This novel was a good mix of suspenseful thriller and romance novel, one that will keep you entertained for many hours. There's plenty of action and drama, good characters, and no slow parts. Enjoyed this one!
Great story! Great characters. Classic Nora. This one goes in the list of her best.
Not really. Edge of the seat is for a writer who doesn't hesitate to kill off a main character. That's not Nora. The suspense is like a old friend. I can enjoy its company because I don't expect it to sneak up and leave a bloody mess. Everything always works out in the end.
Not sure if I've heard Julia before.
I wasn't certain of her delivery at first. Seemed a little over the top. I was soon caught up in the story and enjoyed her performance quite a bit.
Yes, but life goes on and I couldn't shut out the world entirely for that many hours.
I wanted Burt to have his moment. There's was so much detail on the security surrounding Abigail's house and Burt's training that I was disappointed not to have a showdown there on the property. I was sad for Burt that he didn't get to bite out anyone's throat and protect Abigail.
I wondered if Burt was a leftover from 'The Search'. Big action from a dog may have been too close to that story.
Good dog, Burt.
At the very top. Loved the story, Abigaile, Brooks, Bert and all the characters.
The main characters. Made for each other. She who did not believe in fate met her match in him who lived his life believing in fate.
Fantastic. Her narrative brought the characters to life with all the nuances of sorrow, happiness, vulnerability, hope and desire for love. She gave life to each of the characters in this book, especially Abigaile and Brooks!
When Abigaile realizes that she can have the life she had only thought was possible!
One of Ms. Robert's best books. I am in awe of her and have great admiration for her prodigious talent!!!! Keep them coming, please!
First and foremost, I have to get the negatives out of the way. Two unappealing things stood out. The first concerned the portrayal of Liz/Elizabeth in the first section of the book. The robotic B.S. and the effects of Mommie Dearest on Elizabeth was overwrought and both highly unnecessary and highly ridiculous. I had one of those mothers, and before I actually did rebel, I had thought long and hard about the "what ifs" of taking a step out of line. Once I wandered, well... there was no turning back.. but that's another book. At any rate, Elizabeth was a very unlikable character in the beginning. Her mother was too overdrawn and ridiculuous and the author spent the rest of the book using the mother's bad ways to demonstrate how far Eliz/Liz/Abigail had come to get out from under her. The second ugly thing was the rendering of Elizabeth to be a counterpart to Lisbeth Salander from the Dragon Tattoo Series. It was so close, so mimetic, that I came close several times to not resuming. Even I could not figure out why I stuck with it when I was really angry with Nora Roberts for appearing to "steal" from the very popular book and its very quirky character.
Neither Liz/Elizabeth nor Abigail could hold a candle to Lisbeth. Lisbeth was so real, so alive, so believable, that The Witness became only the eye of a camera by comparison.
Enter Brooks Gleason. I did not like the use of man/romance as a manipulative device to get Abigail to loosen up. I think it's an easy-peasy method of bringing the female character to her senses -- that is to trust/love/have sex again. But I loked the character of Brooks and really liked his family.
So what is this book about? It is NOT about straying from mommy's intended discipline and getting people killed, it is not about the consequences and punishments of a child's bad behavior. It is not (entirely) about love and romance or about revenge and one-upsmanship.
In the Dragon Tattoo series, Lisbeth was dedicated to her work, and nothing, even her somewhat-one sided romance with Mikail, derailed her from her intention. She would reap havoc on her abuser(s), rob them and enjoy their money. We never for a moment forgot who Lisbeth was, what she came through and why she did the things she did. We never questioned what she would be doing after the capers (Russians btw) -- she would continue being Lisbeth.
In The Witness, Elizabeth/Liz were personas meant to be exterminated. There was never a question in the book that she would die or be tortured or identified by the Russians. We knew that good ol' Brooks would keep her safe.
But what Nora Roberts book IS about is the social outsider, the excluder, the invisible among us. Where Lisbeth was an outsider, she was so by choice. Elizabeth Fitch was an outsider by orders of her robotic mother, Dr. Susan Fitch. The writer of this book would have us believe that Elizabeth was so programmed that even in the few allotted hours of TV, Elizabeth did not ever imagine herself doing anything but that which her mother had programmed for her.
Yet, when left alone for a short time, and with the benefit of some thought, but not much, she transformed herself from goody-goody to worldly and sexy and bad things came as a result.
In the course of the book, during the romance with Brooks, during the parallel stories of blackmail and spousal abuses in Bickford, Abigail (alias for Elizabeth) comes to see the value of love, friendship and FAMILY.
The author gives Abigail stupid lines of dialogue to show us how wide-eyed she was about, for instance, how to properly attend a family picnic, but that was unnecessary and NOT cute.
The wrap up, the way ABigail was able to put Liz/Elizabeth to rest forever, was trite and without complications. I seldom say this; in fact I am usually complaining that a long book is too full of filler; but this book needed another hundred pages or so to play out the bringdown of the Russian mob -- (could have been Italians, Latinos, African-Americans, Middle Easterners, or Asians).
There was a lot of repetition of Abigail's travails. There were too many insertions of Abigail's unpolished demeanor (she's 28 and she's a computer genius and able to see the world from a distance. She would not have been that socially inept -- ever) -- all this leads me to think that the author wanted to infantilize Abigail, keep her at the age of 16 when her world went whacko.
Unforgivable: The absence of closure with the mother, Dr. Susan Fitch. Not that there should have been a reunion with violins and roses. In fact, Abigail replaced Susan with Sunny -- and that was appropraite -- but there should have been some final checkin that ABigail might have made to report the status of Susan, even with her donor father. Those things could have been nicely tied together into a package of parallel longings, forgetting and forgiveness. I think the exclusion of that closure with her biological family was a mistake.
So, really, this is about an outsider who finally wants in. She no longer is happy in her computer safe room. She is in love with a fine, sexy, powerful man (what other kind is there?) and she gets the nerve to open the door, so to speak.
I love the outsider theme, but I hate that the outsider makes peace ONLY after she is rescued by sex and love.
What about the dog? Bert is a highly trained security animal, and yet, she brings him to family parties, she takes him to a stranger's home. My very limited knowledge of security animals tells me that a working dog is at work at all times. I could be wrong, maybe the working dog is also tender and loving, (just like Brooks Gleason). Something about that rang "off" with me, but I won't press that point.
If you have not read the Stieg Larrson trilogy -- the book is likeable. There is no pulsing tension; this is no page turner, but it is a decent read out on a hammock or on the beach, even if it doesn't "feel" real.
This is the first Nora Roberts book for me. I will have a hard time trying another because I fear she writes those romance type books which depend on the love and attention of a handsome man to bring a heroine to wholeness. That is somewhat anachronistic in these times -- especially when the heroine is a crack computer hacker/geek/nerd whose worldliness would exceed the good ol' boy she craves.
I could not say it was a complete waste of time but there are certanly better options on Audible.
Watch as an exiting police story told by the eyes of an innocent bystander spiral down to a dragged, boring, long and overly sweet story of love and trust. Maybe I was expecting something fast paced, therefore the let down, but I feel it could have been so much better since the characters are very well developed and somewhat belivable, even if removed from our day to day lives. There are LONG periods were nothing intresting is going on in the story and the dry cut between the prelude and the story proper did a diservice to this book. If you are in the market for a love story, go for it. Otherwise, you could spend your hard earned credits somewhere else and be happier for it.
The performance is solid, and the characters are recognizable by tone of voice. Not espectacular, but overall very good.
Listening to The Witness was one of those rare experiences in which it was difficult to tell whether the failings of the experience originated with the author or narrator. A little of both, I suppose: heroine, Elizabeth/Abigail is 'socially inept' (as we are told often enough), but her stilted, extraordinarily formal dialog and it's flat, almost atonal delivery drove me right up a wall. The character sounded like a couple of my friends with Aspergers- who are friends, not entertainment.
Whelan is otherwise a competent narrator and the story, predictable and mediocre, not quite up to Robert's usually stronger storytelling skills.
I actually forced myself to finish the book, having discarded my last 'listen'.
The Witness isn't bad, it just isn't good.
I love all genres of books. However, when I listen to audio books as I clean, garden, drive they are better with a lot of heat!
I know most everyone else loved this book. Sorry to disagree, but I thought it was pathetic, flat and contrived. What could have been an interesting story, turned to mush after Elizabeth went into hiding. Let me say that I enjoy the Lifetime Nora Roberts movies. Maybe because they're condensed - not as full of filler as was this story. The plot dragged on and on, the townspeople's side stories were thrown in as filler, as was the stupid, stilted dialogue between the two main characters. No one, supposedly as smart as Elizabeth/Abagail can be as socially naive & stupid as we were led to believe of the character. There was no depth (alot of repeat of the same facts) and the silly narration of the book should be an embarrassment. The ending was a disappointment - although in line with the rest of the book. I made myself finish the book, but it was after the first couple of chapters that I wanted, and should have given up.
Sure, I'd love to hear your story....
I'm not a romance novel reader normally, but Nora Roberts writes strong female characters and THEN puts in the romance which makes it all palatable. With this book, her strong lead character is appealing because of her very human vulnerability...well, that and her smarts. The author really succeeds in her ability to make the reader feel the awkwardness that the character is going through and by whipping up a few good sidekicks (one of the four-legged variety) that keep the story going. The narrator is also spot on. I recommend falling in "like."
I am a book junkie...I read and enjoy a variety of stories, so please don't "define me" by one book or review! :)
I really enjoyed this book. Ms. Roberts is a gifted story-teller, and this type of romantic drama is certainly her element. The story is well paced, expertly plotted and laid out...an entertaining mix of suspenseful and romantic moments. I enjoyed the ending. Roberts' writing always contains at least some degree of romance and sentimentality (i.e. describing the character's families and their thoughts about them), and any of us who read her books know that by now. This is an example of her style at it's very best. She truly evoked the color and flavor of the small town of Bickford, AR, and all the relavant environment throughout the story. I truly liked the characters. In fact I came to care about them and "love" them through the course of the story. Brooks, Liz/Abigail, Brooks' family, and even all the others made for a very compelling story. When you care about the characters, and get mad at the wrongdoers (villians) you know the author has done her "job" and drawn you in. The narration by Ms. Whelan served only to enhance and bring this story to life. She does a pretty nice job portraying the male characters, also. I highly recommend this engrossing story!
I wanted to like this book. Really tried. The writing is strong and fluid with a good mix of dialog and narrative. But the story and the characters were just...boring. No spark, no surprise, no conflict. Even the threat from the bad guys was ho-hum. You could see from the beginning how the book would end. Predictable. I give it 2.5 stars and have to round up.