Varina: A Novel

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In his powerful fourth novel, Charles Frazier returns to the time and place of Cold Mountain, vividly bringing to life the chaos and devastation of the Civil War.

With her marriage prospects limited, teenage Varina Howell agrees to wed the much-older widower Jefferson Davis, with whom she expects a life of security as a Mississippi landowner. He instead pursues a career in politics and is eventually appointed president of the Confederacy, placing Varina at the white-hot center of one of the darkest moments in American history—culpable regardless of her intentions.

The Confederacy falling, her marriage in tatters, and the country divided, Varina and her children escape Richmond and travel south on their own, now fugitives with “bounties on their heads, an entire nation in pursuit.”

Intimate in its detailed observations of one woman’s tragic life and epic in its scope and power, Varina is a novel of an American war and its aftermath. Ultimately, the audiobook is a portrait of a woman who comes to realize that complicity carries consequences.


  • 001 Varina

    Duration: 12s
  • 002 First Sunday

    Duration: 14min
  • 003 Fugitive

    Duration: 22min
  • 004 La Florida

    Duration: 30min
  • 005 London

    Duration: 23min
  • 006 Second Sunday

    Duration: 25min
  • 007 Hurricane and Brierfield

    Duration: 21min
  • 008 Winchester

    Duration: 15min
  • 009 The slim black man

    Duration: 28min
  • 010 V first saw Uncle Jeff

    Duration: 27min
  • 011 Jeff was right about her father

    Duration: 19min
  • 012 Third Sunday

    Duration: 26min
  • 013 In that degree of late night transforming

    Duration: 28min
  • 014 Old Joseph liked to tell people

    Duration: 29min
  • 015 Grim times after Jeff left

    Duration: 25min
  • 016 Georgia's a tall state

    Duration: 29min
  • 017 Bristol and Ryland let their eyes adjust

    Duration: 12min
  • 018 Fourth Sunday

    Duration: 28min
  • 019 Hog Fortress

    Duration: 29min
  • 020 Eventually V and the Wiggins girls all walked out

    Duration: 15min
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