A different narrator
-anybody else I've ever listened to
I didn't listen long enough to make a valid assessment of the story.
Justine Eyre's voice irritated me so much that I couldn't listen to the story.
What I heard was promising, so I tried listening, but had to abandon for the safety of my iPod, which I came perilously close to throwing on the floor and stepping on !!! I can't describe the voice adequately except to say that I spent more time imitating it than listening to it.
I put the book aside for a week and tried again - thinking that a different mood might prove to be the answer - but no! I won't be buying any more books with that narrator.
If I could have given no stars for the narration - I would have.
I didn't finish it because I didn't like the performance.
First of all the reading is sloppy. Numerous mistakes including:
Desert for Dessert.
Brasserie for Brassiere.
Companiable for Companionable.
Oddly Street for Audley Street.
And so on and so on.
Why did the reader adopt such a nasal, croaky delivery? If it was in order to indicate that the story is being told in retrospect by an older woman, then why not hire an older actress? Eileen Atkins, Claire Bloom, Penelope Wilton. Sadly, the delivery really affected my enjoyment of the book, and I abandoned it after a few chapters.
I haven't enjoyed a book this much in a long time. I was completely swept into the story and thoroughly enjoyed the progression of the characters from one place in time to the next. I loved this book.I was sorry to hear it come to an end.
The accent of the narrorator got to be a little much after a while. Other than that is was a good story. I often found myself lost while listening. It might have been easier to read than listen to.
Great characters, interesting historical perspective. It takes place at the time of WWII, but it's not a war story. It's a love story, historical narrative, a peek into a world that no longer exists. I loved it. Excellent for fans of Downton Abbey.
How can I describe this book... Tragic. Pastoral. The end of an era, and a way of life. It was written as a memoir, decades after the action described, and because of that, and the author's melancholy tone, you could tell that things would not be all right in the small seaside community. There was so much sad foreshadowing hiding in the nostalgic and sad passages, that really nothing that happened came as a surprise, but it all still hurt. It was crushing too see a family torn, a love lost, the centuries of tradition and life brought to a halt...
The story, in addition to the subdued tone throughout, was pretty slow-paced. Many passages describing the details of the landscape, the many flowers and birds, the architecture and features of the manor house... but even the actual action was often just a smooth mellow flow - with a few breaks of quick successive events, like a sudden rush to haul in mackerel, or the tizzy at the birthday party, or her outburst and sulking with the viola near the end... It was the slow cadence and progression that influenced me to take longer to read it it think. That, and I needed to pause to read something more cheery before bed.
I liked a few scenes though, which enabled a pause from being so depressed. I was happy whenever Elise/Alice danced. I could not be happy for her and Kit, because I just knew it would not end well. It was clear from the very start, in how she spoke about him in her reflections that that relationship was ill-fated, in several ways, from the start. But he was a fun and easy to love man-boy. I was furious at Lady Diana, the b****. But thank heavens for Molly, spreading a little fun and adventure, a little girl time every so often. Mr. Rivers was a good pillar of strength for her, throughout.
I can't even imagine how lonely it must have been, to be without your family and everything familiar, thrust into a new world where you don't really fit either upstairs or downstairs... By the way, I don't know what it is about some of the reviews and descriptions I've read, but just because the story and characters happen to encompass both the gentry and servants of a country house does not make it in any way comparable to Downton Abbey. Though, I will admit that the butler did exude a lot of Carsen. But that is the end of character parallels, as far as I was concerned. And, Downton is about the *beginning* of the end of the English country manorhouse way of life... rather, this was the *end* of it.
**SPOILERS this paragraph**
I was not at all surprised at the developments with Mr. Rivers... that was foreshadowed from her arrival there. and there were subtle signs as they grew closer after Dunkirk. I can't be outraged or anything by it (as i read of one reviewer who thought it was horrible to marry a. the dead sweetheart's father and b. someone so much older... but in the story, it wasn't something bad.) It seemed almost natural even, that they find happiness with each other, after all they'd been through and been to one another. And I liked the nice bow on the end, reuniting with family at the opera in Vienna.
The narration was beautiful. The foreign and myriad British accents were done well, and Ms. Eyre adapted some of the best male voices I've heard from a female narrator. I remarked not a single dialogue mishap or editing error throughout. She had a way of really pulling you in, so you felt like you were on that cliff overlooking the bay, or in the fields as each detail of flora and fauna were described and marveled at. She was the method by which Solomons cast Tyneford's spell on the reader.
But regardless, the whole situation and war and events that brought the end of Tyneford were just tragic and I am glad to be done with it so I can find something to read that won't keep me so sad. It was touching, moving, even, but I just don't want to be so depressed!
It started off slow but it is worth staying with. Same with the narrator. She took a little getting used to but ultimately did a very good job.
Carol 18 quilts
Very good and quite like the goings on at Downton Abbey.
The butler of course
The government taking over the estate
Maybe. The writer does some impressive things with how characters capture memories onto paper. That said, I was very disappointed with the ending.
Only if it got really strong reviews. While I think she's a very good storyteller, I was disappointed with the book.
I love how the narrator muses on memories.
I was displeased with the ending. It was well written, but I wish the writer would have chosen to go another route. I think the fact that she foreshadowed what would happen so strongly throughout the novel hurt the book. I kept waiting for a surprise twist at the end and there wasn't one. You can pretty much tell what will happen to the characters within the first half hour of the novel.
For as much as I disliked the ending, the book did hold my attention and I hated to put it down. The pace of the novel is slow and lyrical, but also mesmerizing. The author is talented. I simply wish that she either would have not given the ending away so early in the book or surprised me. I finished the novel wondering what the point of it all was. Once again, it was entertaining, but the last half hour was painful.
Actually, it is Jennifer, not Michael. I enjoy a variety of books but am drawn to romantic historical fiction with a Christian message.
The story was very depressing and tragic. The author was overly descriptive about every detail. Several times I debated just stopping the book but I did want to know the ending so I skipped a chapter here and there to get to the end. Fortunately, this was a 4.95 special. I would not spend a full credit on this book. I may have like the book better if it had been abridged.