If you follow me on Instagram, you will know that a new favorite past time of mine is to listen to audio books. I am always posting on my Instagram stories about the new books I purchase and am currently listening to. Since I don’t have time to read because of work, working out, cooking dinner, meeting with family and friends, etc. etc. etc., I have found that listening to audio books is the best way for me to keep up with books I truly want to read. My go-to app is Audible, which is an Amazon company and sells digital audio books, radio and TV programs, and audio versions of magazines and newspapers. I highly recommend getting a monthly subscription if you are like me and can’t find time to read anymore.
Now on to this amazing play turned audio book All The Ways To Say I Love You, by Neil LaBute and performed by Judith Light. Most of you will know the talented and two-time Tony Award winner Judith Light from her roles on Who’s The Boss and my absolute favorite comedy-drama series Transparent, in which she received Golden Globe, Emmy, and Critics’ Choice Television Award nominations. Her performance as Faye Johnson, a high school teacher with a huge secret, is compelling, relatable, thought-provoking and absolutely amazing! There are so many topics to touch upon in this story, so I want down the one’s I found most provoking. But before I do that, here is a quick synopsis of the 1 hour and 42 minute audio book.
All The Ways To Say I Love You is a monologue that follows Mrs. Johnson, who takes us through her past as she ultimately struggles to define the weight of lying to those you love. She discusses her relationship with her husband, which she claims to love unconditionally, her relationship with a special student that comes into her life, and how both relationships have shaped her current situation. While this monologue is quite short, I definitely was kept at the edge of my seat while listening to this audio book. When I initially started to listen to Mrs. Johnson’s story, I wasn’t expecting the story to take the turn that it did. What I loved most about this audio book is all of the topics that it touched upon that make it so relatable and real to anyone who listen’s to it. I think my only critique of this whole book would be that I wish it was a bit longer. But other than that, it was a great performance! Now onto the topics that I felt were most important in this story:
Marriage: Throughout this story, we hear a lot about how “happily” married Mrs. Johnson is and how she would never leave her husband because she loves him so much. But there are certain things that her husband does not fulfill. There are certain things that Mrs. Johnson has to live without because her husband cannot provide that for her. It brings up the question of settling in a relationship and what we sacrifice when we are in a relationship. It makes you question “is love really enough?”.
State of the country: Mrs. Johnson talks about her husband being mixed raced and the difficulties they as a couple face, as well as just him alone. She talks about how far we have come in this generation but still how much farther we need to go before our country is actually in a place of non-judgement (if it ever can get there).
Infertility: One of the issues that many couples face is that of infertility. This topic is brought up a few times by Mrs. Johnson and the steps she takes to make sure she can start a family with her husband.
Love, Lust And Sex: These topics definitely bring the heat to this audio book. We see Mrs. Johnson reflecting on her wild tryst and how unapologetic she is that it actually happened because of how alive she feels. We also see her talk about the lack of lust in her marriage, and how her affair with her student provides her what is missing in her marriage. While she loves her husband, their sex life is pretty lack-luster, and her affair with her student is exhilarating and exciting.
Lying: What is the weight and cost of a lie? Can you ever really move past it? Is there such thing as lying for the good of a relationship? Lying is really the topic that is at the forefront of this audio book. Mrs. Johnson tries to rationalize why she has lied to the characters in this play, and we see her struggle with the cause of her lies.
Overall, this short but juicy audio book is definitely worth listening to! It covers so many topics that every single person listening to can relate one some level. You feel for Mrs. Johnson and the issues she is facing. You find yourself trying to rationalize what she did and wonder too, what is the weight of lying?
This post is in collaboration with Audible. All opinions are my own.