• Tom Lake

  • A Novel
  • By: Ann Patchett
  • Narrated by: Meryl Streep
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (9,906 ratings)

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Tom Lake  By  cover art

Tom Lake

By: Ann Patchett
Narrated by: Meryl Streep
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Publisher's summary

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A REESE’S BOOK CLUB PICK • READ BY MERYL STREEP

In this beautiful and moving novel about family, love, and growing up, Ann Patchett once again proves herself one of America’s finest writers.

“Patchett leads us to a truth that feels like life rather than literature.” —The Guardian

In the spring of 2020, Lara’s three daughters return to the family's orchard in Northern Michigan. While picking cherries, they beg their mother to tell them the story of Peter Duke, a famous actor with whom she shared both a stage and a romance years before at a theater company called Tom Lake. As Lara recalls the past, her daughters examine their own lives and relationship with their mother, and are forced to reconsider the world and everything they thought they knew.

Tom Lake is a meditation on youthful love, married love, and the lives parents have led before their children were born. Both hopeful and elegiac, it explores what it means to be happy even when the world is falling apart. As in all of her novels, Ann Patchett combines compelling narrative artistry with piercing insights into family dynamics. The result is a rich and luminous story, told with profound intelligence and emotional subtlety, that demonstrates once again why she is one of the most revered and acclaimed literary talents working today.

©2023 Ann Patchett (P)2023 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about Tom Lake

Average customer ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    7,080
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    1,519
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  • 4 Stars
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  • 3 Stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • 1 Stars
    368

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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

So incredibly boring

Loved Streep but the banality of the story awakened nothing in me.. Do not recommend.

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85 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Amazing narration by Meryl Streep makes this book

Although I’m a big fan of Anne Patchett, I might not have made it halfway through this book without Meryl Streep’s narration which transforms the story into something to which you can’t stop listening. The story itself I found weaker and less interesting than any other of Anne Patchett’s novels although her prose is delightful. There’s something about this novel that just doesn’t work for me and makes it feel less authentic and more ‘constructed’ than earlier novels. And I much prefer her non fiction. But the narration is amazing- I finished the book in less than 48 hours!!! I couldn't stop listening even when I didn't really care about the story. Highly recommended- Listening to Meryl Streep read just about anything makes it better.

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56 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Patchett plus Streep. What could be better?

Patchett fans will love this book. What puts this over the top is Meryl Streep doing the reading. I loved this!

Narrators make such a difference. I couldn’t get through the last three books I got because the narration was difficult and so I ordered the print versions.

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45 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

A lot of rambling and poor character development. Nothing interesting or deep. I am left completely underwhelmed.

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40 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Slow, Slow

A lot of listeners gave rave reviews, it was a good story but it was slow.

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36 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Lyrical Listen

I love Ann Patchett and this did not disappoint. This story is like a lovely soft blanket, comforting and warm. A mother shares her story with her adult daughters and helps them see her as a full person at various stages of her life. Examining love and life and human frailties. A wonderful listen.

And Meryl Streep? Perfection!

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33 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Delightful!

Refreshing subject. Beautiful writing. Outstanding narrator.
Overall, a very welcome experience. Would that we had more of this quality!

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25 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Ann's best yet

I absolutely loved this novel! The reading by Meryl Streep is just perfect. It's a story about stories and it's just wonderful.

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22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Totally engaging!

Ann Patchett expertly drew me in, releasing tidbits of the lives of the characters, and I was invested completely into the lives of the Nelson family. Of note, all of the other personalities were in supporting roles to this story that made me miss my grandmother and appreciate the beauty of a summer morning and the satisfaction that comes from hard productive work. No surprise that Meryl Streep was brilliant as the narrator. Beautiful book.

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21 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Thank God For Ann Patchett!

Just the most beautiful book ever! Read to you by Meryl Streep who sounds just like your own precious mother.

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18 people found this helpful