The book titled “In the Land of the Long White Cloud” by Sarah Lark readers follow a few generations of immigrants to New Zealand from Wales and London. One of the characters is Helen Davenport who has been working as governess in London but longs for a husband and a family of her own. Helen ends up on her way to New Zealand to answer an advertisement for a man seeking a wife after the exchange of letters. Helen believes that this man who writes beautiful sentiments is a gentleman farmer but her reality is disappointing.
Gwyn’s character comes into the story when her father loses blackjack to a sheep baron from New Zealand. Gwyn is to go to New Zealand to marry the sheep baron’s son. Gwyn is only 17 years old and loves sheep ranching, border collies, and horses. She is excited for an adventure and life on a sprawling ranch. Her reality is less than ideal.
Sarah Lark introduces the reader to a cast of characters that are wonderfully created. There are the orphan girls shipped to New Zealand to be servants. The heartless decisions made for these little girls really touched my heart and I was so happy that the author carried each of their story lines throughout this epic novel, as well. I call this an epic novel because it sweeps through many years – following the individual characters’ lives.
I purchased this book as an audio presentation through audible.com for my Kindle and it was about 22 hours long. The audible story is brilliantly performed by Anne Flosnik. It was thrilling to have such a long book to listen to that was never was slow or dull. There is rich New Zealand history detailed in the story and descriptions of the beautiful south island in the early days of settlers.
I am looking forward to ready the next book by Sarah Lark that carries on the story lines with the next generations. This book was originally written in German and the English translation was excellent.
My copy of Messenger of Truth by Jacqueline Winspear is an audible book through my Kindle. I am a huge fan of the Maisie Dobbs series and of author Jacqueline Winspear. The production of the audible books in this series is fabulous and at the end of the book is an interview with the author – which was a great bonus! Jacqueline Winspear is an amazing author and listening to the interview at the end of the book was a real pleasure. She is passionate about her research into the time-period and history for this series. The narrator, Orlagh Cassidy, once again delivers an amazing performance as Maisie Dobbs.
In Messenger of Truth, Maisie takes a case brought to her by Georgina Bassington-Hope who wants the apparent accidental death of her brother, Nicholas, investigated. Georgina is a journalist who made her mark during the Great War and also attended Girton College like Maisie. Maisie soon discovers that the entire Bassington-Hope family are unusual and all of them have secrets. The majority of the family are artists of some type and their family home is filled with their art creating an unusual “country” home.
Maisie sets about getting involved in the art world to discover truth, but encounters dark secrets instead. Tragedy surrounds many of the artists she meets that points back to their time of service in the Great War. Georgina, herself, is still struggling to find her passion for writing again and seems adrift at the loss of her beloved twin brother.
I enjoyed the descriptions of the lonely, cold beaches in Kent where Maisie must journey several times during her investigation. The reader can feel the isolation and the cold wind from the author’s description. Along these journeys, Maisie’s personal life has some heartache as well as self-discovery. This reader was sad for her doing this book, but hopeful that she will find what truly makes her happy in the books to come.
I am already a huge fan of the Maise Dobbs' series, but this 3rd book was absolutely perfect. The narrator was excellent and pleasing to listen to throughout.
This book has so many mysteries with links to each other that hte reader is "holding on for dear life" until the conclusion. I wasn't able to guess what would happen next - so had to keep listening!
I love the depth of Maisie's character. She is never silly or neglectful with her work or her personal life. Her past experiences of loss make her a character whom most readers will relate to at least on some levels.
In this 3rd book, Maisie must face her past nightmares from the war by traveling back to France as part of her investigations. This is a heart-wrenching trip for her, but she presses on towards truth. She is also being pursued by person or persons who want to see her dead.
Be prepared readers for an emotional conclusion to this book. I cried unashamedly as the story ended. Maybe you will too!
Brilliant writing by Jacqueline Winspear. I immediatley purchased the 4th audio book and am going to being listening now!
Simone St. James has written another chilling novel that I loved! Jillian Leigh is notified that her uncle Toby has died and because her parents are away in Paris, she must see to his affairs. She travels alone from Oxford (where she is a student) to Rothewell on the coast. Toby had been renting a home in Rothewell as he pursued his ghost hunting.
Jillian soon becomes embroiled in a mystery within the town and a haunting in the house and the woods. The whole setting is very tense and a little spooky. She meets Drew an Inspector with Scotland Yard and there is a romantic spark between them from the beginning.
In the mix of the story is the aftermath of the Great War on the townsfolk of Rothewell. No one in the town was left unscathed from the war and there are many secrets.
This was another excellent audio production through audible.com. The narrator did a fantastic job with the voices of all the different characters. Simone St. James created an excellent story!
I enjoyed the book “The Firebird” by Susanna Kearsley as an audible book narrated by Katherine Kellgren. I adore Susanna Kearsley's writing style of dual time lines and a touch of the paranormal. This book was great entertainment.
Katherine Kellgren is an amazing performer. I couldn’t believe how this narrator was able to portray each character’s voice in such a unique way that it was better listening to this book that going to any movie! I hope to find more audiobooks narrated by her.
The main character in the modern time-line is Nicola who has the unusual gift of being able to touch an object and see the history surrounding that object. She struggles with this psychicl gift and doesn’t want anyone in her life to know. When a client comes into her workplace - an art dealer business - with a wooden carved “firebird”, Nicola touches the object and gets a flash of history that she ultimately must pursue for the sake of the object’s owner. To get help with using her gift, she travels to Scotland to meet with Rob – the man she walked away from two years before. Rob has and extraordinary psychic gift that he doesn’t hide from anyone. The two work together to find the history of the “firebird” carving.
Their travels back in time introduce us to Anna, who (in my opinion) is the star of this book. Anna is growing up during the time of the Jacobite struggle in Scotland. The circumstances of her birth ultimately bring her to Russia and Empress Catherine the first. The story is rich in historical details and creates the perfect back drop to Anna’s story.
I really didn’t want this book to end. The characters were so engaging and the story was filled with twists and turns that left me guessing up until the very end!
This book is a non-fiction account of various women war correspondents prior to, during, and immediately following World War 2. There experiences were amazing and inspiring. They struggled to fight their way into jobs that were normally filled by men only. I learned that it was no easy task to get an assignment to cover any part of the war because of their gender. I also learned a great deal about the time period and both the European and Pacific fronts of the war. The fact that the author was able to interview these women about their experience is absolutely priceless. The things these courageous women saw and the stories they were able to write about and photograph must have been etched into their memories for the rest of their lives. In many cases they risked their lives to get the story to the folks back home.
I was sad to see the book end and would love to know more about each woman and what followed after the war because their lives were so altered.
As always, Tavia Gilbert delivers a fabulous performancs as narrator.
I have to admit that I know next to nothing about flowers and gardening. For that very reason, I wasn't sure that I would enjoy this book which mystery surrounds a rare Camellia. I actually looked up camellia photos on line to help me prepare for the story. Let me tell you... this was a great dual time line story. The suspense was intense in both the modern tale and the historical story. I thought the character development was superb. Whether you know flowers or not, mystery fans will love this book. I remain a fan of Ms. Jio!!
The performance by Justine Eyre was pleasant and she kept each character sounding individual - which I find amazing!
Oh, Maggie Hope!! I was so looking forward to this book and it was wonderful. However, I did lose some sleep as I just couldn't stop listening (audio book edition). The suspense involved for Maggie kept my heart racing. Our heroine, with her intense SOE training, is sent off to Nazi Germany. Not only is she behind enemy lines in grave danger, but Maggie also learns more about her family history. Maggie experiences a great deal and is very changed by her ordeal. I hope the next installment in this wonderful series is coming soon. Susan Elia MacNeal, the author, is fantastic!! Susan Duerden created a wonderful performance and it was a pleasure to listen to this audible book.
I am now a fan of Simone St.James. This book had romance, intrigue, and spine tingling horror. I actually got scared listening to this audio book. For those who use audio books, the narrator was excellent. The voice was pleasing and perfect for the type of book.
The story is a gothic style ghost story set in England in the 1920's. I'm starting to love all stories from the 1920's. The author sets the scenes perfectly to give her readers a sense of time and space.
One character in the book - Alistair writes about ghost phenomena and he needs a female assistant to commune with a reported ghost who is named Maddy Clare. Alistair hires the book's main character, Sarah, from a temporary agency in London. Sarah is happy to leave her dreary life in her dark room in the city if only for a brief time. Sarah soon discovers that she is very sensitive to ghosts and may be in over her head. She meets Alistair's usual assistant, Matthew Ryder, and the two have a spark of attraction from the very beginning.
The author creates a gothic suspense that entranced this reader. I enjoyed the romance in the story, as well. Wow! I can't wait for more from this author.
I would recommend this book to those who love a gothic tale with some romance. Beware....this books has some scary parts that will give you goosebumps!
Emilie annoyed me at first but I loved her by the end. The dual story lines were excellent. I especially enjoyed the WW2 story line with the female SOE agent, Constance, behind enemy lines in France. The reader can't help but adore Constance and her bravery. The story had a great deal of twists and turns and it kept me guessing to the end.
Many parts of the story were sad but that fit perfectly with the time period and subject matter. I enjoy Lucinda Riley's style of writing and look forward to more. Gerri Halligan delivers and excellent performance of this story.
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