I read this book several years ago from my public library, and decided to purchase it from Audible and reread it.
Carolyn Jessop is an incredibly strong woman, considering what she went through during the first 35 years of her life. This book details her personal observations of life with the FLDS, and provides enough insight into the history and workings to this group that will quickly get the uninitiated up to speed.
Anne Marie Lee is a great choice of narrator for this book. There is some dialogue in it, but she does not really have to project different characters' voices much. Her emotions are lightly drawn out, and inflection is just perfect for the book.
The book opens with the prologue of Carolyn's escape from the FLDS, then backtracks to her early life, childhood, marriage, children, etc. When it gets to the point of the escape again, it seems to completely omit the details in the prologue, which I thought kind of jumpy for readability's sake. Another quibble I have with the book is Carolyn's assertion of her "specialness"; SHE was not going to take this, SHE would observe things that no one else would Perhaps this is true, and perhaps this is Laura Palmer writing in this way, but is just grated a bit in places.
Overall, however, this book is a welcome addition to former FLDS memoirs, and biographies in general.
If a Tree Falls is a look into the world of the deaf from the point of view of a hearing parent. Having had little to no experience with the deaf community (a deaf pen pal when I was younger is about it), I found this book both touching in its descriptions of love and long of the author for her parents and for her daughters and informative into the modern world of deaf culture.
This short biography is a great read for anyone interested in deafness, parenting, bonding... anyone, really.
Anne Marie Lee did a great job with this book - perfectly modulated with bursts of emotion when needed.
This book is a very engrossing look at homelessness, from the point of view of a man who had everything, lost it all, and somehow regained hope again. His depiction of life on the streets, the network of people - the chance encounters, the long-term relationships - was beautifully rendered. Some portions of this book made me laugh; others made me cry. With beauty, grace, humility, and grit, Richard LeMieux captured my heart and made me question my beliefs about the homeless in my own little slice of Canada.
Dick Hill did a wonderful job with this book, in my opinion. Based on many of the reviews I have read of his performances, this is a narrator many either love or strongly dislike; Breakfast at Sally's is a good book to introduce you to him.
This was not a book I could listen to all in one sitting - at points I was so moved or simply had to stop to digest what I was reading - but it is so well worth your time, money or credit.
Rating scale: 5=Loved it, 4=Liked it, 3=Ok, 2=Disappointed, 1=Hated it. I look for well developed characters, compelling stories.
This is one of the best told stories I have encountered either in print or as an audible offering. Hillenbrand goes beyond a strict narrative of wartime experiences and transports us into the lives of people we will never know, but feel that we do. Over and over I found myself literally praying for the safety and rescue of Louis and his colleagues, even though obviously the outcomes were decided over 60 years ago - the sense of immediacy was ever present. Intensively researched, the attention to detail successfully avoids the sense of being drowned in statistics, but allows the awareness of "Man, I never knew that". Adding to the story telling experience is Edward Herrmann's flawless reading. I have been strongly recommending this book to all of my friends - one does not have to be a history buff or a fan of war stories to recognize and appreciate the humanity at the center of the story. Anyone who can be inspired by personal courage and perserverance will enjoy this book.