Nonfiction writer by day, fiction lover by night.
I keep hearing, "Give it a chance; it takes a while to warm up." I'm just not that kind of reader/listener. If you haven't interested me - or at least given me an idea what the story will be about or why I should care - in the first half hour or so, I'm out. I tried really hard to listen longer, but I had other stuff to do (and read). Maybe I'll try again sometime, maybe after I read a more full description of it somewhere else to get an idea of what I'm missing.
The first half of the book was simply charming. The second half was agonizing. The first half with short emails and notes and a wicked villain falls apart after Bernadette's disappearance is revealed. Instead there are long narratives explaining all the information that was in the first half. It was extremely boring and slow and I just wanted it to end so I could find out what happened. And even that was such a disappointment.
I don't know if it was the narrator or simply poor editing. When she attempted the voice of Elgin she dropped her voice to the point it was inaudible without raising the volume then she would suddenly screech in a supposed little girl voice. Though the child was actually 15. It was quite painful.
No, after trudging through the last few chapters I no longer care about these characters.
The book should have ended when Bernadette disappeared and left us hanging instead of slowly and painfully revealing each detail.
Audrey was a much more interesting character when she was evil. Turning "good" was ridiculous.
This was the perfect storm of a great story read by the perfect narrator. The story involves an examination of a small upper middle class neighborhood in Seattle and a Los Angeles couple who moved there years ago to raise their daughter. The Los Angeles couple is well known in the neighborhood due to the husband's high position at Microsoft and the wife's eccentric behavior. While trying to deal with their own long-brewing marital problems, they become a catalyst for other people's obsessive behaviors. The first half of the book was like a hilarious modern take on Peyton Place, but then the story goes off in a completely surprising direction following the disappearance of Bernadette, half of the Los Angeles couple.
Kathleen Wilhoite did a masterful job of creating unique voices for each of the crazy characters in the book. This was the first book I read which was narrated by Ms. Wilhoite, but I will be looking for other books read by her in the future.
I love the audio version as you get tones and inflections that may not have occurred to you...the narrator can make or brake an audio book and this one was spot on
The humor and unexpected story line
She had the characters nailed
Bernadette or B
A school administrator and avid reader and listener of books. At least an hour of every day is spent in the car, and that's where the bulk of my listening is done. I tend to listen to books on "faster" mode so I can get through more books!
This is a great beach or cozy-in-bed read, but I can't bear to give it four or five stars, since those should be reserved for great books and literature. I loved this book. I loved the quirkiness of Bernadette and the redemption of several characters as the story unfolds. I loved that it takes place in my hometown and references to all of the places, people and things that I know and love. I loved that I'm not the only person who wants my toilets flushed when I'm not home. I loved the narrator of the audio version who so fabulously provided a variety of voices and accents. Read this. Enjoy it. Share the love.
I don't think this was the book for me. I didn't see the humor when the whining about Seattle, and Canadians, became repetitive. I listened to more than a third of the book and although I could see where it was going, I just didn't care about or like the characters.
I'm not sure if a different narrator would have made a difference, but I didn't care for this one.
This was an incredibly fun listen. The book is funny, snarky, and sweet - all at the same time. I loved Bernadette - what a great character! Actually, all the characters are great. The conceit of having the prose as correspondence between the characters is a unique touch, although in this day of quick emails and texts I don't see it as very likely, particularly in a community that revolves around Microsoft! So there is a bit of suspension of disbelief to contend with, but it's worth it because it's so well written. The narrator grew on me - at first I was worried that I wouldn't like her, but in short order I found her to be hilarious and appealing. Although the voices of the different characters weren't terribly different, it didn't really matter since each section starts with the character's name.
Overall a great book and a compelling, amusing listen.
There were fresh observations of modern life, and the people we have become. There is a lot of depth to this book, and the humor comes from this angle, wry and refreshing, not campy or tired stereotypes that fill so many pop books about women.
The relationships that the central character has, the descriptions of each and every character, who are also well developed. The dread that the main character feels in coping with some of the characters and the ironic astute humor. The story was an original so there was no boredom or that feeling of reading the same formulaic book you've read before.
I got a real kick out of a true "character". Bernadette is likely one of those people better to read about than live with, but what fun it would be to be her for awhile. Her ability to completely immerse herself 100% in a project and ignore all of the awful expectations of society and come out with more money and success....great fantasy..... Fun read, some laugh out loud moments interspersed with a slight touch of what the ????.
Lagged a little at first but wound up being a great adventure. Really liked the characters and the reader did a good job.