The story bounces between 1931 and 1938, and a lot has happened in those years. I found myself guessing and making conclusions all along the way. It was unexpected and intriguing.
I haven't read a lot of fiction based on life in the thirties. Literary requirements of college and high school, while great literature, aren't exactly uplifting. I didn't finish "The Grapes of Wrath" and long to read more about those exciting 1930's! Okay, so I shouldn't throw that title around with light Summer reading.
This story is about a group of privileged New Englanders, who with a couple of exceptions, experienced the financial crises of those times only in abstract way. They still summered in picturesque, elite New England seaside communities; mostly ignored prohibition, and attended elite Northeastern universities. The characters were realistic and well developed. Despite their privileged life, they still managed to screw this up royally, as people will. This was NOT the 1930's my stalwart Midwestern grandparents told me about. The writer's descriptions of the idyllic, and ridiculously idle life of summer in an affluent Rhode Island seaside community drew me in completely. The writer skillfully reminds us of the absence of modern day technology (an extremely wealthy man at the mercy of the timer on a payphone because he's out of change....a payphone? I forgot about those) or the heroine's references to an article she just read in Time about this stuff called 'adrenaline'. #1, Time was already around, providing continuity with today and #2 adrenaline was a new discovery, oh how far science has come.
I learned a lesson in selecting this title. I tend to be lazy when choosing my next listen. I have had a rule not to choose titles with less than a 4,0 reader rating. Since this book was new and had only one rating, I clicked on the author's name to see how other titles were rated and was reminded that Ms. Williams also wrote "Overseas", another of my favorites. In doing so, I was very surprised to see that book only carried a 3.something rating now. In looking at the reviews, I see many of the less charitable reviews related to the genre classification (science fiction as well as romance) and the comparison somewhere to "Outlander" (not at all a fair comparison) rather than the story itself.
So, from now on, if a book looks interesting, I'll take the time to see what the negatives are before I disregard it. What other interesting authors have I carelessly overlooked with my silly rule?
I highly recommend this book, this author and this narrator.
less cliche, mundane drivel
this is a poor attempt at 'The Great Gatsby' and 'Rules of Civility' but falls eternally short. This was pure torture to get through. The predictable stupidity of the characters was just exasperating! Lily is a ditz. You saw 'evil mother' coming light years away. Just a NO GO!
I love this book so much! I think I've listened to it about 5 times and I never get tired of it. The narration is amazing and I love all the drama and scandal within the plot.
Can't wait to listen to it again. :)
The messiness of the characters lives was convincing. The author didn't pull any punches in order to advance the plot. The love of Nick and Lily was heartachingly portrayed.
When she tries to act out the voices (male lead, and small child), she sounds absolutely ridiculous.
I can't wait until this stupid concussion is over and I can READ things again and narrate them in my own head - properly.
I like historical, southern books - southern accents, antiques - The Ole' West, Ghost Towns, Victorian Era, Southern Humor!!
Awesome book! Picked it partially because of the narration, she was super good! I liked the time period of the book and the real life story about Nick and Lily. It held my interest and it was over to fast. Will listen again and highly recommend!
Okay, bought this book because of the ratings and have no doubt that it was a great book, however.....
I listened to this grating, irritating voice as long as I could endure it. I had to stop listening after about 20 minutes. Like finger nails down a blackboard. Wish I had listened to a sample before I spent money on this.
Great summer listen! A little predictable, but good twist and turns. Agree with other readers that I wanted to know what happened to the characters after the ending!