The first time I listen to this audiobook I was so distracted and bothered by the new reader that I really missed realizing what a deeply moving and wonderfully plotted story this novel contains. The new Reader completely fails to capture voices for father Tim and Cynthia. However he does a wonderful job with the Irish and Irish language and that is perhaps why he was chosen. The second time I listened to the book some years later, I was able to get past the distraction of the new reader and I deeply enjoyed the story that has a story within a story. This book shows a great increase in the quality of prose of an already fully developed and extremely talented author. There were many happy-tear moments and I ended the book literally sniffling and smiling like an idiot. I give it five stars for the writing, with the vivid descriptions of Ireland and the characters and the uplifting nature of the whole narrative.
I LOVE the Mitford Series! I often listen and read these books and over again. it is so much like going home. in fact my personal tradition is listening to Shepherds Abiding between Thanksgiving and Christmas every year. I just may be able to recite the whole thing by now!! lol
I totally disagree with previous reviewer's who didn't like the performance and the reader of the story. John McDonagh is wonderful of course but this narrator is perfect in my book. I'm a big fan of all of Jan Karon's books. This is probably the fourth time I've listened to "In the Company..." and I love it just as much as I did the first time I heard it. I particularly liked the fiddle playing Irish music first throughout the narration.
How Jan has made us fall in love with a whole new cast of caricatures and brought a whole new group of friends into my life. She is a wonder. Although it took me a short time of missing John McDonough the new reader was wonderful.
I am pretty open minded and so I didn't worry about the reader even after reading the reviews negatively comparing him with the wonderful John McDonough (even though true). It was the hard quick tone that he used in dialog between Father T and Cynthia that was almost sarcastic and definitely and not in keeping with the spirit of the characters. The way he read some of the text it it almost made me dislike Cynthia! Something that I never though could remotely happen.
I got through the audiobook but with much less interest than usual for a Jan Karon story. I didn't have any enthusiasm for the characters or the story and didn't like the Irish accents. I want to hear about Mule and Puney back in Mitford!