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10 Audiobooks with Ensemble Casts Who Bring Stories to Life

June 10 2022
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After half a year of reading, your eyes may be a little tired. Give them a break by checking out one (or more!) of these ten star-studded multi-cast audiobooks. The only thing better than reading a terrific book is having it read to you by voices—familiar and new alike—of those who know what they’re doing. Each title features a variety of voices, from beloved actors and actresses to voice talents perfectly suited for this stellar content. So settle in and let these multi-cast audiobooks bring the story to life.

Star Trek: Picard: No Man's Land
by Kirsten Beyer & Mike Johnson

An immersive, audio drama, STAR TREK: PICARD: NO MAN'S LAND picks up right where season one of Star Trek: Picard left off. Raffi and Seven of Nine have their vacation cut short when a troubled planet calls for help with a botched evacuation effort. Raffi and Seven must team up to protect a strangely ageless professor against the brutal Romulan warlord. Featuring a full cast of voices and a lush soundscape, this audiobook features the stars of the television show, Michelle Hurd and Jeri Ryan.

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Star Trek: Picard: No Man's Land
Kirsten Beyer & Mike Johnson

Discover what happens to Raffi and Seven of Nine following the stunning conclusion to season one of Star Trek: Picard with this audio exclusive, fully dramatized Star Trek adventure featuring the beloved stars of the hit TV series Michelle Hurd and Jeri Ryan.

Star Trek: No Man’s Land picks up right after the action-packed season one conclusion of Star Trek: Picard. While Raffi and Seven of Nine are enjoying some much-needed R&R in Raffi’s remote hideaway, their downtime is interrupted by an urgent cry for help: a distant, beleaguered planet has enlisted the Fenris Rangers to save an embattled evacuation effort. As Raffi and Seven team up to rescue a mysteriously ageless professor whose infinity-shaped talisman has placed him in the deadly sights of a vicious Romulan warlord, they take tentative steps to explore the attraction depicted in the final moments of Picard season one.

Star Trek: No Man’s Land is a rich, fully dramatized Star Trek: Picard adventure as Michelle Hurd and Jeri Ryan pick up their respective characters once more. Written for audio by Kirsten Beyer, a cocreator, writer, and producer on the hit Paramount+ series Star Trek: Picard, and Mike Johnson, a veteran contributor to the Star Trek comic books publishing program, this audio original offers consummate Star Trek storytelling brilliantly reimagined for the audio medium.

In addition to riveting performances from Hurd and Ryan exploring new layers of Raffi and Seven’s relationship, Star Trek: No Man’s Land features a full cast of actors playing all-new characters in the Star Trek: Picard universe, including Fred Tatasciore, Jack Cutmore-Scott, John Kassir, Chris Andrew Ciulla, Lisa Flanagan, Gibson Frazier, Lameece Issaq, Natalie Naudus, Xe Sands, and Emily Woo Zeller, and is presented in a soundscape crackling with exclusive Star Trek sound effects. Drawing listeners into a dramatic, immersive narrative experience that is at once both instantly familiar and spectacularly new, Star Trek: No Man’s Land goes boldly where no audio has gone before as fans new and old clamor to discover what happens next.

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The Candy House
by Jennifer Egan

A thematically rich companion novel to her Pulitzer Prize–winning A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD, this is Jennifer Egan’s exploration of a disjunctive online world. Forty-year-old Bix Bouton is the creator of “Own Your Unconscious,” technology that lets people access their own memories. In a collage of genre-breaking, interlinked narratives, greatly enhanced in the audiobook by a stellar ensemble cast, THE CANDY HOUSE follows the lives of those over the course of several decades—from the “counters” who exploit the desires revealed by the system to the “eluders” who try to avoid its grasp—who cannot be untangled from its expansion.

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The Candy House
Jennifer Egan

Named a Most Anticipated Book of the Year by Time, Entertainment Weekly, Vogue, Good Housekeeping, Oprah Daily, Glamour, USA TODAY, Parade, Bustle, San Francisco Chronicle, The Seattle Times, The Boston Globe, Tampa Bay Times, BuzzFeed, Vulture, and many more!

From one of the most celebrated writers of our time, a literary figure with cult status, a “sibling novel” to her Pulitzer Prize– and NBCC Award–winning A Visit from the Goon Squad—an electrifying, deeply moving novel about the quest for authenticity and meaning in a world where memories and identities are no longer private.

The Candy House opens with the staggeringly brilliant Bix Bouton, whose company, Mandala, is so successful that he is “one of those tech demi-gods with whom we’re all on a first name basis.” Bix is 40, with four kids, restless, desperate for a new idea, when he stumbles into a conversation group, mostly Columbia professors, one of whom is experimenting with downloading or “externalizing” memory. It’s 2010. Within a decade, Bix’s new technology, “Own Your Unconscious”—that allows you access to every memory you’ve ever had, and to share every memory in exchange for access to the memories of others—has seduced multitudes. But not everyone.

In spellbinding interlocking narratives, Egan spins out the consequences of Own Your Unconscious through the lives of multiple characters whose paths intersect over several decades. Intellectually dazzling, The Candy House is also extraordinarily moving, a testament to the tenacity and transcendence of human longing for real connection, love, family, privacy and redemption. In the world of Egan’s spectacular imagination, there are “counters” who track and exploit desires and there are “eluders,” those who understand the price of taking a bite of the Candy House. Egan introduces these characters in an astonishing array of narrative styles—from omniscient to first person plural to a duet of voices, an epistolary chapter and a chapter of tweets.

If Goon Squad was organized like a concept album, The Candy House incorporates Electronic Dance Music’s more disjunctive approach. The parts are titled: Build, Break, Drop. With an emphasis on gaming, portals, and alternate worlds, its structure also suggests the experience of moving among dimensions in a role-playing game.

The Candy House is a bold, brilliant imagining of a world that is moments away. Egan takes to stunning new heights her “deeply intuitive forays into the darker aspects of our technology-driven, image-saturated culture” (Vogue). The Candy House delivers an absolutely extraordinary combination of fierce, exhilarating intelligence and heart.

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By Alice Martin | June 10, 2022

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The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
by Dawnie Walton

In this electric, explosive debut novel, now available as a 2022 Fiction Audie Award Winner, Opal is a rising star musician in Detroit. When she meets famed singer-songwriter Neville Charles, the two agree to come together to make world-changing rock music. But during one concert, Opal’s provocative statement sets off a series of catastrophic events. Years later, in 2016, music journalist Sunny interviews Opal, unearthing the darkness undergirding the beloved music world she thought she knew.

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The Final Revival of Opal & Nev
Dawnie Walton

*** A GOOD MORNING AMERICA BUZZ PICK! ***

An electrifying novel about the meteoric rise of an iconic interracial rock duo in the 1970s, their sensational breakup, and the dark secrets unearthed when they try to reunite decades later for one last tour.

“Feels truer and more mesmerizing than some true stories. It’s a packed time capsule that doubles as a stick of dynamite.” —The New York Times Book Review

“One of the most ​immersive novels I’ve ever read….This is a thrilling work of polyphony—a first novel, that reads like the work of an old hand.” —Ta-Nehisi Coates, New York Times bestselling author of The Water Dancer and Between the World and Me

* A Most Anticipated Selection By * O, The Oprah Magazine * Vogue * Elle * Good Morning America * Washington Post * Entertainment Weekly * Essence * PopSugar * BookRiot * Goodreads * Literary Hub * Parade * Ms. Magazine * The Millions *

Opal is a fiercely independent young woman pushing against the grain in her style and attitude, Afro-punk before that term existed. Coming of age in Detroit, she can’t imagine settling for a 9-to-5 job—despite her unusual looks, Opal believes she can be a star. So when the aspiring British singer/songwriter Neville Charles discovers her at a bar’s amateur night, she takes him up on his offer to make rock music together for the fledgling Rivington Records.

In early seventies New York City, just as she’s finding her niche as part of a flamboyant and funky creative scene, a rival band signed to her label brandishes a Confederate flag at a promotional concert. Opal’s bold protest and the violence that ensues set off a chain of events that will not only change the lives of those she loves, but also be a deadly reminder that repercussions are always harsher for women, especially black women, who dare to speak their truth.

Decades later, as Opal considers a 2016 reunion with Nev, music journalist S. Sunny Shelton seizes the chance to curate an oral history about her idols. Sunny thought she knew most of the stories leading up to the cult duo’s most politicized chapter. But as her interviews dig deeper, a nasty new allegation from an unexpected source threatens to blow up everything.

Provocative and chilling, The Final Revival of Opal & Nev features a backup chorus of unforgettable voices, a heroine the likes of which we’ve not seen in storytelling, and a daring structure, and introduces a bold new voice in contemporary fiction.

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How to Be Perfect
by Michael Schur

From the cocreator of such hit shows as Parks and Recreation and The Good Place comes a funny and inquisitive guide to moral quandaries. Michael Schur digs deep into the history of philosophy in this playful and approachable book that starts with the easy questions (Is violence for no reason okay?) and builds to the hard stuff: Can I enjoy art made by awful people? Stars Stars from NBC’s The Good Place such as Kristen Bell, Ted Danson, and William Jackson Harper narrate parts of this star-studded audiobook.

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How to Be Perfect
Michael Schur

From the creator of The Good Place and the cocreator of Parks and Recreation, a hilarious, thought-provoking guide to living an ethical life, drawing on 2,500 years of deep thinking from around the world. Read by the author, this one-of-a-kind audio production features guest appearances by members of the cast of The Good Place.

Most people think of themselves as “good", but it’s not always easy to determine what’s “good” or “bad”—especially in a world filled with complicated choices and pitfalls and booby traps and bad advice. Fortunately, many smart philosophers have been pondering this conundrum for millennia and they have guidance for us. With bright wit and deep insight, How to Be Perfect explains concepts like deontology, utilitarianism, existentialism, ubuntu, and more, so we can sound cool at parties and become better people.

Schur starts off with easy ethical questions like “Should I punch my friend in the face for no reason?” (No.) and works his way up to the most complex moral issues we all face. Such as: Can I still enjoy great art if it was created by terrible people? How much money should I give to charity? Why bother being good at all when there are no consequences for being bad? And much more. By the time the book is done, we’ll know exactly how to act in every conceivable situation, so as to produce a verifiably maximal amount of moral good. We will be perfect, and all our friends will be jealous. Okay, not quite. Instead, we’ll gain fresh, funny, inspiring wisdom on the toughest issues we face every day.

How to Be Perfect is narrated by Michael Schur, Kristen Bell, D’Arcy Carden, Ted Danson, William Jackson Harper, Manny Jacinto, Marc Evan Jackson, Jameela Jamil, and Todd May!

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Tracy Flick Can't Win
by Tom Perrotta

In this sequel to ELECTION, Tracy Flick is back as an assistant principal at a public high school in New Jersey. When the head principal announces his retirement, hardworking Tracy is eager to secure her long-delayed promotion. In the meantime, she has to juggle her grade-school-aged daughter, a needy boyfriend, and being on the Selection Committee for the Green Meadow High School Hall of Fame. And as a colleague campaigns for star quarterback with a sordid past, Tracy will have to revisit her own journey. A full cast narration led by Lucy Liu makes this insightful sequel to ELECTION even harder to put down.

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Tracy Flick Can't Win
Tom Perrotta

Tracy Flick is back and, once again, the iconic protagonist of Tom Perrotta’s Election—and Reese Witherspoon’s character from the classic movie adaptation—is determined to take high school politics by storm.

Tracy Flick is a hardworking assistant principal at a public high school in suburban New Jersey. Still ambitious but feeling a little stuck and underappreciated in midlife, Tracy gets a jolt of good news when the longtime principal, Jack Weede, abruptly announces his retirement, creating a rare opportunity for Tracy to ascend to the top job.

Energized by the prospect of her long-overdue promotion, Tracy throws herself into her work with renewed zeal, determined to prove her worth to the students, faculty, and School Board, while also managing her personal life—a ten-year-old daughter, a needy doctor boyfriend, and a burgeoning meditation practice. But nothing ever comes easily to Tracy Flick, no matter how diligent or qualified she happens to be.

Among her many other responsibilities, Tracy is enlisted to serve on the Selection Committee for the brand-new Green Meadow High School Hall of Fame. Her male colleagues’ determination to honor Vito Falcone—a star quarterback of dubious character who had a brief, undistinguished career in the NFL—triggers bad memories for Tracy, and leads her to troubling reflections about the trajectory of her own life and the forces that have left her feeling thwarted and disappointed, unable to fulfill her true potential.

As she broods on the past, Tracy becomes aware of storm clouds brewing in the present. Is she really a shoo-in for the Principal job? Is the Superintendent plotting against her? Why is the School Board President’s wife trying so hard to be her friend? And why can’t she ever get what she deserves?

In classic Perrotta style, Tracy Flick Can’t Win is a sharp, darkly comic, and pitch-perfect reflection on our current moment. Flick fans and newcomers alike will love this compelling novel chronicling the second act of one of the most memorable characters of our time.

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10 Audiobooks with Ensemble Casts Who Bring Stories to Life

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The Ballad of Laurel Springs
by Janet Beard

Inspired by the ballads of Eastern Tennessee, THE BALLAD OF LAUREL SPRINGS explores the dark history memorialized in Appalachian folklore via a full cast of voices that bring these haunting stories to life. While searching for a research subject for her fifth-grade history project, Grace discovers that her four times-great-grandfather brutally murdered his lover. When she consequently learns that his act was immortalized in a song, Grace begins to uncover a tangled heritage of such songs that link her community together in inescapable ways.

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The Ballad of Laurel Springs
Janet Beard

From the internationally bestselling author of The Atomic City Girls, a provocative novel set in eastern Tennessee that “explores the legacies—of passion and violence, music and faith—that haunt one family across the generations” (Jillian Medoff, author of This Could Hurt).

Ten-year-old Grace is in search of a subject for her fifth-grade history project when she learns that her four times-great grandfather once stabbed his lover to death. His grisly act was memorialized in a murder ballad, her aunt tells her, so it must be true. But the lessons of that revelation—to be careful of men and desire—are not just Grace’s to learn. Her family’s tangled past is part of a dark legacy in which the lives of generations of women are affected by the violence immortalized in folksongs like “Knoxville Girl” and “Pretty Polly” reminding them always to know their place—or risk the wages of sin.

Janet Beard’s stirring novel, informed by her love of these haunting ballads, vividly imagines these women, defined by the secrets they keep, the surprises they uncover, and the lurking sense of menace that follows them throughout their lives even as they try to make a safe place in the world for themselves. “This inspired story of Appalachian folklore” (Publishers Weekly) will move and rouse you.

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A History of Wild Places
by Shea Ernshaw

Theo, a lifelong member of a reclusive community called Pastoral, knows something isn’t right with his wife, Calla, or her sister, Bee. When he finds an abandoned truck on the outskirts of town he wonders if the community’s worst fears have been realized, if their borders have been broached, and whoever arrived might have brought the outside world’s mysterious disease, rot, with them. Listen as this atmospheric psychological thriller comes alive via the voices of a whole cast of alternating narrators.

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A History of Wild Places
Shea Ernshaw

In this “riveting, atmospheric thriller that messes with your mind in the best way” (Laini Taylor, New York Times bestselling author), three residents of a secluded, seemingly peaceful commune investigate the disappearances of two outsiders.

Travis Wren has an unusual talent for locating missing people. Often hired by families as a last resort, he takes on the case of Maggie St. James—a well-known author of dark, macabre children’s books—and is soon led to a place many believed to be only a legend.

Called Pastoral, this reclusive community was founded in the 1970s by like-minded people searching for a simpler way of life. By all accounts, the commune shouldn’t exist anymore and soon after Travis stumbles upon it…he disappears. Just like Maggie St. James.

Years later, Theo, a lifelong member of Pastoral, discovers Travis’s abandoned truck beyond the border of the community. No one is allowed in or out, not when there’s a risk of bringing a disease—rot—into Pastoral. Unraveling the mystery of what happened reveals secrets that Theo, his wife, Calla, and her sister, Bee, keep from one another. Secrets that prove their perfect, isolated world isn’t as safe as they believed—and that darkness takes many forms.

“As spine-chilling as it is beautifully crafted” (Ruth Emmie Lang, author of Beasts of Extraordinary Circumstance), A History of Wild Places is a story about fairy tales, our fear of the dark, and losing yourself within the wilderness of your mind.

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Florence Adler Swims Forever
by Rachel Beanland

In the midst of World War II, Esther and Joseph Adler’s small apartment above their bakery is cramped with people. First, there’s Florence, their daughter who is training to swim the English Channel and who has caught the attention of an heir to an antisemitic luxury hotel. Then, there’s their pregnant daughter Fanny and her suspicious husband. Finally, there’s the mysterious woman Joseph recently helped escape from Nazi Germany. When a disaster occurs, Esther will force her family into a series of lies that, while meant to save them all, may just destroy them forever. All these perspectives are unforgettably dramatized in the FLORENCE ADLER SWIMS FOREVER audiobook.

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Florence Adler Swims Forever
Rachel Beanland

“The perfect summer read” (USA TODAY) begins with a shocking tragedy that results in three generations of the Adler family grappling with heartbreak, romance, and the weight of family secrets over the course of one summer.

*A New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice * One of USA TODAY’s “Best Books of 2020” * One of Good Morning America’s “25 Novels You'll Want to Read This Summer” * One of Parade’s “26 Best Books to Read This Summer”

Atlantic City, 1934. Every summer, Esther and Joseph Adler rent their house out to vacationers escaping to “America’s Playground” and move into the small apartment above their bakery. Despite the cramped quarters, this is the apartment where they raised their two daughters, Fannie and Florence, and it always feels like home.

Now, Florence has returned from college, determined to spend the summer training to swim the English Channel, and Fannie, pregnant again after recently losing a baby, is on bedrest for the duration of her pregnancy. After Joseph insists they take in a mysterious young woman whom he recently helped emigrate from Nazi Germany, the apartment is bursting at the seams.

Esther only wants to keep her daughters close and safe but some matters are beyond her control: there’s Fannie’s risky pregnancy—not to mention her always-scheming husband, Isaac—and the fact that the handsome heir of a hotel notorious for its anti-Semitic policies, seems to be in love with Florence.

When tragedy strikes, Esther makes the shocking decision to hide the truth—at least until Fannie’s baby is born—and pulls the family into an elaborate web of secret-keeping and lies, bringing long-buried tensions to the surface that reveal how quickly the act of protecting those we love can turn into betrayal.

“Readers of Emma Straub and Curtis Sittenfeld will devour this richly drawn debut family saga” (Library Journal) that’s based on a true story and is a breathtaking portrayal of how the human spirit can endure—and even thrive—after tragedy.

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10 Audiobooks with Ensemble Casts Who Bring Stories to Life

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The Last Garden in England
by Julia Kelly

In present-day England, Emma is thrilled when she is hired to restore the Highbury House estate’s famed gardens, which were originally designed by her hero, Venetia Smith. In 1907, Venetia Smith is determined to make the Highbury House gardens the triumph of her career but is unprepared for how the people she meets there will change her life. Finally, in 1944, three dissimilar women at Highbury House find themselves bonded together by a secret that will last generations as the war draws nearer. With a different narrator for each time period, this audiobook illustrates this layered plot in a whole new way.

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The Last Garden in England
Julia Kelly

From the author of the international bestsellers The Light Over London and The Whispers of War comes “a compelling read, filled with lovable characters and an alluring twist of fates” (Ellen Keith, author of The Dutch Wife) about five women living across three different times whose lives are all connected by one very special garden.

Present day: Emma Lovett, who has dedicated her career to breathing new life into long-neglected gardens, has just been given the opportunity of a lifetime: to restore the gardens of the famed Highbury House estate, designed in 1907 by her hero Venetia Smith. But as Emma dives deeper into the gardens’ past, she begins to uncover secrets that have long lain hidden.

1907: A talented artist with a growing reputation for her work, Venetia Smith has carved out a niche for herself as a garden designer to industrialists, solicitors, and bankers looking to show off their wealth with sumptuous country houses. When she is hired to design the gardens of Highbury House, she is determined to make them a triumph, but the gardens—and the people she meets—promise to change her life forever.

1944: When land girl Beth Pedley arrives at a farm on the outskirts of the village of Highbury, all she wants is to find a place she can call home. Cook Stella Adderton, on the other hand, is desperate to leave Highbury House to pursue her own dreams. And widow Diana Symonds, the mistress of the grand house, is anxiously trying to cling to her pre-war life now that her home has been requisitioned and transformed into a convalescent hospital for wounded soldiers. But when war threatens Highbury House’s treasured gardens, these three very different women are drawn together by a secret that will last for decades.

“Gorgeously written and rooted in meticulous period detail, this novel is vibrant as it is stirring. Fans of historical fiction will fall in love with The Last Garden in England” (Roxanne Veletzos, author of The Girl They Left Behind).

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The Other Black Girl
by Zakiya Dalila Harris

A New York Times bestselling and award-winning debut, THE OTHER BLACK GIRL is a clever and propulsive thriller now available as a full cast audiobook led by actress Aja Naomi King. Editorial assistant Nella Rogers has been the only Black employee at her publishing house for years. Which is why she’s so excited when Hazel starts working at the desk beside her. That is, until Hazel becomes the office sweetheart and notes start appearing on Nella’s desk telling her to LEAVE WAGNER. NOW. As Nella tries to get to the bottom of the threats, she uncovers something much bigger than she could have ever imagined.

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The Other Black Girl
Zakiya Dalila Harris

Named a Most Anticipated Book of 2021 by Time, The Washington Post, Harper’s Bazaar, Entertainment Weekly, Marie Claire, Bustle, BuzzFeed, Parade, Goodreads, Fortune, and BBC

​​“Riveting, fearless, and vividly original.” —Emily St. John Mandel, New York Times bestselling author of The Glass Hotel

“A brilliant combustion of suspense, horror, and social commentary that leaves no assumption unchallenged and no page unturned.” —Walter Mosley, internationally bestselling author of Devil in a Blue Dress

Urgent, propulsive, and sharp as a knife, The Other Black Girl is an electric debut about the tension that unfurls when two young Black women meet against the starkly white backdrop of New York City book publishing.

Twenty-six-year-old editorial assistant Nella Rogers is tired of being the only Black employee at Wagner Books. Fed up with the isolation and microaggressions, she’s thrilled when Harlem-born and bred Hazel starts working in the cubicle beside hers. They’ve only just started comparing natural hair care regimens, though, when a string of uncomfortable events elevates Hazel to Office Darling, and Nella is left in the dust.

Then the notes begin to appear on Nella’s desk: LEAVE WAGNER. NOW.

It’s hard to believe Hazel is behind these hostile messages. But as Nella starts to spiral and obsess over the sinister forces at play, she soon realizes that there’s a lot more at stake than just her career.

A whip-smart and dynamic thriller and sly social commentary that is perfect for anyone who has ever felt manipulated, threatened, or overlooked in the workplace, The Other Black Girl will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last twist.

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