The movement of the story was fantastic, the narration phenomenal, the clarity of the characters outstanding. The downside...the end felt oddly rushed. I felt like we were running to the end. The other negative was that there seemed to be a few too many characters. When you are reading the story you can back up and say oh, okay, George...but when it''s being read it's moving fast so it's challenging to get the picture of all the characters in mind.
The story is very sad but those were the times. If you are surprised that a story around inhumane treatment of slaves to be a part of slavery, then this may not be a book for you.
Well written....nothing's perfect but all and all it is the 2nd best audio book I have ever read. I am now a BIG fan of the author and the narrators!
This is a must-read. The amount of research and grace that went into constructing this story is astounding. I felt like I knew the characters; like I was present for the wonderous moments they shared and the horror that also ensued. This author did her work and I appreciate her art. This was an amazing book and I would recommend it highly.
I made it through the first two-thirds of the book and though I had a hard time with the premise I was following along hoping the characters would develop. Instead key characters fell apart and the story just rang hollow. I was very disappointed.
Want a book that will take you away, make you think, feel, laugh and worry... and ultimately be frustrated the book ended? This is it.
I listen to a lot of audiobooks during my long work commutes. This one was fantastic. I found myself listening to this audio even once I had arrived at my destination. Just sitting in my car-listening. The narrators are perfect-they kept me intrigued chapter after chapter. The story line was fast paced-a little depressing at times yes, but still a great story.
I had trouble listening to this, but when I did finish, I felt pretty irritable about it. Haven't we heard most of this story already without the little white girl tossed in? The whole thing was a literary large wad of gum: all the black folks were homey, courageous and honest; the white folks were mostly a bit vague or evil. None of them seemed particularly human. And are we to suppose that a young man was converted into a homicidal monster because of the hinted at sexual abuse?Also, "gifted" is a word that drives me nuts, but to hear it in this historic context . . . .arrrgh! And finally, the author's supposed connection to the "souls" of the character in her story (as if they channeled the tale) is way to woo woo for me!
I agree with one reviewer who said this story was one disaster after another, with very little good happening to the characters. I liked the readers and it was a good story of the period in the early 1800's. The story showed that the life of women and indentured servants was really no better at the time than the black slaves. They were all owned by someone and that someone might treat them cruelly, throw them in a nut house or do whatever they chose to them.
Many of the disasters hinged on the fact that Lavinia didn't know who Belle's child's father was, when the truth as staring her in the face from the time the baby was born. Sometimes you get irritated at characters who seem so willfully stupid or just don't open their mouths and ask the questions they need to ask. I know it's a plot device but still.....
The book had wonderful promise but became difficult to finish once I began to despise the protagonist. Why a slave family would stand by a white girl who brought them nothing but tragedy and misfortune is beyond me. Most frustratingly, Lavinia never grew as a character. I kept waiting for her to shed some of her naiveté, grow a pair, learn from past mistakes, gain some pluck and stop passively floating along.
Nope. She just stayed simple and sweet while repeating behaviors that held disasterous consequences for those she claimed to love. With friends (or family) like her, who needs enemies?
I really wanted to like this book, but found the story line and characters predictable and unremarkable. The central character, an Irish girl who ends up being raised by slaves on a tobacco plantation in post Revolutionary War south, is likeable, but lacks depth as a character. All the other characters are equally shallow and stereotypical. The plot is unsurprising as well.
However, if you're looking for good narration, Orlagh Cassidy and Bahni Turpin do a first class job and their voices were the only thing that kept me listening to the end.
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This book really draws you in, and the narrators are awesome. I highly recommend this book.