the listener basch

The Listener by Rachel Basch

The Listener by Rachel BaschThe Listener by Rachel Basch
Published by Pegasus Books on March 15th 2015
Source: Publisher
Pages: 336
Buy from IndieBound


While struggling to adapt to life as a freshman in college, Noah is also balancing a role in the campus production of Les Miserables and desperately searching for someone who understands the feelings surrounding his gender identity. In hopes of finding someone to talk to, Noah makes an appointment with his school’s behavioral health center, where he meets with Malcolm. As a widower with two college-age daughters, Malcolm’s ability to completely understand Noah is limited, but the pair develop a unique bond that will impact both their families and the people around them.

Some novels are so quiet they can sneak up and surprise you with their ability to weave a tale. The Listener is one of those books. On the surface, it sounds like a story we’ve all read: an odd pair come together and reveal a secret or two that send ripples through their lives. It’s certainly familiar. Yet, Basch pulls in dozens of elements that make her story unique and layers them together in a way that allows it to be incredibly engaging without ever feeling over the top.

A story rooted in the closed-off room of a therapist is the starting point of a novel focused on opening up. Through Noah and Malcolm, we connect to the circle of lives around them and are reminded how delicate we must treat our most important relationships; fathers and daughters, mothers and sons, and the very best of friends.

  • Anita LeBeau

    I really love this,cover, and the book sounds interesting. I think yours is the first review I’ve read.

  • Books on the Table

    This sounds great — I’ve had the ARC sitting around for some time and now I’m inspired to read it. I’m always drawn to books set on campuses; not sure how I overlooked this one!

    • It’s set in a great little New England college town, but has some unexpected characters…I liked how different some of the elements were.

  • I hadn’t even heard of this before your review, but I’m certainly intrigued now. The cover speaks to this cover nerd and I have a weak spot for therapy/psychoanalysis, whatever you want to call it. Have you ever watched In Treatment on HBO? So good. Thanks for pointing this one out!

    • I haven’t seen The Treatment, but I’ve heard good things! I need another show now that Togetherness is over.

      • The first season was well worth a watch. On top of being stellar TV from a writing standpoint, it was also full of epic acting performances since every half hour episode was filmed in a single shot.

  • I hadn’t heard of this before, but it sounds fantastic!

  • This book sounds REALLY good.

    Thanks for your wonderful review.

    Silver’s Reviews

  • Great review! It sounds good. Like I said, books I’ve never heard of before and aren’t on all the blogs. Love it.

  • This reminds me of The Art of Fielding, which I REALLY enjoyed; this sounds like a great read. Thanks for the intriguing review, Shannon! Hope you have a great weekend!

  • This sounds great! I love when a book manages to take a plot I enjoy but which has been done already and make it fresh.

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  • This sounds so quiet and beautiful. My interest is surely piqued!