The three words I would use would be, wonderful. engaging, and thrilling.
This book is fabulous I wouldn't want to compare it to anything. I can't wait for the next book, I love the different view of history.
I loved Maggie Hope. This book made me root for her.
love to read and love audio books!Favorite authors: Marcia Willett,Nevil Shute,Mary Stewart,and Jacqueline Winspear. I could go on and on but wont bore you! I belong to a book group and we often" Listen" to the books we have selected for the month while using a paper copy for the discussion notes. It really enhances the quality of the story.
The book is a childish attempt to give us a history lesson on WW2. Terrible dialogue,
and a silly plot. I did not even finish it. No more Susan MacNeal for me.
Artist & Journeyman Composter
Unlike another reviewer who said she was too old to be sympathetic to the heroine's adventures and romantic development, I, though a middler, have family issues that made this story human, evocative, real, and opened up a part of global history previously closed. Hitler probably expected his Blitzkrieg to flatten every country in its path, but Britain was different, by circumstance, pluck, fellow feeling, and determined persistence despite horrors.
Maggie Hope, the protagonist, was born a British citizen, but was raised in the USA by a maiden lesbian aunt upon the putative death of her parents. A grandmother dies, leaving her a beautiful but aging Victorian in Britain, forcing Maggie's return. She comes from a brilliant family; her forte, and charmed love which keeps her emotionally balanced is mathematics and puzzle solving and she is in the middle of advanced studies which she is loathe to leave.
When the house doesn't sell due to the onslaught of the war, she decides to stay, and upon invitation, applies for a position as Churchill's typist. The real secretarial jobs were entitled "Personal Secretary" and were reserved for elite young British men who did research rather than take dictation. I loved how she met and made friends with others her age, all unique characters, which formed a supportive and diverse bond.
Using this opportunity to find out more about her parents, she looks for clues as to her father's past, as he worked as a mathematician at one of the colleges. Her curiosity must be satisfied, despite the attempts by her auntie to dissuade her from this search. Maggie is not only very bright, but quite determined.
Thus ensues her adventures pursuing her double purpose: to find out more about her family, and to fulfill herself as a potentially valuable code breaker.
The insights into Churchill's character, the delightful slow development of her love life,
the real historical events interwoven just as we would have experienced them had we
been there, the closeness and support of her friends, the feminist issues of male preference and denigration of women's abilities, the inclusion of gay and lesbian characters and how they coped in a still prejudiced society, her physical courage and willingness to
take risks were all pleasing to me and made a good story.
The narrator did well with all the British voices, but was inconsistent with Maggie's American accent, sometimes sounding a bit Irish, or using incorrect vowels, but was overall quite acceptable. The only other criticism, which may or may not be helpful, was
the amount of physical terrors and events in the second half. I kept expecting THIS climax to be the final one, but there were many, and I was probably staying up too late and getting tired.
Nevertheless, the author tied up everything nicely, and did create sufficient interest to continue. I love learning about history through the feelings and experiences of people who were there. (However, the narrator changed, and has a more meanly violent voice for the tough guys, and has a singsong delivery otherwise, often ending on an up sound for the end of a sentence rather than a down note. I found it rather like being on a roller coaster,which was too distracting, and ruined the harmony of delivery. Perhaps I shall get the books.)
I'd have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by this audio. I thought it was going to be a "fluffy" type audio but instead I found an entertaining, historical mystery.
I loved the Churchill moments. It gave me a feeling of being in the same room as he went through his day.
I found her voice lacking. It was difficult to recognize some of the characters. That being said, with intense listening, I was able to enjoy the story.
I'll continue to read the series. I enjoy Maggie's story and there a new voice reading the book.
Having read a great deal about Churchill, I thought the characterization of him was well done. The experience of young girls living the early war days in Britain was very well communicated.
Of course it had to be Maggie since she was the center of attention and the point of view. She was thoughtful and sympathetic. But Sarah was intriguing from her first entrance on the scene. I really thought Clare would turn out to be Chuck, so the Paige revelation was a surprise.
She's always great. She's my very favorite narrator. In her many names, I have listened to many of her performances and have never been disappointed. Though the material at times was not the best, she always brings out the best of every character. Her American accent is always a little off but recognizable but her various British, Irish and Scottish accents are great to my American ears.
I don't really think that would be an extreme reaction. I did laugh and almost cried.
The strings of numbers doesn't translate well into an audiobook. Maybe that slight bit could have been abridged.
At the beginning of this book I feared it was going to be slow moving and hard to follow. I made notes of characters names and occupations. That helped me keep things straight. Once the situation was described the pace picked up. I had no trouble following the plot.
As the action picked up, I was fully involved and found it difficult to stop listening.
There are plot points that deal with World War II and plot points that deal with Maggie Hope's personal life.
I was fascinated by the historical information about WWII. It gave me a feeling of how life might have been for a citizen of London during that time.
There is violence, however the descriptions are not overly graphic. There is some rude language, but it is kept to a minimum and very approriate to the situations in which it is used.
There is at least one more book in this series and I plan to read it.
I could not understand the narrator.
The problem was that the narrator was attempting to create several voices, all with a British accent. They became garbled and very difficult to understand. I gave up after abour 50 minutes. Also, the story had not begun to form much of a plot as of that time.
I was disappointed. I had hoped for a complex mystery series comparable to the Maisie Dobbs series. While the reader did a good job, the story was too predictable to keep my attention. I will have to keep looking.
I haven't read the printed version-- but I'll say YES, based on a phenomenal performance by Wanda McCaddon. What an outstanding voice actor....both male and female voices, various accents (Irish, English, American). This is a definite 5 stars for me!
Stellar representation of Prime Minister Winston Churchill!
We lived through WWII but never appreciated burdens shouldered by the Brits or the accomplishments of Winston Churchill. Details in this book squared with knowledge that we had of that era, presenting them through the eyes of fascinating characters. The story moved briskly with fascinating twists and turns.
Wanda McCaddon is a superb narrator. She gives an amazing rendition of Mr. Churchill's unique voice. The variety of tone and inflection she gives the characters makes it easy to recognize each person when he or she speaks. We had not heard her before, but would be interested in other fiction narration by her.