trying to see the world through my ears
I read a professional book review that labelled this as "chick lit" with a weak heroine, but I found it much more than that-- kind of a cross between E.L. Doctorow's City of God (without as much literary polish) and Shalom's Auslander's Foreskin's Lament (without the scatological humour). I would gladly read other novels from this author, particularly if they contained such good descriptive details of a group unfamiliar to me (ultra Orthodox Jews and younger members of their community coming to terms with contemporary society while trying to honour their heritage) and/ or other theological reflection in novel form.
-else the detail might drive a listener crazy, but I found all three parts of this Darcy novel a very relaxing listen. By part three, I even enjoyed the narrator's style, almost.
If you have the time or inclination for only two parts of the series, part 2 could be skipped.
Part one covers the period up to the departure from Netherfield to prevent the Bingley-Jane alliance; part 2 sees nothing of the Bennets except the knowledge that Jane is in London and cut by the sisters Bingley; it then diverges into a gothic mystery entangling Darcy as he tries to find a society wife; part three picks up at Darcy's encounter with Elizabeth at Rosings and and follows the P&P plotline and past to the wedding (I think the author ought to have ended where the P&P plot did, but then again, if she produced a part 4 that imagined the Darcys' married life, I still probably would listen.)
The biggest faults in the listen for me were the overwrought "romance speech" scenes and the quick references to stereotyes of Irish rebels and misunderstood Celtic spiritual traditions. But there are gems of imagination to compensate, such as Darcy's valet portrayed as a bit of a Jeeves character.
If you want some good chick lit for listening, you might as well get this homage to the ultimate work of chick LITERATURE. Now can someone re-write P&P from the servants' viewpoint?
At first I didn't trust the form of "novelized biography," fearing that I would leave it with misapprehended facts like a bad docudrama, but the author does a respectible job in the after word of setting the listener straight on fact vs fiction in her tale. The ficitonalized parts don't seem to depart too much farther from "facts" about the subject than a writer's interpretative voice usually does. And what a tale! I listened over a year ago, and the story is still with me and motivated me to read several of Bonhoeffer's essays.
The author did a very skillful job of conveying both the man's spiritual development and his ideas within a gripping narrative. I think the narration style is very appropriate for its subject.