Across a Crowded Room by Jane Alden

Hear a reading from Across a Crowded Room by Jane Alden @JaneAlden5 on this episode of Book Clips, the mini podcast where authors and narrators give you a taste of a book with a short snippet

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It’s Christmastime, 1950, in the affluent Manhattan suburb of New Canaan, Connecticut. Bennie Grant is trying to work out an amicable divorce from her controlling, financially successful husband, Will, including shared custody of their eight-year-old daughter. There are several hurdles: Will’s meddling mother, Bennie’s confessed past brief affair with her best friend, Alice, and Will’s strong desire to keep Bennie at any cost.

Bennie’s talent as a stage director and her life-long ambition to direct on Broadway have taken a back seat to her responsibilities as a society wife and mother.  After her separation from Will, she takes a position teaching drama at her alma mater, an exclusive girls’ school in New Canaan.

As if things weren’t complicated enough, one evening at the school, she meets new Board member Laura Clayborn, a beautiful, charismatic woman to whom she feels an instant and irresistible attraction.

While Will and his mother push Bennie for reconciliation and threaten a battle for full custody of her child, Bennie is faced with heart-wrenching conflicts among career, family, and her deepening feelings for Laura.

Bennie meets the famous Broadway director, Eva Le Galliene, and becomes her assistant in a Broadway revival of The Children’s Hour. With Laura’s support and a super-competent woman attorney, Bennie faces the ultimate showdown with Will and his mother, Olivia in divorce court.

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