dept. of speculation by jenny offill

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Trip Duration: 3 hours

Dept. of Speculation

By Jenny Offill

Dept. of Speculation (Dreamscape) is one of those rare novels that's almost more bewitching as an audiobook than as a printed one. The author's melodic, tender voice narrates vignettes about marriage, turning the fragmented passages of the novel's pages into a fluid and candid examination of what keeps a couple together through the challenges of parenthood, health crises, betrayal, work difficulties and—worst of all?—bedbugs. An unnamed Wife narrates the story, revealing her small secret shames (realizing she has to be given a false deadline in order for her to get her daughter's school supplies in on time) her small private pleasures (catching herself, the mother of a grade-schooler, swaying on the subway platform imagining she's holding an infant). Most every listener will see herself—or, rather, her selves—here, as the Wife develops from an aspiring twenty-something with "WORK, NOT LOVE" scrawled on a Post-It above her desk, to a thirty-something trying to live by the exact opposite credo, to a wife, a mother and finally, someone who isn't sure she wants to be married anymore. An ideal travel listen for those hours spent looking out the window—considering the scenery, be it what you're looking at now or what's still yet to come.
— Stephanie Klost