Older, crankier, happier and still a bibliophile!
I read this book right after it was published and LOVED IT!!!! After several re-reads I found it on Audible and purchased it. I loved the audiobook as much as I enjoyed reading the book. The narration is spot-on and the story literally took me away with it. If you enjoy Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, give this book a listen. You will not be sorry.
A friend recommended this book and I was reluctant based on the title and preview. The first little while I wondered if it would keep my attention long enough to finish it, but it kept gettting better. There were a lot of interesting characters and I kept wondering how things would all come together by the end. The two narrators made it interesting. I liked it.
I'm an AVID reader (seriously, I get withdraw symptoms if I am *not* reading something, anything)....this is by far, one of the best told tales that I've listened to in a very, very long time. You will not be disappointed....and I enjoyed the narrators so much, I will be looking for more told by them actually. And I'm a hard-to-sell critic (between how something is written and the style of telling as well as the wealth of horrid narrators that are out there ugh!) And I seldom write reviews, as nothing much moves me to do so....But this book! The author has written this in such a way as you are unable to leave the story for long without yearning to listen/read more. Intriguing, captivating, mysterious, devious, addicting, rapturous - Being a literary person, I can't say it holds against some of the ultimate historical greats that carry far reaching messages over time or literary wordplay skill...but as far as modern literature and a wonderfully woven tale go? Absolutely amazing....
This was a little slow to start for me but once I got into Vida's story I just could not stop. It's an old fashioned type tale in a contemporary style.The protagonist is a little stand-offish to begin but I soon started to relate to her. I will listen to this one again.
Although this is not my normal audiobook fare, this novel surprised me with its ability to grip the reader and draw them into the story. Several times I found myself wishing my commute was longer so I could keep listening. The characters are well developed, the "mystery" surrounding the characters is very well preserved and I didn't find myself guessing the ending before I got there. I found the narration superb and just overall a very good purchase. I was hesitant to purchase this because I'm not usually a "mystery" reader, but this is the type of mystery I can get into. It's more a mystery of personas and characters....rather than an event, such as a murder, theft, etc.
Unfortunately, the only ghosts in this story are the ones conjured in the disturbed characters' minds. It is a tale full of odd people in unusual (wierd) circumstances. This isn't one I'll listen to a second time.
There were things about this book that were great, and there were parts that I wanted to skip over. I was captivated by the story of the older woman and found it fascinating. It had enough twists and turns to be interesting and keep me engaged while at the same time it wasn't so unrealistic that I was put off by it.
By the same token, I found that I had little interest in the drama of the younger woman. Mostly, I thought, "You need to suck it up and get a life, sister." I found that, at least until the very end, I didn't like her much. She was fussy and a general pain in the tush. Yeah, there was trauma in her background and she had a cruddy childhood. Get some therapy and get over it.
It almost felt as if two different authors had written this book. One was talented and had clear story lines that were gradually revealled to us; the other had the feel of a dime novel and really made me wonder why I was wasting my time. Part of that may be my inability to engage with the younger woman, though, but I did find my mind wandering during some of her longer soliloquies and, unlike a lot of other authors, I did not feel compelled to rewind and listen to them again. To some extent, it reminded me of having a whiney sister-in-law that you just tune out after a while.
Don't get me wrong. This wasn't a terrible book, and there was far more to enjoy than put me off. I would read something by this author again, but probably not until I'd read a lot of other things. On the other hand, if you really like the involved novels of, say, Thomas Hardy, this is likely to be exactly the right thing for you.
The narration in this audiobook was superb. The story was engaging, although a bit long, it took me almost a month of commuting to complete it. Vivid descriptions by the author paint vivid scenes of a grand backdrop and a twisted family tale. Would recommend this.