Audiobook Review: The Onion in the Stew by Betty MacDonald

12 March 2017

Onions in the Stew Banner.jpg
Audiobook Title: Onions In the Stew
Author: Betty MacDonald
Narrator: Heather Henderson
Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press
Length: 9 hours 40 minutes
Audio Release Date:
Synopsis: The bestselling author of the American humor classic The Egg and I continues the adventure with this collection of tales about life on the fringe of the Western wilderness. Writing in the 1950s, Betty MacDonald, sophisticated and urbane, captivated readers with her observations about raising a family on an island in Puget Sound. As usual, humorist MacDonald is her own favorite target. She manages to get herself into scrapes with washing machines set adrift in rowboats, used cars, and a $25 Turkey Squasher. And then there's the scariest aspect of island life -- teenaged children.
Buy on Audible

Another enjoyable journey through the life of Betty MacDonald in which we are educated in the ways of island life, the highs... and the lows.
This is the third of Betty MacDonald's books that I have listened to and I, still, do not tire of the stories of the early to mid-1900's.  The enjoyment of the audio books is aided by the retention of Heather Henderson as the narrator thus ensuring consistency across the series.  But better than that, Henderson's voice is well matched to the book, indeed if I now think of Betty MacDonald she talks with Heather Henderson's voice.  The production, too, remains top class and means that the book can easily be listened to in any environment and you are automatically whisked back in time to not only hear about Betty's life but to live it with her.
Initially I struggled more with this book than I did the others, and I think this was because I had such high expectations.  I found myself judging the book harshly for the first half an hour; however, once I allowed the story to immerse me I found that I enjoyed it just as much, if not more, than the other books,

Author Bio

Betty Bard MacDonald (1907–1958), the best-selling author of The Egg and I and the classic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle children’s books, burst onto the literary scene shortly after the end of World War II. Readers embraced her memoir of her years as a young bride operating a chicken ranch on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, andThe Egg and I sold its first million copies in less than a year. The public was drawn to MacDonald’s vivacity, her offbeat humor, and her irreverent take on life. In 1947, the book was made into a movie starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, and spawned a series of films featuring MacDonald’s Ma and Pa Kettle characters.
MacDonald followed up the success of The Egg and I with the creation of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, a magical woman who cures children of their bad habits, and with three additional memoirs: The Plague and I (chronicling her time in a tuberculosis sanitarium just outside Seattle), Anybody Can Do Anything (recounting her madcap attempts to find work during the Great Depression), and Onions in the Stew (about her life raising two teenage daughters on Vashon Island).
Author Paula Becker was granted full access to Betty MacDonald’s archives, including materials never before seen by any researcher. Looking for Betty MacDonald, the first official biography of this endearing Northwest storyteller, reveals the story behind the memoirs and the difference between the real Betty MacDonald and her literary persona.
Post Hypnotic Press: WebsiteTwitterFacebookYoutubeLinkedInSoundcloudPinterestSoundCloud

Narrator Bio

Heather Henderson is a voice actress and audiobook narrator with a 20-year career in literary and performing arts.  Her narrations include the NYT bestseller (now also a feature film) Brain on Fire;  and Sharon Creech’s The Boy on the Porch, which won her an Earphones award and was named one of the Best Children’s Audiobooks for 2013 by Audiofile Magazine.   She earned her Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the Yale School of Drama, and is co-curator of, a pronunciation research site for the audiobook industry.  In 2015, Heather was a finalist for a Voice Arts Award (Outstanding Narration, Audiobook Classics), for her narration of Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I.

Grand Prize
Onions In the Stew Giveaway #1

1st Runner-up
  Onions In the Stew Giveaway #2

2nd Runner-up
Onions In the Stew Giveaway #3

I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Post Hypnotic Press, Inc. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.


  1. Thanks for participating in our audiobook tour!

  2. I really enjoy these audio books, too. I was getting tired of the lists in the beginning, but after I settled in and kept listenting, I decided this is my favorite of them all.

  3. Kristine - a lot of people felt that way about Onions. It certainly grows on you. :)


Latest Instagrams

© The Pursuit of Bookiness. Design by Fearne.