If you can get past the author's maddening monotone, the story has real potential. Historically intriguing, with an engaging heroine, I'd recommend just buying the book and reading it yourself. Geraldine Brooks should NOT have insisted on reading her own work, that's why there are actors and spoken word artists. Her voice is void of inflection and emotion, both necessary to telling a successful story. Reminded me of high school lit class, where we had to go around reading aloud from the classics...
The Book Snob for Paris Life Magazine.
I read this years ago, when it first came out. I decided to revisit by audio, and it was even better through this format. Brooks is a master at taking a historical situation and getting you to understand that there are never any easy answers. I recently heard a lecture where she explained that this story is based on the actual historical village that did just what is depicted here. Can you even imagine?
It was kind of annoying how the audio version and the text did not match up. Even more odd is that the narrator is also the author, so I am puzzled why her audio version and text carry many discrepancies.
Anna Firth's sex scene
Yes, I would go see the movie version to this.
Excellent historical fiction. Based on the true story.
Her voice droned on and on and on and on. She sounds as though she may break into tears at any time. Although the story tells of a village almost wiped out by the plague, it is largely one of strength and courage, the narrator/author sounded feeble and hopeless. I had to abandon listening and return to the written work.
Absolutely! This was a selection of our book club and so far, four of the ten who have read/are reading it gave overwhelmingly positive feedback.
Her soft voice with the British accent is spellbinding.
I loved the writing style, the dialog, and the way the lead character spoke and thought. It was interesting to follow the relationship between Anna and Elinor over the course of one year to see how it changed and a deep friendship developed. How do people behave in the face of such loss? This book explored different reactions from Anna's father and stepmother, to Mr. Mompellion, the spiritual leader of the small town. Some of the children are far better behaved than the adults. It takes a little while to adjust to the reader's voice, but she is excellent in her delivery of the lines.
Yes, it is an interesting story. Why would Geraldine read it though? Her accent is Australian and it is about England during the plague. Her voice is also too low and without inflection.
The characters are vivid.
Any of the English actresses would have done it beautifully.
It would be grim but riveting
Many reviews focus on the terrible narration done by Geraldine Brooks. I won't lie to you -- she isn't the greatest narrator. However, she is also not the worst I have ever heard. The sample given by Audible gave me a good idea of what I was in for, and I opted to buy the book even with the multiple bad reviews. Yes, Brooks reads very slowly. Yes, her voice can get on your nerves, at least for the first few chapters. But at some point, her voice begins to work, and I forgot that she wasn't the main character, Anna. The book is sad (how could a book about the Plague not be sad?) and yet still manages to end with a slightly happy and plausible ending. However, the characters are what make this book so wonderful. If you like other Brooks' novels, then I don't think this one will disappoint you. She is an excellent writer, and this book just adds to her achievements.
Good story. I loved the history
Although the story was engaging, I found myself almost unable to finish. The narration was horrible at best. If the synopsis interests you, I strongly recommend you buy the book instead
Yes because I learned about the history of plague, but it was such a difficult subject that I didn't really enjoy it.
Geraldine Brooks is a wonderful writer so I always enjoy her language. I also liked the ending, once the time of the plague was over. Her stories are always so well crafted that I was really disappointed that I didn't love this one like I have her other books.
I don't care for the sound of her voice so there is nothing she could have done to improve the reading. I think it was probably an appropriate voice for the character, but I just don't enjoy listening to it.