated or repaired by the next.” (J. Courtney Sullivan, New York Times best-selling author of Saints for All Occasions)

Named One of the Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post and New York Post

1957, Clayton Valley, Ohio. Ellie has the best grades in her class. Her dream is to go to nursing school and marry Brick McGinty. A basketball star, Brick has the chance to escape his abusive father and become the first person in his blue-collar family to attend college. But when Ellie learns that she is pregnant, everything changes. Just as Brick and Ellie revise their plans and build a family, a knock on the front door threatens to destroy their lives. 

The evolution of women’s lives spanning the second half of the 20th century is at the center of this beautiful novel that richly portrays how much people know - and pretend not to know - about the secrets at the heart of a town, and a family.

©2020 Connie Schultz (P)2020 Random House Audio

Critic Reviews

"Connie Schultz’s The Daughters of Erietown is a quiet force of a novel. It crept up on me, much the same way that time creeps up on these characters. I was struck by how well Schultz portrays a full life - childhood to old age - and all the small moments that shape us, for better or for worse. Its ambitious scope will leave readers wanting to curl up with it until they’ve finished." (Mary Beth Keane, New York Times best-selling author of Ask Again, Yes)

"This is a big, deep, warm, and moving story of unforgettable women who make and shape their families. With the eye and ear of a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and the insight and language of a born storyteller, Schultz immerses us in The Daughters of Erietown, from love to loss and back." (Amy Bloom, New York Times best-selling author of White Houses)

What listeners say about The Daughters of Erietown

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Compelling

I listened to the audio version of this fine novel. Very well written, and the characterizations were exquisite. Narration by Cassandra Campbell brought the story to life. Good work, Connie Schultz. I look forward to your next novel!

8 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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When does the sequel come out!?

What wonderful characters! A true gem. It starts a little slow but in no time you will be knee deep in the lives of this family and the reality of growing up in the 50’s and 60’s. So nice to read a book that is “real” while being fictional. Loved it!

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Multi-generation story

Beginning in 1957 in a small town in Ohio and continuing for the better part of the century (1950s - 1990s), The Daughters of Erietown is a multi-generational story about women and their families. Most of the residents are ordinary everyday people. The women are stay at home mothers and the men hold blue collar jobs to support their families. There's a neighborhood bar and some friendly neighbors.

Brick McGinty and Ellie and young and in love. Brick grew up with an abusive father but, he is a basketball star and looking forward to promising future with a full scholarship to college. Ellie, raise by her grandparents, thinks about becoming a nurse but, it's an unplanned pregnancy that chases this young couple's dreams away.

This debut novel quickly drew me in to the lives of these of these characters. The writing was quite good with strong female characters and dialogue that felt genuine. I liked the way the author depicted small-town life. Seeing how the lives of the women had changed over the years was a highlight of this novel. I did think this book was unnecessarily long (almost 500 pages in print and over 14 hours on audio); IMO it could have benefitted by some additional editing. Overall, I was happy that I read/listened to this one. Cassandra Campbell narrated the audio which was very well done.

RATING - 4/5 stars

6 people found this helpful

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Soap Opera! Save Your Credit

It's been a long time since I've had a book that I disliked this much. None of these characters are explored in depth. They're glossy predictable stereotypes. Turns of events are presented with the melodrama of a soap opera and 60s mom wallows in her powerlessness by - scrubbing stains out of his baseball pants, getting her beehive redone at the beauty parlor, or going to church quilting bee. Yawn. This book is like listening to one of those never ending, never quite remarkable stories about a friend your mom or grandma might tell. Summary - young marriage, insecure damaged parents raise damaged children, philandering husband, oops another baby, 60s leads to 70s women's movement, daughter in college has new views and family issues to resolve. Told for 14 long hours.

In addition, the narrator presents characters in voices of...Disney princesses? Certainly middle school actress in her most melodramatic voice. So sorry I wasted a credit on this one.

6 people found this helpful

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Glad I read this

Heard author on PBS discussing it and bought it. I grew up in a blue collar town. How would my life have been different if I had never left?

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Disappointed

Since this was an audio book it took me too long to "read" so it seemed too drawn out.

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Deep Message of Unconditional Love

Wow this story took me through an emotional roller coaster. It helped me realize what others will do for love of family!! Great read!!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Hated Having to Put It Down to Sleep!

Having grown up in Northeast Ohio and being just a few years older than Sam, there is so much in this book that is iconic of the place, and time, and the experiences. I feel like I know all these characters as composites of people I knew growing-up or that their lives have intersected with mine. The story is beautifully told in language both descriptive and economic with just enough detail to see clearly, but never so much as to flog a dead horse.

Listening to the audiobook was a wicked indulgence and the narrator did an excellent job, voicing the characters consistently and making clear their feelings.

I usually don't like books that go down a path and then loop back in time to pick up another path and all the while thinking "what's the point? ". i did not have that experience with this book, although listening rather than reading may have helped that for me.

An solid first novel for Ms Schultz. If a good book leaves you wanting more in a good way, this one is a success! Although I can finish the story in my own mind, I'm hoping for a sequel to see where the author wants to take us. if she does, I'm along for the ride!

3 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Surprised

I hesitated to purchase this book. The title did nothing to catch my attention. But I LOVED it. The story held my attention consistently. I live in northeast Ohio which made the locations so familiar. And the characters reminded me of people I've know all my life. I think it's a must read!

3 people found this helpful

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  • RS
  • 08-10-20

A tapestry of many colors

Connie Schultz did a masterful job of creating multidimensional characters. A hard working Ohio man you want to both love and resent. His wife was both victim and everyday hero. Nothing extraordinary about their lives - other than the joys and tragedies of living. In many ways Sam felt like she could have been me - from early experiences of feminism to finding love mid-career and realizing there is more to life than a title. I really enjoyed this audio book.

2 people found this helpful

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