For someone whose knowledge of the Taliban in Afghanistan mostly came from the evening news and Newsweek, this is a personal account of extraordinary women quietly living within a system and taking care of themselves and their families through a collective effort and the determination of a strong and courageous woman. The story is not heavy with political or governmental details, rather it is from the perspective of a family and its neighbors looking after one another while living under Taliban rule. Zimmerman's reading was tempered and consistent; she let the story speak for itself.
A moving story. Two narrators worked very well. Bohjalian captures the broader picture of the extermination or Armenians in the early 20th Century while building a very personal story line. The brutality of governments toward innocent civilians plays out again and again, century after century. The author captures the futility of well meaning foreigner volunteers trying to make a difference. They do, but in small ways, which of course count. I highly recommend the book for the story and an education about the period.
The book was educational from a cultural standpoint and simply entertaining. Tania Rodrigues was wonderful, imparting intonation and expression in all the right places to bring the listener along.
The Confession pulled me in from the beginning. I truly felt like I was following the minister as he made seemingly rash decisions in an effort to prevent injustice in a story that was extremely realistic. I highly recommend the book.
Ruth, orphaned and alone at the age of 12, is lead astray at 16 by an affluent, self centered young man in his early 20's and then abandoned after she becomes pregnant. She is taken in by a kindly, sympathetic clergyman and his sister who share their home. Assuming the identity of a young widow, Ruth raises her child and is grateful for her good fortune and the generosity of those around her. After a dozen years, her secret of being an unwed mother is, through unexpected connections, revealed. She is then rejected and shunned by members of the community who had previously welcomed her into their homes. The rest of the story concerns Ruth's redemption; she is finally recognized and elevated for always putting the welfare of others ahead of her own. The novel is beautifully executed with a bittersweet ending. I have read and listed to a number of Elizabeth Gaskell's novels and have found each to be unique and memorable. The author balances sorrow and joy in equal parts.
The book was interesting and engaging. I enjoyed following the main detective as he pieced together clues to the cold case's conclusion and resolution. The narration was good and I especially liked the character Assad with his unique and homey contributions to the police department. Overall, I recommend the book.
Elizabeth Gaskell came to my attention through Jane Austen's novels. While her writing style is more loquacious than Austen's, Gaskell's gentle sentimentality, reflected through her character Mattie's hopes and disappointments for love and marriage, made the novel more memorable than many of Austen's novels whose heroines always get the most honorable guy of flawless character. Gaskell is more realistic yet created characters who are endearing. Both writers use satire and Austen has more precise and succinct prose, but Gaskell demonstrated human frailty and how friends, companions and the community, in spite of irksomeness, make life tolerable through unspoken kindness and understanding.
A spell binding tale that is a little dated. If you can overlook the fact that this story pre-dates cell phones and the cops seem to always be looking for a pay phone, then the story moves along pretty well. I learned a thing or two about a soldier's terrifying duties in Vietnam. The narrator was great for a police drama but weak on the main female character's voice. If I listen to another book in the series, I plan to select one that is more recent.
Watership Down is a story of courage, survival and accomplishment featuring a small but growing band of modest but smart guy rabbits who rely on one another, stick together and utilize each other's best strengths. I particulary liked the contrast in leadership between their leader, Hazel, a soft spoken, resourceful strategist and his counterpart and opponent, Woundwart, a warrior who runs a warren right out of 1984. The guys nuture and care for each other along the way, figure out how to succeed and eventually prevail. The narrator was superb. I highly recommend the story.
You cannot go wrong with Jane Austen. The skillful use of language, both refined and precise, is evident in all of her novels and improves my speech and thoughts, if only for a day or two. She deserves her place in literature, elevated amongst many of her contemporaries. Harker gives a fine performance, capturing every nuance perfectly.
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