Listen free for 30 days

  • Absent in the Spring

  • A Mary Westmacott Novel
  • By: Agatha Christie
  • Narrated by: Jacqui Crago
  • Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (67 ratings)

One credit a month, good for any title to download and keep.
Unlimited listening to the Plus Catalogue - thousands of select Audible Originals, podcasts and audiobooks.
No commitment - cancel anytime.
£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.
Absent in the Spring cover art

Absent in the Spring

By: Agatha Christie
Narrated by: Jacqui Crago
Try for £0.00

£7.99/month after 30 days. Renews automatically. See here for eligibility.

Buy Now for £8.49

Buy Now for £8.49

Pay using card ending in
By completing your purchase, you agree to Audible's Conditions of Use and authorise Audible to charge your designated card or any other card on file. Please see our Privacy Notice, Cookies Notice and Interest-based Ads Notice.

Summary

'The one book that has satisfied me completely – the book I always wanted to write.' Agatha Christie. Returning from a visit to her daughter in Iraq, Joan Scudamore finds herself unexpectedly alone and stranded in an isolated rest house by flooding of the railway tracks. Looking back over the years, Joan painfully re-examines her attitudes, relationships and actions and becomes increasingly uneasy about the person who is revealed to her….

©2011 Mary Westamacott (P)2012 HarperCollins Publishers Limited

What listeners say about Absent in the Spring

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    50
  • 4 Stars
    11
  • 3 Stars
    4
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    46
  • 4 Stars
    10
  • 3 Stars
    1
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    43
  • 4 Stars
    8
  • 3 Stars
    3
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    2

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

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

Absent in the Spring

I’d put off reading this book for years. I’m a keen Agatha Christie fan but wasn’t sure if I’d enjoy her writing as Mary Westmacott. I shouldn’t have worried. It was a very interesting read. It’s a short book, and I finished it over a couple of days. I wish more books were this length!

The character of Joan Sudmore is so sharply observed it’s almost painful. I did feel sorry for Joan. She doesn’t see herself as others do. Interestingly, the main character is “cut off” from her normal life and this enforces a period of unwelcome reflection. I suppose she had that in common with the characters from some of Agatha’s mysteries.

It’s very much not a mystery, so I can see why she published under a pseudonym, but I really enjoyed it, and I’ll definitely listen to more Mary Westmacott books.

The narration by Jacqui Crago is superb.

1 person found this helpful

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

My favourite all time book

I read this book so many times and it never ceases to make me think and to move me. What a beautiful novel

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

A book that makes you think about your life.

A woman finds herself marooned in a lonely place and is forced to review her life. Nothing much happens, but it is compelling listening. As ever, Agatha Christie, shows a great understanding of human nature and her wonderful gift of storytelling. I wish it had gone on longer.

1 person found this helpful

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

Perceptive portrait of a middle class marriage

For the first time in her ordered life Joan finds herself temporarily alone with time to review the relationships between herself and her husband and each of them with their children. This book is a fascinating affirmation of how landscape and distance can change our perceptions of what we believe to be our status quo . Does the truth set us free in the luxury of the physical removal from our familiar world or does the return to that world mean the return to our old values? Which one is correct and what are the consequences?

Instantly recognisable are the solid values of the middle class 1930s with their inevitable moral lapses and cover ups, all done with the good British intention of not making a fuss.

Beautifully enunciated by Jacqui Crago, the reader really does feel taken back with Joan to the contrasts of international overland travel and the respectable comfort of her Engiish market town home.

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

A joy of book

A perceptive book, timeless and beautifully read. More Westmacott required Agatha, reflecting those inner voices and gaps in understanding.

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

Very poignant

This is an excellent book beautifully read - I enjoyed it very much, though it is certainly bittersweet. Food for contemplation.

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

Very introspective

After reading Agatha Christie’s autobiography I wanted to read this book. She wrote it as Mary Westmacott as very different from all the detective novels readers would expect writing as Christie. She wrote this novel very quickly indeed. I liked the descriptions of the travel as she experienced that in real life. Very introspective which got a bit tedious… but bear with it as there is a twist in the Epilogue. I think it gives an insight into what Christie’s mind was like during her 10 days’ mystery disappearance.

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

Strange story

I was interested in this book being a fan of Agatha Christie. This story is far removed from the style of the stories for which the writer is famous. Although there is an undercurrent of something interesting happening.... nothing comes to fruition...... it just peters out. A 'nothing' kind of tale. I think I'll give
the other Mary Westmacott novels a miss. The narrator does a good job.

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

Very thought provoking

I loved this book. It was a very engaging story. The epilogue really finished it off to perfection.

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

.

loved it very thought provoking read . never read any of Agatha Christie's Mary westmacott books and it didnt disappoint

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Anonymous User
  • Anonymous User
  • 25-12-17

My favourite book of all of Christie's books

As soon as I heard the first words in the sample I knew I would love this book. The voice and the manner of Jackie Crago suits this book perfectly. That is exactly how I imagined Joan Scudamore to sound. I knew the story, I'd read this book before and Iloved it.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Chelle
  • Chelle
  • 12-09-21

Life from an emotional abuser's viewpoint

Not sure if Joan is a narcissistic manipulator or delusional and manipulative.
The "perfect book" (sarcasm intended) when you what to view life from an emotional abuser's viewpoint and listen to lies she tells herself.
I wished that Christie could have gifted us with a different outcome..... can't add more without adding spoilers.