What Maisie Knew

Read by Elizabeth Klett

(4.1 stars; 165 reviews)

When Beale and Ida Farange are divorced, the court decrees that their only child, the very young Maisie, will shuttle back and forth between them, spending six months of the year with each. The parents are immoral and frivolous, and they use Maisie to intensify their hatred of each other. (Summary by Wikipedia.) (8 hr 50 min)


00 - Introduction 9:53 Read by Elizabeth Klett
01 - Chapter 01 7:51 Read by Elizabeth Klett
02 - Chapter 02 7:48 Read by Elizabeth Klett
03 - Chapter 03 6:01 Read by Elizabeth Klett
04 - Chapter 04 8:22 Read by Elizabeth Klett
05 - Chapter 05 9:07 Read by Elizabeth Klett
06 - Chapter 06 11:37 Read by Elizabeth Klett
07 - Chapter 07 13:44 Read by Elizabeth Klett
08 - Chapter 08 19:18 Read by Elizabeth Klett
09 - Chapter 09 15:23 Read by Elizabeth Klett
10 - Chapter 10 12:52 Read by Elizabeth Klett
11 - Chapter 11 18:31 Read by Elizabeth Klett
12 - Chapter 12 18:14 Read by Elizabeth Klett
13 - Chapter 13 15:22 Read by Elizabeth Klett
14 - Chapter 14 16:45 Read by Elizabeth Klett
15 - Chapter 15 16:15 Read by Elizabeth Klett
16 - Chapter 16 17:01 Read by Elizabeth Klett
17 - Chapter 17 17:33 Read by Elizabeth Klett
18 - Chapter 18 17:40 Read by Elizabeth Klett
19 - Chapter 19 23:14 Read by Elizabeth Klett
20 - Chapter 20 28:54 Read by Elizabeth Klett
21 - Chapter 21 20:16 Read by Elizabeth Klett
22 - Chapter 22 12:55 Read by Elizabeth Klett
23 - Chapter 23 15:51 Read by Elizabeth Klett
24 - Chapter 24 20:10 Read by Elizabeth Klett
25 - Chapter 25 18:34 Read by Elizabeth Klett
26 - Chapter 26 20:14 Read by Elizabeth Klett
27 - Chapter 27 13:48 Read by Elizabeth Klett
28 - Chapter 28 15:19 Read by Elizabeth Klett
29 - Chapter 29 20:28 Read by Elizabeth Klett
30 - Chapter 30 25:44 Read by Elizabeth Klett
31 - Chapter 31 35:29 Read by Elizabeth Klett


My favourite reader

(5 stars)

Elizabeth Klett, so skilled and smart, is my favourite reader on Librivox. Fortunately for me, she also picks interesting projects like this one. It's a gem of a book, solid Henry James with an interesting angle. A thought-provoking subject, a great author and a great reader, what a wonderful use for those eight hours or so!

A story ahead of it's time. Enjoyed & Recommend

(4.5 stars)

Elizabeth Klett does a wonderful job narrating this interesting story of a girl caught in the middle of adult selfishness. Henry James does a great job of describing the world from Maisie's perspective, to a heartbreaking point at times. I wonder if he saw into the future a bit when he wrote this book. Now there's a "contemporary reimagining" of this book in the form of a movie (also titled "What Maisie Knew" 2012). The essence of the story is the same. To me, this proves the timelessness of James's book.

a difficult book for me

(4 stars)

This was emotionally trying for me to read. It was well read, of course, by Ms Klett, who performs a charming Maisie. The narrative itself was quite sad and evocative of many feelings that we can all relate to from the perspective of having been children dependent upon imperfect adults. It is a thought provoking book, but I'm not sure I like it. There is a magnetism about it though. I think the draw is the beautiful innocence of the child, her honesty, and her wish to love.

Still relevant today

(4.5 stars)

Thank you to E. Klett for another beautiful reading! I was uttterly drawn in by this sad and insightful story, showing the heart tugs and ups and down of a child who's treated as a mere pawn in the power game between her divorced parents, her inconstant stepparents and her lonely nanny. It's hard to believe this story is over 130 years old, it could have happened yesterday. Only sometimes I felt a slightly slower reading pace may have helped with following the many sudden twists of the story.

(5 stars)

excellent reading of a great book. a lot of the negative reviews say the plot was hard to follow - well, they're not wrong, but I think it's on purpose, and brilliantly pulled off by the author. we're following what Maisie, a young child, knew - the adult affairs that affect her life come to her in confusing bits and pieces, and James has gotten us right into that mindset. that said, I found myself wishing I'd read this in print, as the story didn't suit itself well to audio format.


(4 stars)

The novel takes some effort to follow, how the characters, although not too many, are intertwined. The main character is unusual, somewhat unfathomable, and other characters are equally quixotic. So a bit of a challenge, but worthwhile. Regardless of how much the story may appeal to you, the reader is a star. She portrays the personalities distinctly and for the most part conveys their thoughts and emotions very well--as well as any reader I can recall, including well-known, top-notch actors chosen to read for the best public-radio story-telling programs.

Too Sad for me

(2.5 stars)

This is the second time I 've attempted this book. For whatever reason (bad memories, I suspect) I cannot finish this book. Every adult manipulates and uses Maisie to score points against the other adults. No one really loves or wants her, and her only weapon for survival is to learn to manipulate the adults, too. Depressing.

What Maisie Knew

(5 stars)

A story with sadness, truth, love, and many other emotions well intermixed to present complex characters and a complex plot; very well written by an excellent author. The reader did her usual outstanding job. She is clear, emphatic as needed and her characters come to life in her voice. Thank you for a job so well done.