Moonrise is high on my list of my audiobook experiences. Although I had not read the print book, this Southern Gothic immediately drew me into its atmospheric web with high level, dramatic performances by the narrators. All were good, and I especially liked the performance of Willow Hale, who narrated Tansy. Her rendition is full of heart and soul in expressing the catty, quirky, complex Tansy. It results in the listener being actively engaged in wondering what is the real story about this character and how does it compare to the face she shows the world.
Moonrise reminds me of books I read long ago, such as Rebecca and one of my favorites, Nine Coaching Waiting by Mary Stewart. One surprising and gratifying aspect of Moonrise is that the characters, including the heroine, are in their forties or so. Not ingénues or twenty-somethings, but southern women in their forties! This is a delightful bonus. Another plus is the wonder and beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina, one of my favorite places on earth. The setting in the book is exquisite. I love a good gothic novel, and Moonrise delivers.
I especially liked the scenes between Tansy and Noel. Doesn't get quirkier and more complex than that! Totally kept my interest.
The book as brought to life by the narrators caught me up in its compelling mystery and intrigue. I found myself roaming around my back yard as if it were the desolate gardens.
Great story and narration, especially by Willow Hale, who did Tansy. I'd like to hear more by her; she apparently has a knack for making a character come to life. I love a good gothic novel, and Moonrise delivers.
I'd reread Moonrise, but I don't think I'd listen to it again. This is the first time I haven't been bowled over by the talent of the narrators. (I usually gush. See my review of Colin Firth's reading of The End of the Affair and how I raved about the Amelia Peabody mysteries.) I have tremendous admiration for artists who can pull off multiple regional accents and characters of both genders--without sounding like a parody.
This book tips its hat to the Gothic classic, Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier. While not in the same league as Rebecca, Moonrise didn't disappoint. Setting is all important in a Gothic novel, and the eponymous historic Victorian house nestled in Highlands, North Carolina provided the perfect spooky backdrop for a mystery. The nocturnal gardens in particular added a bit of eeriness to the story.
I enjoyed listening to Letters from Skye, narrated by Elle Newlands, the actor who performed Willa McPhee in Moonrise. She has a very pleasant accent (Scottish, I assume) and a lot of talent. I had a hard time understanding what she was doing in a southern story, though. If the locals of Highlands have a brogue, why didn't Duff, Willa's beau?
I enjoyed the descriptions of the place. Of course all the people and their tangled webs of deceit and intrigue were interesting, but I hold that setting is what makes Gothic gothic.
The other trait of the Gothic genre is a fiery ending. This finale was spectacular, but it wasn't quite in keeping with my idea of the genre.
The story, as mentioned elsewhere, is not all that interesting. The voice of Tanzy is awful to listen to for the most part. But, overall, the mean, petty behavior of these so-called adults just drove me up the wall. Not sure I can finish it as it feels like a waste of my time.
This is the first time I've written a review, but after reading the other posts, I have a very different reaction. Foremost, it's about the story and not the narrators. It's engaging and enjoyable which is what I want from a novel I listen to while I'm driving. I'm not expecting something terribly complex or abstruse and this fits the bill. Secondly, the three narrators created distinct characters which is what the author intended. I can't imagine one reader playing all parts. Even though I have lived most of my life in the South, I'm not sure I can distinguish between Tennessee and Mississippi accents, but it doesn't matter. The story could be in Michigan and Maine accents. What does matter is that the characters come alive in the readers mind. I liked Tansy's bitchiness; she's real and yes, a bit annoying, but I don't think Cassandra King meant for her to be sweet and loveable. That's her character and I think Willow portrayed her well and was consistent in her role throughout the novel. And similar kudos to Jennifer and Elle. Thank you. And yes, I would (and have) recommended this book to my friends.
The story was just OK but the narrator for the character "Tanzy" was horrible! I had to double the audio speed to get through those chapters. I would definitely NOT recommend this book.
The narrator did a poor job with the voices of the men and women More than once I wondered why I was wasting my time.
She brings in many characters but only finished the story (?) for the newly wed . At the end I felt I hit a stone wall! She had spent time developing her story lines but at the end she just left them hanging in the air.
If they had stuck to one narrator, perhaps the narrator who portrayed the Irish character, or the woman reading the part of Helen -- I think that they could have done a good job for the entire book. It was the narrator who portrayed the character Tansy that ruined it for me! It was very difficult listening to her speak any of the male voices and the voice of Kit really irritated me.
Sticking to one of the better narrators; they really didn't need three women reading this I don't think.
I think that the story itself was good, and I think (for me) it would have been better reading from the physical book instead of listening to the audio version.
Say something about yourself!
I realize narration is very personal. She has a professional manner. But whatever it is that is annoying me...I just cannot take it. Sorry, maybe you could read this book.
I like books read by multiple readers--it is often a performance that makes the book even better. These are three awful narrators. The voices they give to the characters are laughable. The story is ordinary--a southern retelling of the classic Rebecca (a much better book). If the book had been read by decent performers it would have elevated it to at least three stars. I will never listen to a book read by any of these people.
For the most part. I enjoyed the story but found myself wishing I was reading the book myself because I didn't like the voices put on by one of the three narrators.
"Wait. That's it?" I wanted to know what happened next for these characters!
The narrators for Helen and Willa were both great. I could listen to Willa's narrator read anything. Her voice and accent were beautiful. The narration for Tansy fit in well with the other two narrators but, whoever she is, isn't cut out to do multiple voices. Her male characters all sounded like kids' cartoon villains and her female characters (besides Tansy herself) sounded like southern Marilyn Monroes, high and breathy.