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If you’re in search of a gripping story that explores themes of identity and desire, then look no further than Tom Perrotta’s audiobook “Mrs. Fletcher.” In this review, we’ll take an in-depth look at the narrative and evaluate how it’s delivered through the audiobook format.

As an acclaimed author, Tom Perrotta has gained a reputation for crafting insightful and engaging stories, and “Mrs. Fletcher” is no exception. In this audiobook review, we’ll explore the plot, the characters, and the themes of “Mrs. Fletcher,” in addition to the narration style and critical reception.

Overview of “Mrs. Fletcher”

Tom Perrotta’s audiobook “Mrs. Fletcher” centers around Eve Fletcher, a recently divorced mother who experiences a sense of emptiness after her son, Brendan, leaves for college. Set in a New Jersey suburb, the story follows Eve as she navigates newfound independence and explores her sexuality.

The audiobook examines themes of identity, family, and personal fulfillment, framed by Eve’s experiences and relationships with those around her. As she grapples with her desires, Eve also encounters a cast of characters, including her son Brendan, her coworkers, and a young transgender woman named Amanda.

The narrative unfolds through alternating perspectives between Eve and her son, offering a well-rounded view of their experiences. Through their stories, “Mrs. Fletcher” explores the complexities of contemporary life and relationships, providing an insightful and entertaining read.

Overall, “Mrs. Fletcher” is a compelling audiobook that explores themes of identity, sexuality, and personal growth in a relatable and entertaining way. With engaging characters and a poignant story, it is no surprise that the audiobook has won critical acclaim and a loyal following of readers.

Plot Summary

The storyline of “Mrs. Fletcher” revolves around the life of a divorced, middle-aged woman named Eve Fletcher. After her son, Brendan, leaves for college, Eve finds herself struggling to adapt to her new empty-nest lifestyle. However, when she enrolls in a gender studies course, her world is turned upside down. She begins to explore topics such as sexuality, gender roles, and online sex culture, which leads to a series of unexpected encounters that challenge her beliefs and values.

As she embarks on a journey of self-discovery, Brendan faces his own struggles with college life and his identity. He grapples with his relationship with his long-time girlfriend, Chloe, and his burgeoning attraction to his transgender classmate, Margo.

The narrative follows the parallel journeys of Eve and Brendan as they navigate the complex terrain of self-discovery and personal growth. The story culminates in a dramatic finale that leaves readers questioning the nature of identity and desire.

Character Analysis

Tom Perrotta’s “Mrs. Fletcher” examines a wide cast of characters, each grappling with their own desires, insecurities and ambitions. The author masterfully interweaves their narratives, and by the end of the book, readers gain a deep understanding of how each character has grown and changed over the course of the story.

Brenda Fletcher, the titular character, is a divorced mother who is discovering herself in more ways than one. She’s a major focus of the book’s narrative, and readers get to see how she changes over the course of the story. As she becomes more confident and assertive, Brenda’s relationships with her family and colleagues undergo significant changes.

Julian is another intriguing character, as he learns more about himself and what he wants from life. Despite being young and ambitious, Julian’s character is full of nuance and complexity. He’s a character readers will love to hate, yet they’ll also find themselves rooting for him as he navigates his own personal journey.

The supporting cast of characters such as Margo and Amanda are also well developed, and offer interesting insights into the plot and themes of the book. Their relationships with Brenda and Julian are explored in depth, adding nuance and depth to the story.

Brenda Fletcher

Brenda is a fascinating character, full of contradictions and complexities that keep the reader engaged throughout the story. She is a middle aged woman who is grappling with her own sense of self, her place in the world, and her somewhat unsatisfying job as an executive assistant.

Over the course of the story, Brenda takes steps toward fulfilling her own desires, breaking out of the box that society has placed her in. She explores new relationships both platonic and romantic, and even embarks on a new career path entirely. Through it all, the character’s growth is organic and carefully thought out, making for a realistic and moving arc.


Julian is a young man who is struggling with his own identity and sense of self. He comes from a privileged background, and despite being intelligent and ambitious, he often finds himself getting into trouble. His character is a study in contradictions, as he grapples with his own sense of morality and self-worth.

Despite the character’s many flaws, readers will find themselves rooting for Julian. There is something alluring about his raw ambition and his unapologetic pursuit of what he wants in life.

Supporting Characters

The supporting characters in “Mrs. Fletcher” are well developed and add depth to the story. Margo, Brenda’s best friend, is a complex character with her own set of desires and ambitions. Similarly, Amanda, Julian’s love interest, is a nuanced character who challenges readers’ perceptions of what it means to be a sexual being in the modern world.

Overall, the cast of characters in “Mrs. Fletcher” is an eclectic mix of personalities and attitudes. By the end of the book, readers come to know and love each character for their unique complexities and faults.

Themes Explored

In “Mrs. Fletcher,” author Tom Perrotta touches on various themes that resonate with listeners. The audiobook explores the idea of identity and how it can be influenced by different factors, such as social norms and personal desires. The central character’s journey of self-discovery is intertwined with the exploration of sexual desire, revealing how it affects an individual’s sense of self.

Another major theme in the audiobook is the search for personal fulfillment. Through the characters and their experiences, the listener gains insight into the universal human desire for happiness and satisfaction. The story also examines the impact of technology on human relationships, revealing how virtual connections can be both beneficial and detrimental.

Overall, “Mrs. Fletcher” offers a thought-provoking exploration of several themes that are relevant to contemporary society. It is a poignant reminder that the search for identity and fulfillment is an ongoing journey that requires reflection and self-awareness.

Themes of desire and identity explored in Mrs. Fletcher

Narration Style and Performance

In “Mrs. Fletcher,” the narration style and performance elevate the listening experience to new heights.

The audiobook is expertly narrated, with a clear and captivating delivery that hooks the listener from the very beginning. The narrator’s voice is pleasant and engaging, drawing listeners in and keeping them engaged throughout the story.

Moreover, the audiobook features sound effects that enhance the performance, creating a fully immersive experience for the listener. The sound effects are subtle but effective, adding an extra layer of depth to the story without distracting from the narration.

The narration style and performance in “Mrs. Fletcher” are truly top-notch, accentuating the fascinating narrative and showcasing the talent of the author and narrator alike.

Critical Reception

“Mrs. Fletcher” by Tom Perrotta has received mixed reviews from both readers and critics. Some have praised the book for its engaging exploration of themes such as identity and desire, while others have criticized it for being too predictable and lacking depth.

According to The Washington Post, “Perrotta is a master of intelligent, witty observation…But ‘Mrs. Fletcher’ eventually becomes monotonous and predictable.” Similarly, The Guardian states, “Perrotta’s usual mix of comedy and tragedy is skewed too far in the direction of the contrived and ridiculous.”

However, there were positive reviews too. The New York Times called it “an unassuming triumph,” lauding the book’s “sympathetic, believable characters” and “sly humor.”

Comparison to Other Works by Tom Perrotta

In comparing “Mrs. Fletcher” to other works by Tom Perrotta, several similarities emerge. Perrotta’s exploration of themes related to modern suburban life is a recurring motif in his work, and “Mrs. Fletcher” is no exception.

While each of his works has a unique plot, each also shares the same honest and relatable characters. Whether examining the life of a stay-at-home mom, a high school student, or a late-in-life college student, Perrotta’s ability to create authentic and intriguing characters is unmatched.

The writing style in “Mrs. Fletcher” matches Perrotta’s skillfully crafted narrative tones, as exemplified in his previous works. As always, Perrotta employs sharp observation and wit to his storytelling, creating a thought-provoking read.

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Overall, “Mrs. Fletcher” by Tom Perrotta is a captivating audiobook that explores complex themes of identity and desire through a relatable and compelling narrative. The unique perspectives of the characters and the well-crafted plot keep the listeners engaged throughout.

The character development is subtle and realistic, with each character going through their own personal journey of growth and self-discovery. The examination of the impacts of modern technology and its effect on human relationships is also thought-provoking and relevant.

The narration style and performance are top-notch, elevating the listening experience to a whole new level. The characters are brought to life through nuanced voice acting that adds depth and realism to the story.

The critical reception of “Mrs. Fletcher” has been largely positive, with many praising Perrotta’s storytelling ability and the audiobook’s exploration of contemporary issues. While comparisons to the author’s previous works are inevitable, “Mrs. Fletcher” stands out on its own as a powerful and entertaining story.

Overall, we highly recommend “Mrs. Fletcher” as a must-listen audiobook for fans of contemporary fiction and those interested in exploring themes of identity and desire.

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