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  • The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

  • By: Deesha Philyaw
  • Narrated by: Janina Edwards
  • Length: 4 hrs and 6 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (122 ratings)
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The Secret Lives of Church Ladies cover art

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

By: Deesha Philyaw
Narrated by: Janina Edwards
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Summary

The Secret Lives of Church Ladies explores the raw and tender places where Black women and girls dare to follow their desires and pursue a momentary reprieve from being good. The nine stories in this collection feature four generations of characters grappling with who they want to be in the world, caught as they are between the church's double standards and their own needs and passions. 

There is 14-year-old Jael, who has a crush on the preacher's wife. At 42, Lyra realizes that her discomfort with her own body stands between her and a new love. As Y2K looms, Caroletta's "same time next year" arrangement with her childhood best friend is tenuous. A serial mistress lays down the ground rules for her married lovers. In the dark shadows of a hospice parking lot, grieving strangers find comfort in each other. 

With their secret longings, new love, and forbidden affairs, these church ladies are as seductive as they want to be, as vulnerable as they need to be, as unfaithful and unrepentant as they care to be, and as free as they deserve to be.

©2020 Deesha Philyaw (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about The Secret Lives of Church Ladies

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Beautiful, touching

This was beautifully written and wonderfully performed. It made me feel things and care for the characters. I had to pause several times because some of the short stories were so impactful, I didn't want to just move on. I definitely recommend!

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great set of stories

wasn't sure what to expect but each story was compelling and interesting and took you into the lives of so many different women. highly recommended

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Will come back and listen again

Well written stories brought to life by the exquisite narration.... Beautifully done. I will go back and listen to one or two of the stories because they are so lyrical... How to make love to a physicist ❤️

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Really interesting

Lots of lovely short stories - sometimes shocking, sometimes really true to life - pulled together and beautifully narrated. It’s short - so I finished it in 2 sittings while shopping then cooking - and very enjoyable. I hope to hear more from this author, as writing engaging short stories is a real skill that many writers can’t pull off! I’d highly recommend.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Fantastic Set of Stories

I didn’t know what to expect when I first got the book but I was pleasantly and happily surprised. Each chapter takes you through a different woman’s unique story. I won’t spoil it for others, but all the stories were moving, heartbreaking and touching in some sort of way. My favourite was the Peach Cobbler story. Fantastic writing from this young author, I look forward to reading her future work.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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I just wish it was longer!

I thoroughly enjoyed the narration of this book, it made the stories come alive! Highly recommend

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Wow

Didn’t know what to expect but it was an interesting and entertaining read, great reading voice too

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    3 out of 5 stars

Very fun and true!

I liked this a lot, easy short read but packs a punch. Raw and real and fun

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So enjoyable

Lovely set of stories. I have not enjoyed a book this much in a long while. Excellent writing that really drew you in as a reader. Performed exceptionally well by the actress Janina Edwards.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

the subtle theme of trauma in the stories

liked the narrators voice, some of the exaggerated accents were annoying overall the stories were told well

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