Classics Audiobook Review: What Maisie Knew

What Maisie Knew

What Maisie Knew

Juliet Stevenson provides a compelling narration of Henry James’s story about innocence, social class, and morality. The protagonist, Maisie, struggles to preserve her innocence when her parents divorce and her stepparents commit adultery. Seemingly effortlessly, Stevenson changes her voice to match her characters’ traits: Maisie’s innocent demeanor, her stepfather Sir Claude’s confident poise, her stepmother Ms. Overmore’s patronizing personality, her nanny Mrs. Wix’s didactic disposition, and her parents Ida’s and Beale’s narcissistic attitudes. Stevenson’s pace is slow and steady—in harmony with every moment. However, even with her elegant English accent, her performance is challenged by the author’s long sentences. Overall, though, Stevenson’s pleasant narration makes James’s complex and long-winded novel an auditory treat. A.C. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine [Published: MAY 2019]

Originally appears at AudioFile Magazine