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.
This book was superbly written and excellently narrated. My interest was kept the whole way through the story. The characters were believable, and the narrators each had a unique voice that was believable and consistent. I was particularly impressed with their abilities to switch between several different vernaculars and tones. I highly suggest purchasing this book.
A heart wrenching story. Life was hard and often sad in those days. I felt that the true meaning of family was portrayed beautifully and the narrators made the story come alive. I highly recommend it.
Just a great story. Excellent character development and I just couldn't wait to get back to them. I enjoy time period novels espeically about our dark history of slavery. The story drew me in and I was sorry when iit ended. Well worth the credit!
Fantastic, wonderful, heartbreaking, frustrating,there aren't enough adjectives to express how good this book was. I have listened to some exceptional audiobooks and this one is in the top two. The narrators truly brought this story to life. Like 'The Help' -- I couldn't stop listening. Tears streamed down my face for the last hour of the book as I stayed up until 1am listening (working with just 4 hours of sleep now because of it). I just couldn't stop. Do yourself a favor and listen. You won't regret it. Kathleen Grissom is a wonderful story teller and I'm looking forward to seeing what else I can find that she has written.
Dynamic and moving. The characters were believable and one could connect with them. Good history through the eyes of common people. I recommend.