The Dog Mom
I had never read a Laura Kinsale book when I discovered this gem. Must say that I am very glad I found this talented author. It's difficult to write about the story without giving it away, but suffice it to say that Ms. Kinsale has brought together plot, characters, atmosphere . . . and some romance. . . in a touching, engaging and memorable way. But, the book is a romance unlike any other I've read. I highly recommend this novel if you are seeking a historical romance that will truly touch you. The narration is brilliant also!
This story draws you in from the beginning! All of the characters are very well developed.
Laura Kinsale does a beautiful job of bringing the reader into the confused and frustrated mind of an intelligent, charming, privileged and decadent man who has suffered an apoplexy (stroke). Christian is trapped in his disobedient body as a storm of emotions and words swirl in his mind. He struggles to grasp the words and contain emotions so that he may convey/prove that he is still there and sane; his freedom depends upon it.
Maddy, his Quaker attendant, recognizes his struggle and is led to help him. Which, presents her with her own internal storm as their lives are merged.
Nicholas Boulton gives an OUTSTANDING performance!!!!!!!
All of his voices were excellent, but his voicing of Christian was absolute perfection.
As soon as I finished it, I listened again. This one goes into my All Time Favorites file.
Sad, Exciting & Wonderful,
Maddie (?), she stayed in such turmoil with herself regarding her stand as a Quaker and her love for Christian.
Absolutely fabulous. I could listen to him all day.
Yes, but it was so long, I had to break it up.
At times I couldn't tell if Christian was just using Maddie or he loved her. It really took me into the mind of someone who had a stroke. Christian was so frustrated when the words he was thinking he could not speak. I have a sister who recently had a stroke and she is having a hard time speaking. Her speech and response to questions is delayed.I appreciated Christian's friends being there for him. His friends' love and the love of Maddie is what helped Christian get better. Isn't that what we all need.
This ranks up there with my favorites. I could barely tear myself away from it, and this was a surprise since my expectations were modest.
The narrator was spectacular, especially as some of the dialogue must have been a serious challenge. I shall look for this reader in the future.
Say something about yourself!
This is one of those books that you just can't stop once you start, and it has quickly become one of my all-time favorite period romance novels. I've always enjoyed period romances, but this story isn't all glamorous and fluffy like the rest.
This story has a struggling, tormented hero and a heroine who is torn between her belief, duty, and love, and she's not your typical heroine either. I guess that's why I like this book as much as I did. It's refreshing but at the same time gripping because you cannot wait to find out what is going to happen to the characters. The supporting characters were just as entertaining and added so much value and depth to the entire story line.
The story starts off with the brilliant lascivious duke, who had minimal considerations for the kind of lifestyle that he had grown accustom to. When an illness strikes, he is displaced and forced onto a path where he meets Archimedia (Maddie) Tims, the heroine. While the story is fantastically written, Maddie does frustrate me at times with her indecisiveness. Her lack of decision however, is a result of the struggle between her love for Christian and faith, which subsequently becomes the catalyst for the penultimate chapters of the book.
With the story plot aside, Christian Jervaulx, the flawed-but-beautiful hero does tug at your heartstrings as the story goes on with his tortured soul and those midnight blue eyes...
As for the main heroine, there were parts of the story where I wanted to reach across and slap her silly and at the same time felt sorry for her.
My favorite part of the books though, has to be the fireplace scene, and the ending. Oh what a brilliantly sweet ending!
This book is highly recommended, and HIGHLY worth the credit.
My god! Nicholas Boulton is now officially my favorite male narrator. His voice is to die for!
Absolutely. I couldn't stop listening till the wee hours!
I dare you to TRY not to devour it as quick as you can.
Audio books are just my cup of tea!
This is just a really good story! Currently trying to recover from my “good book” hangover.
Christian is flawed and Maddy is stalwart. The story is about how they meet and make it through life's trials.
Nicholas Boulton's narration was wonderful!
If you like Georgette Heyer novels then I think you will love this one by Laura Kinsale.
Definitely a 5 star listen and of course worth a credit.
I ignore genre labels. Some of my favorite books are outside my genre comfort zone. Listening to audiobooks is still reading. Not theater.
This book is evidently quite beloved and considered one of the best romance novels of all times. As I listened, I agreed that parts of it were wonderful. It was extremely well written and the narration was perfect. (I actually think I would not have been able to read this. The narrator brought Christian's inner voice to life in a wonderful way. I think if I had read his inner monologue myself it would not have been so moving.)
For me, I think the problem was that the book was unrelentingly sad. Even when the main characters were falling in love, the setting or the situation was depressing.I found myself desperately wanting the lovers to have just a chapter or two when things were going well and they were happy in each others company. I think that would have made me more appreciative of the problems they faced and overcame. I think that a romantic "love'" born out of a desperate desire to escape a terrible future would always be questionable. You know that if it were not for Christian's problems he would never have given Maddy a second glance. So his true feelings would always be in question.
At another time, this book may have been far more palatable to me. I saw the bone structure of a wonderful book. When I read it though, I just could not get past the misery.
First: Nicholas Boulton is a freaking genius of audiobook narration. I don't mean to tell Audible how to so their job or anything, but basically they should have Boulton read everything.
Now, the story: This is an amazing take on the classic "reformed rake" trope. The hero, Jervaulx, is going about his rakish business when has what appears to be a stroke, suffers from aphasia/disorientation and rage so extreme his family has him institutionalized. The heroine, Archimedia Timms (called Maddy) is a determined Quaker lady who mostly helps out her blind father and does good deeds and whatnot, until she is suddenly and somewhat mysteriously inspired to intervene in Jervaulx's treatment at the institution, which is run by her uncle.
I know some readers found the combination of Maddy's emotional constipation and unthinking adherence to her Quaker principles rather trying. Others found Jervaulx's stilted speech to be difficult reading. To me, these seemed like true portraits of deep characters who really had to struggle, and the story is so well-written that often their progress sneaks up on you. The combination of powerful story and transcendentally excellent narration made this an un-put-down-able audiobook. Loved it!
Audible has changed my life! Dry , itchy eyes were destroying one of my greatest pleasures - reading. Now I am experiencing books again!
How strange is it to find yourself in the middle of a traditional Romance Novel wishing for fewer erotic moments. Well, this is a most unusual book, and that is what happens! Stick with me for a moment while I explain.
"Flowers from the Storm" (and where, oh where, does that inadequate title come from??) is very, very good in many ways. It's probably the best I've ever encountered at describing what it must be like to have a stroke and endure its effects. The confusion, frustration, anger, and helplessness of our hero are ours - his scrambled thoughts, feelings, attempts at language are conveyed to the reader/listener in an almost visceral way. It's extraordinary.
Then there's our heroine. Maddie's Quaker beliefs are really honored and explained here - not just shoved in to create contrasting life styles and views for our lovers. All characters, in fact, are wonderfully presented, from the Duke's family and friends to the Quakers to the attendants at the madhouse. There's a real talent here for filling the story with rich and full characters.
So, here's the dilemma: "Flowers" is full of serious, thoughtful, and interesting content. Yet, there's the necessity, in a Romance Novel, for the love scenes in some detail and eroticism. I'm not adverse to these scenes in traditional romances, but they do seem rather out of place here. I actually found myself wanting these diversions to go away and get us back to the real story of the Duke's struggles with his physical disabilities and the desperate need to communicate his mental competence. And Maddie's struggle with her efforts to help him and maintain her values of simplicity and honesty.
Books which present this subject matter so well are usually given credibility - I'm just afraid the book's genre category and the really dumb cover and title will keep its rightful audience away. Too bad!
Nicholas Boulton is a fantastic narrator - especially when conveying the Duke's point of view. It's harrowing to hear the raw confusion, fear, and frustration of a man accustomed to absolute power dealing with the inability to communicate - and we're with him every step of the way.
The reading performance was so enjoyable. The story line was perfect. This book helped me pack up the house for a big move from California to Washington. I want to hug the author for creating the escape that got me through it. Feeling overwhelmed? Put on your earphones and let Laura have her way with you!