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  • Writer's picturePatti Callahan Henry

Award-winning Cynthia Erivo to narrate The Secret Book of Flora Lea audiobook

Updated: May 21, 2023

I AM SO DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE — You know Cynthia Erivo? I know you do. Yes, that Cynthia. The woman who has won a Tony, a Grammy, and an Emmy. The woman who played Harriet Tubman in the movie Harriet. The woman who is playing Elphaba in the movie adaptation of Wicked. Yes yes yes. The woman who was just on the cover of Shape and Vogue Magazine, who was a finalist for an Audie for Wild Swan. The woman who is producing FatHam on Broadway, who is the EP and star of the upcoming “Raising Wild.” The badass, gorgeous, Raine in Luther.

And so much more. So why am I going on and on about one of my favorite people and actresses and singers? An incredible human. A marvel. Because SHE IS NARRATING THE AUDIOBOOK OF THE SECRET BOOK OF FLORA LEA.

I keep saying it over and over to myself to make sure it’s true – Cynthia Erivo is narrating my novel. To hear her voice read Hazel and Flora Lea’s story will be a surreal experience and I am here for it! @cynthiaerivo @atriabooks


Audio excerpt courtesy of Simon & Schuster Audio from THE SECRET BOOK OF FLORA LEA by Patti Callahan Henry, read by Cynthia Erivo with a note read by the author. Copyright © 2023 by Patti Callahan Henry. Used with permission of Simon & Schuster, Inc.

PCH What she is excited for listeners to hear.

PCH On Recording The Author's Note

PCH About Cynthia Erivo's Narration

About the Book

When a woman discovers a rare book that has connections to her past, long-held secrets about her missing sister and their childhood spent in the English countryside during World War II are revealed.

In the war-torn London of 1939, fourteen-year-old Hazel and five-year-old Flora are evacuated to a rural village to escape the horrors of the Second World War. Living with the kind Bridie Aberdeen and her teenage son, Harry, in a charming stone cottage along the River Thames, Hazel fills their days with walks and games to distract her young sister, including one that she creates for her sister and her sister alone—a fairy tale about a magical land, a secret place they can escape to that is all their own.

But the unthinkable happens when young Flora suddenly vanishes while playing near the banks of the river. Shattered, Hazel blames herself for her sister’s disappearance, and she carries that guilt into adulthood as a private burden she feels she deserves.

Twenty years later, Hazel is in London, ready to move on from her job at a cozy rare bookstore to a career at Sotheby’s. With a charming boyfriend and her elegantly timeworn Bloomsbury flat, Hazel’s future seems determined. But her tidy life is turned upside down when she unwraps a package containing an illustrated book called Whisperwood and the River of Stars. Hazel never told a soul about the imaginary world she created just for Flora. Could this book hold the secrets to Flora’s disappearance? Could it be a sign that her beloved sister is still alive after all these years?

As Hazel embarks on a feverish quest, revisiting long-dormant relationships and bravely opening wounds from her past, her career and future hang in the balance. An astonishing twist ultimately reveals the truth in this transporting and refreshingly original novel about the bond between sisters, the complications of conflicted love, and the enduring magic of storytelling.



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