This audio book is moving, funny, thought provoking, immensely entertaining and brilliantly narrated.
Alison Larkin is as gifted a narrator as she is an author. A visit to her website shows why. A classically trained Broadway actress before she became a novelist, Larkin also made a name for herself doing cartoons and voice-overs in Los Angeles, She also narrated audio books for Disney. Her American accents are impeccable and the performance superb.
It's a wonderful book. Deep but funny and accessible, covering an important subject with compassion, wisdom and humor. We end up loving Pippa Dunn even more than we did at the beginning, and learning more about ourselves in the process. It's been a long time since I heard an audio book that made me laugh and cry at the same time. And I don't even have any personal connection to the subject matter!
Alison Larkin and her novel are uniquely entertaining. Will appeal to people who like to listen to a terrific story. You have to know what happens next.
This is my first review. I had to write it because this book really deserves to be acknowledged for what it is. Something different. Something special. Something you won't forget in a hurry.
This one is a keeper, not just because of the writing, but also because of its perofrmance. A tour de force by an outstandingly gifted narrator.
i see she's narrating the Arthur Ransom series. I'd like to hear more books narrated by Alison - American, British, it doesn't matter what. This author/narrator is the real deal. More please!
Funny, serious, sweet and silly. This book didn't have a disappointing or dull moment. I loved all the characters and could really identify with Pippa's need to know her birth parents. A book on this subject could have been too pathetic or painful, but Alison delivers it perfectly --she delves into difficult situations but with a sense of humor and a sunny disposition.
There are so many unique characters in this book, and the author somehow manages to give each character a voice in her amazing narration. Highly recommended.
I found this audiobook to be a thoroughly enjoyable listen for so many reasons. As someone who lives and works adoption every day, it was so refreshing to hear a story that is truly from the adoptee's perspective, with all of the genuine pain, irony and confusion that comes with the adoptee's search for self. At the same time, there was no wallowing in the "adoptee as victim" morass. The characters have depth and are portrayed with compassion and humor. Alison Larkin's well-crafted narrative and wonderful voice brought the players to life. I couldn't get out of my car, waiting for the next turn in Pippa's interesting, and yet ordinary, life. This novel has everything - humor, pathos, intelligence and a believable happy ending. I found myself longing for a properly brewed cup of tea and a biscuit when I finished! And I've never been to England!
I think one of the things that really made this audiobook special was that the author narrated it herself. Being an semi-autobiographical story, hearing her emotions and speech pattern really made the story grab me.
Additionally I found it a very intriging and enjoyable story. Poignant, yet comical this is really a lovely story about a young woman trying to find and understand herself.
I've had this book in my audio library for at least five years. I'm not sure why I put off listening to it for so long . . . maybe because it sounded a bit chick lit-ish, or maybe because of the rather squeaky chick lit-ish voice of the reader, the author-reader, Alison Larkin. So was it chick lit? Yes--and no. Pippa Dunn is a 28-year old single woman looking for love and looking for herself. It's her inability ot commit that leads Pippa, an adoptee, in search of her birth parents: she has abandoned a series of good relationships when she fears that her partner will reject her.
Pippa has know since she was 10 that she was adopted but knows nothing about her birth parents. The novel takes us through her journey: the complicated communications with the adoption agency, which is bound by law to withhold information; the arrival of a letter from her birth mother, written as she was being given up for adoption; the negotiations of an attorney who finally puts her in touch with her birth mother--an American! Eventually, Pippa moves to America to learn more about herself and her parents--and she gets more than she ever expected. In the course of her journey, she begins to question her own identity but ultimately finds herself.
This isn't the type of book I would normally read, but I did enjoy it. It's nice to take a break from more serious books every now and then
I recommended this book to my book club. It is wonderfully read by the author, who is as talented as the character she writes about. I suspect a great deal of the author is in the main character. Pippa Dunn is a dynamic narrator to her own story of being adopted by an English family only to discover her birth parents are Americans. This is a book for all Anglophiles. Alison Larkin does amazing things with her voice during this reading. She is able to do a male Scot, a male New Jersey, a female Carolinian, a Washingtonian AND a variety of English dialects that are charming. I loved this book.
I really loved this book. It blends an emotionally touching story about adoption and finding yourself with witty comparisons of British and American culture. I have lived in both countries and although the cultural characteristics were sometimes exaggerated there is still truth in them. And yes at times the book is a bit silly but that's part of its charm.
I also really love it when an audio book is narrated by the author. In this book the narration was excellent and really added to the experience.
This is a well-written story that goes nowhere. The writer/reader draws from her own life but crassly insults Americans with dozens of lines like "In England it's considered rude to interrupt someone before they have finished speaking...". She also makes no distinction between the many regions and classes of Americans, and the vast distinction between state and regional laws (particularly regarding adoption). Her birth family is filled with cliches dragged out of "Hotel New Hampshire" and worse, and her red-baiting father must have grown up in the 1930s and 40s, not the late 1970s, which he is supposed to have. Larkin does a pretty good job with accents (I'm a New Yorker living in Georgia, so I do know) and her narration is exceptionally good for author-read, but the material is too wacky and her characters too enamored of Ayn Rand.
I restarted this book several times. I could not get connected with the character in the first chapter, nor could I understand where she was going, and why some details were important to the story. However, once I got into the book, I couldn't stop listening to it. Larkin's reading is the icing on the cake. Her accents are superb, her colloquialisms are real, and she brings her own words to life in only the way an author can.
Heartbreaking, sincere, and painful at times, Pippa's journey becomes very real to the audience. It is incredibly humorous with both English dry wit, and American in-your-face fun, while telling a story that, at its foundations, is an important tale.
Well developed characters in a plot which holds you wanting to find out more. An outstandingly multi-vantage point presentation of a current phenomenom.
The narrator is extraodinary, both in voice qualities and delivery of various accents.