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Summary

Anne and Edmund Cornhill have a happy marriage and a charming house. They are content, complete, absorbed in their private idyll. Arabella, who comes to stay one lazy summer, is rich, rootless and amoral - and, as they find out, beautiful and loving.

With her elegant prose the author traces the web of love and desire that entangles these three; but it is Arabella who finally loses out.

©1972 Elizabeth Jane Howard (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What listeners say about Odd Girl Out

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

Shallow and dated

I found all the characters in this book pretty shallow, selfish and mannered. I'm not sure when it was written but it's very dated without being classical. I've enjoyed other books by this author but this one is a turkey.

7 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Nothing much happens but unputdownable

Would you consider the audio edition of Odd Girl Out to be better than the print version?

Yes. There is a lot of minutiae in Elizabeth Howard books, which give great richness in an audiobook but might be tempted to skip in print.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Most interested in the husband

Which character – as performed by Eleanor Bron – was your favourite?

The odd girl out. I had expected to find her very irritating but the narrator brought empathy to her role

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Not so much emotional as stimulating. Very interesting 'read'.

Any additional comments?

Eleanor Bron is a fantastic narrator. I often find women narrators have dreadful hissing or whistling 'S's which drives me up the wall. Eleanor Bron both knows how to talk properly and brings great depth to the characters and description.

10 people found this helpful

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A disappointing story

Eleanor Bron is a brilliant narrator and brings the best it is possible to the story the story is a huge disappointment especially after just reading the five Cazalet Chronicles.

It starts well, bringing the characters to life in her inimitable way. Then it appears to become a platform for a debate between the equality of the sexes and uses this to break apart a perfectly functional and extremely happy marriage. This marriage would’ve been a case of what you’ve never experienced you’ve never missed, but the odd girl out has made sure both parties know the physical pleasures that are available to them and what their life could be like if they continued in a totally selfish vein, rather than respecting each other’s boundaries and routines as they always had. If they’d been unhappy in the first place this could have been acceptable, but the fact they weren’t makes the whole premise of the story ridiculous. Extremely disappointing!

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Captivating Story!

Although not set in the modern day, this is a very contemporary and artful tale of loyalties challenged and relationships entangled in interesting ways. Eleanor Bron has the most delicious voice and, the combination of this with the great writing, makes for hours of enjoyment. I thoroughly recommend this audiobook.

2 people found this helpful

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Wonderful

As always with E J Howard the story is enthralling and the writing first class I love books written in the time and style they are set in The reading was also excellent I shed a few tears and am so pleased that women's lives are better in the present

1 person found this helpful

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In favour of this Odd Girl!

Thoroughly enjoyed this story by one of my favourite authors. It was enhanced by Eleanor Bron’s intelligent and sympathetic delivery. An unusual plot and vividly-drawn characters and settings. The novel is entertaining, absorbing and thought-provoking.

1 person found this helpful

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Bedside manners

Thoughtful take on habitation versus desire and the presumptions existing in male female relationships.

1 person found this helpful

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Brilliant

Beautifully read & a gripping story. I wish there was sequel so I would know what happened to the people in the story

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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What a delicious freeze frame of the 70''s, Joy!

I dithered over getting this for a long time due to negative reviews but finally took the plunge and can safely say "Come on in the water is delicious!"
I thoroughly enjoyed this trip in the time machine to a completely different age where one day seemed to last about a week with the amount of things people got done - picking raspberries, cracking crab, aspicing things with a basil (I think) leaf. Wow it was such a journey to a gentler time.
For those people who reviewed saying how could a happy couple be open to distraction?
Obviously you have never been in a long time relationship, happy or otherwise!
I found this to be such a tender story and so beautifully written in any age but all that delicious seventies style pizazz - the trouser suits, the hair styling, the endless food prep all pure gold.
The dark backstory and the careless business trip all counterbalanced the domesticity to perfection and I drank it all like a fabulous retro cocktail.
I think this is one of the few audiobooks which I will listen to again as such a delicious trip to another world and the intriguing psychology of a relationship and the cracks one never knows are there until they are tested by temptation.
A very modern tale set in the gorgeous glamour of yesteryear.
Total vibe - I loved it!

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Masterful character insight and exquisite prose

This was my first Howard and won't be my last. I found the prose beautiful and the sense of character remarkable. Sterling performance by the narrator too.

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  • Susan M
  • 05-08-16

Tedious story, but worth it to hear Eleanor Bron .

Love to hear Eleanor Bron ' s beautiful voice. The story is tedious and predictable., but I could listen to her reading the telephone directory.

2 people found this helpful