~~"HOPEFUL ROMANTIC" ~~ ( 5 = Excellent, 4 = Very Good, 3 = Good, 2 = Poor, 1 = Awful ) ~~ "Reviews Should Never Contain 'Spoilers' " ;-)
This is such a sweet wholesome story. It's filled with adventure, chivalry, faith, and love. It is truly a feel-good book that reminds me of a "Hallmark" story. It is a Christian romance, so if you are a Christian like me, you will definitely enjoy this book. If you aren't.....I think you will still like the feel-good aspect. Its worth a listen.
This story takes place in New Mexico in 1898 and is very heartwarming and touching. I was drawn into the story immediately and really liked the characters. It is a Christian romance so anything that happens in the bedroom is left to your imagination. Such a simple sweet romance between Jeb and Beth. I will definitely listen again in the future.
I found this book to be very enjoyable. It took me a bit of time to get used to the reader because she sounded a bit monotone but after I got into the book I got used to the rhythm of her voice. Also the pauses between chapters are very long. The story shows the struggles of domestic abuse and how love can help to heal the wounds. I found the love scenes very honest and tender - not too descriptive. I really liked this book.
I don't know where to start to explain why this is so bad. Maybe a list...
1. OMG, the narration! Ms. O'Donnell made me shout at my IPod. Seriously! She breaks into whispering at key scenes. It's maddening. I listen when I'm doing other things - driving, cooking, gardening, etc. - and her voice would get softer and softer and softer until the words would begin to run together like a low frequency vibration, rather than actual speech. So I'd stop what I was doing, wipe my hands if working, turn up the volume and go back to work. Then someone "else" would speak in a normal tone and I'm frantically reaching for the volume to back it down to avoid permanent hearing loss. It was maddening. (I've since apologized to my IPod.)
I suppose that might have been OK if she'd at least had a nice variety of voices. She didn't. Sara sounded like Cora who sounded like Jen who sounded like Sara. Michael sounded like Matt who sounded like Peter who sounded like ... well you get the idea. She could begin with slight differences, but the voices all quickly returned to her "baseline" man and her "baseline" woman.
2. The story started strong and the scenes during Megan's illness (when I could hear the whispering!) were very moving. Sara's year following Megan's death seemed correctly imagined. But when the whole frozen lake thing began, I felt thoroughly manipulated. This plot device was simply cheap. Instead of working through the challenges and mysteries her main character faced in the real world, the author did the "Poof! Magic will fix it!" miracle solution.
3. Even if you accept the "miracle" part, her story line was full of the unbelievable and I started to get a hint of what was coming when Sara's perfect, amazing, 10-year fairy-tale, he's-my-best-friend, flawless marriage to perfect Michael went completely to hell and it was ALL HIS FAULT!
4. The Cora/Peter/Matt subplot was much too long and much too contrived to be believable ... in a novel that had enough "unbelievable" to qualify as science fiction.
There's more, but this awful novel doesn't deserve any more of my time - and NONE of yours.