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Daryl

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

ratings
189
REVIEWS
184
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
13
HELPFUL VOTES
128

  • The Weight of Silence

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Heather Gudenkauf
    • Narrated By Jim Colby, Eliza Foss, Cassandra Morris, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (543)
    Performance
    (426)
    Story
    (424)

    It happens quietly one August morning. As dawn's shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night. Now these families are tied by the question of what happened to their children. And the answer is trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets.

    Sara says: "A jewel"
    "Engrossing debut novel"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Weight of Silence?

    The story gripped you from the prologue and wouldn't let go. The characters, with the exception of Griff, were relatable and well-drawn. The narration was incredible; I wish all full-cast narrations were this well-done!


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Hard to decide. They all had qualities that I admired and related to, but the children are probably my favorites due to their innocence and desire to protect those they love.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is well worth the listening time. It does shift point of view from 1st to 3rd person, which is a little bit clunky and cumbersome, and Griff is too unlikeable to be taken seriously as a well-drawn character, but overall, this is a well-written suspenseful debut novel.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Grand Central: Original Stories of Postwar Love and Reunion

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 9 mins)
    • By Melanie Benjamin, Jenna Blum, Sarah Jio, and others
    • Narrated By Carla Mercer-Meyer
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    On any particular day, thousands upon thousands of people pass through New York City's Grand Central Terminal, through the whispering gallery, beneath the ceiling of stars, and past the information booth and its beckoning four-faced clock, to whatever destination is calling them. It is a place where people come to say hello and good-bye. And each person has a story to tell.

    Daryl says: "Beautiful tapestry"
    "Beautiful tapestry"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Grand Central to be better than the print version?

    I would have to say no. If the narrator had read the book straight-up, or there had been multiple narrators, I might have enjoyed it more. In particular her accent in one story by Amanda Hodgkinson made me glad I could skip through. This did a disservice to an author who promises to be talented.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The characters in Sarah McCoy's "Branch of Hazel" were haunting and unforgetable, as were Gregorie and Liesel in the opening vignet by Alyson Richman.


    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    I liked her general reading, dialogue, and many aspects of it, but with "Tin Town" by Amanda Hodgkinson she put on this funny British-esque accent.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes and no. The stories are linked and yet not linked, using Grand Central Station to tie them together.


    Any additional comments?

    Well worth your time and credit, particularly the entries by McMorris, McCoy, and Richman.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Aprons and Silver Spoons: The Heartwarming Memoirs of a 1930s Kitchen Maid

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Mollie Moran
    • Narrated By Nicolette McKenzie
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    At just 14, Mollie Moran left the Norfolk countryside to take up a position in the kitchens of a stately London townhouse. Getting through the endless chores, sneaking out with her best friend Flo the kitchen maid to go dancing at night, and flirting with Alan the footman and Harrods errand boys, Mollie quickly rose through the ranks. We see the “upstairs, downstairs” world through Mollie’s eyes: the politics and scandals, the friendships and secret liaisons, the many comings and goings.

    Daryl says: "Wonderful!"
    "Wonderful!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Aprons and Silver Spoons to be better than the print version?

    Oh yes! I love Nicolette McKenzie's narration; she can read a phone book and make it interesting. She didn't try tons of accents, but just read this wonderful memoir straight-up, and its simplicity is part of its charm.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    mollie, obviously, and Flo.


    Any additional comments?

    With the popularization of such TV series as Downton Abbey, this book is so important as to outline some of the good and bad things about domestic service. It neither sugarcoats the hard work nor exaggerates some of the bad things that could and did happen; Friendships were born, flourished, and some continued and some died; infatuation bloomed in close quarters; superiors were demanding... but years of wisdom have seasoned Mollie's recollections and made this memoir a fantastic and worthwhile read, a throwback to a time when America was gripped in the Great Depression while events conspired for England to go to war.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 72 Hour Hold

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Bebe Moore Campbell
    • Narrated By Pamella D'Pella
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (142)
    Performance
    (41)
    Story
    (40)

    In this novel of family and redemption, a mother struggles to save her 18-year-old daughter from the devastating consequences of mental illness by forcing her to deal with her bipolar disorder. New York Times best-selling author Bebe Moore Campbell draws on her own powerful emotions and African-American roots, showcasing her best writing yet.

    Kevin says: "Very interesting book on mental health..."
    "Powerful, heartbreaking, yet not without hope"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up 72 Hour Hold in three words, what would they be?

    Hopeful, heartbreaking, enlightening


    Have you listened to any of Pamella D'Pella’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    This is my first exposure to this narrator. She did quite well for most of it, but occasionally had odd pauses and inflection.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Definitely. This book would make a great drama pic!


    Any additional comments?

    This book was informative even as it broke my heart. The hell that Keri and the many others in her world go through while wrestling with their children not being who they hoped.
    I could feel the frustration that Keri dealt with during Trina's spiral into mental illness, culminating in desperate measures to try and get her help. It was like a little piece of hell, but not without hope. I enjoyed Bebe Moore Campbell's gift of language, and her accessible way of writing that reached out not only to people of colour, but to a white Canadian with no experience with mental illness (knock on wood).

    It is not a light read by any means, but well worth your time and credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi Kingdom

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Qanta A. Ahmed
    • Narrated By Nicola Barber
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (29)
    Performance
    (23)
    Story
    (24)

    Unexpectedly denied a visa to remain in the United States, Qanta Ahmed, a young British Muslim doctor, becomes an outcast in motion. On a whim, she accepts an exciting position in Saudi Arabia. This is not just a new job; this is a chance at adventure in an exotic land she thinks she understands, a place she hopes she will belong. What she discovers is vastly different. The Kingdom is a world apart, a land of unparalleled contrast. She finds rejection and scorn in the places she believed would most embrace her.

    Kimmarie says: "Women under war"
    "Important work, somewhat too ambitious"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does In the Land of Invisible Women rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    I enjoyed this book for the most part. Nicola Barber's performance was spectacular, and Qanta Ahmed's observational skills - crucial for a physician - are on full display. I could feel the oppressive heat, sense the culture shock, and awed by her description of her Haj experience. It is, however, somewhat lost in brand-name-dropping (particularly in the first half). Once you get past that, it is a very important enlightening book, giving faces and names to "invisible" women in an uncomfortable reality of Saudi Arabia.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The description of the Haj. I was blown away by such a mass amount of people, beautiful buildings, stones, waters, prayers... it was incredibly moving.


    Any additional comments?

    I did enjoy this book. The first half has a lot of brand name dropping - Mercedes, Rolex, etc. - and it gets a little bit grating. However, that aside, I will never forget this book, and will likely read it again.
    Qanta is a moderate Muslim who is thrown into a kingdom where women are veiled, and the veiling of Muslims is definitely described as a prison. Through two years, she learns what women - and by extension men - endure in the Saudi kingdom. She is blunt, to the point, observant, giving a realism seldom viewed. Unlike Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Infidel, Nomad), Qanta's Muslim faith remains intact, even though extremism as witnessed in Saudi Arabia does not persuade her to think as many do there, or to become resigned to her fate.

    Worth buying on sale, or even for its own cash value; I wouldn't spend a credit on it, but that's just me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Thread Unbroken

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Kay Bratt
    • Narrated By Nancy Wu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (7)

    Many believe that those who are destined to be together are connected by an invisible red thread. If that is so, the fates of Chai and Josi are weaved together and tied with a knot that cannot be broken. Chai has been the self-appointed protector of her best friend, Josi, since their toddler days. Their lives are as far from extravagant as can be imagined - but they don’t need material things to be content.

    Daryl says: "A Thread unbroken"
    "A Thread unbroken"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Yes. I enjoyed both the book and the performance, and will definitely pick up more Kay Bratt books.
    This book tells the story of Chai and Josi, two childhood friends who are kidnapped as daughters-in-law in training. It touches on aspects of Chinese culture, family disunity, and friendship and love.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Chai, for being so determined despite her culture.


    What does Nancy Wu bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    her pronunciations of Chinese words sounded excellent! I don't know if another narrator could have done as well.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The story of Josi and Tao


    Any additional comments?

    I thought the ending was a bit too syrupy, even though parts of it were incredibly painful. This is why I gave the book 4 stars. However, this book is a powerful tome about shrewdness, self-sacrifice, and never giving up.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Little Mercies

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By Heather Gudenkauf
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd, Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (80)
    Story
    (81)

    Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity - the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children's advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined.

    CarSho says: "Couldn't stop listening!"
    "A good emotional quick read from Gudenkauf"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I first became a Gudenkauf fan with her debut, The Weight of Silence. These Things Hidden was a pretty good read; One Breath Away was a misstep for this talented author.

    This book deals with the tragedy of Ellen Moore, a child advocate who - after a morning of chaos - left her baby in the back of her car on a hot summer morning. her path intersects with Jenny, a street-smart yet naive ten-year-old who travels to Iowa in search of relatives.

    Perhaps Kate Rudd's narration is a bit overdramatic, but it didn't call for the scathing review posted on this site. Tanya Eby's narration of Jenny's portion was admirable.

    I found the ending was a little too Hallmark, but this book is a riveting read. Good work, heather Gudenkauf!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Distance Between Us: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Reyna Grande
    • Narrated By Tanya Eby
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    When Reyna Grande’s father leaves his wife and three children behind in a village in Mexico to make the dangerous trek across the border to the United States, he promises he will soon return from "El Otro Lado" (The Other Side) with enough money to build them a dream house where they can all live together. His promises become harder to believe as months turn into years. When he summons his wife to join him, Reyna and her siblings are deposited in the already overburdened household of their stern, unsmiling grandmother.

    Daryl says: "Inspirational, emotional memoir"
    "Inspirational, emotional memoir"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Distance Between Us in three words, what would they be?

    Inspirational, emotional, vivid


    What did you like best about this story?

    I found Reyna's story tragic as it was inspirational - the longing of a young girl to belong to a family, to hold on to anything at all after her childhood was constantly in uphieval


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Yes. This book was so sad, but by no means self-pitying or self-agrandising. I could see the poverty through Reyna and Mago's eyes when they traveled back to Mexico.


    Any additional comments?

    This book is well worth the time, money or credit. It focuses primarily on Reyna's childhood, but touches on her experiences as a teenager and young adult trying to make her way in the world. Even some family members who are despised due to their choices that created so much chaos become three-dimmentional, growing even as Reyna and her siblings did.
    It is moving, neither wallowing in self-pity nor waving banners of "see how much I've overcome!" I hope Audible will publish Miss Grande's novels, as she is a wonderful writer.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Wish You Happy Forever: What China's Orphans Taught Me About Moving Mountains

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Jenny Bowen
    • Narrated By Jenny Bowen
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1)
    Performance
    (1)
    Story
    (1)

    After reading an article about the thousands of baby girls languishing in Chinese orphanages, Bowen and her husband adopted a little girl from China and brought her home to Los Angeles, not out of a need to build a family but rather a commitment to save one child. A year later, as she watched her new daughter play in the grass with her friends, thriving in an environment where she knew she was loved, Bowen was overcome with a desire to help the children that she could not bring home.

    Daryl says: "Powerful story of one woman making a difference"
    "Powerful story of one woman making a difference"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Wish You Happy Forever to be better than the print version?

    I think so. Jenny Bowen reads this book herself, which - though unpolished - is a fine narration.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Jenny, many of the half the Sky volunteers, and all those both in America and China who helped with Half the Sky


    Any additional comments?

    This book is tragic, uplifting and inspirational. Jenny and her husband adopted two Chinese girls and took in others, as well as spearheaded a movement that impacts many children in institutionalized care.
    it is hard to read in places, especially considering the malnutrition and lack of care due to immense overcrowding and poor training in Chinese orphanages.
    I will read this book again. Well done!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Room: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Emma Donoghue
    • Narrated By Michal Friedman, Ellen Archer, Robert Petkoff, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4508)
    Performance
    (1985)
    Story
    (1975)

    To five-year-old Jack, Room is the entire world. It is where he was born and grew up; it's where he lives with his Ma. Room is home to Jack, but to Ma, it is the prison where Old Nick has held her captive for seven years. Through determination, ingenuity, and fierce motherly love, Ma has created a life for Jack. But she knows it's not enough...not for her or for him. She devises a bold escape plan, but what she does not realize is just how unprepared she is for the plan to actually work.

    Kathleen says: "A truly memorable read"
    "Brought Room and the outside world to Life"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Room again? Why?

    I have listened to it twice - first when it came out, then again when i purchased it on Audible. the voice of jack is very childlike, which has aggravated many reviewers, but also honestly adds to its realism. You can feel his mother and grandmother's frustrations with him... but as an audiobook, it works as a multi-voiced performance.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The little things that Jack and his Ma had to do to survive in Room. the realism of how small a world Jack grew up in, and his ever-expanding knowledge of the outside world around him. In some ways, it reflects every child's excitement and frustration and growing up; in others, it's entirely unique.


    Have you listened to any of the narrators’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    the only narrator I am familiar with is Suzanne Toren, but I plan on checking out Ellen Archer - although I will probably always think of her as Jack's Ma.


    Any additional comments?

    if you can manage the child's voice of Michal Friedman as Jack - which gets to be a bit much in large doses - this book is a good book.
    Emma Donnaghue did a great job of reflecting the complex yet simple life that Jack and his mother led. Jack is incredibly mature in some ways and incredibly naive and immature in others by necessity. She could have made Room a horrible place, with graphic depictions of Jack envisioning his mother's abuse by his captor, but chose to allow his mother to be a protective mother bear, who would not allow her child to see what she lived through. Many topics were handled with sensitivity, yet with the brutal honesty of a child. Well done!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Little Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (2 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Heather Gudenkauf
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (20)
    Story
    (20)

    When the body of a woman is discovered in a local park - with her bewildered four-year-old son sitting beside her - veteran social worker Ellen Moore is called in to assist in the police investigation. Positioned beneath a statue of Leto, the goddess of motherhood, the crime is weighted with meaning and, Ellen discovers, remarkably similar to one from a decade past. Ellen's professional duty is to protect the child, but she's not equipped to contend with a killer. As she races to connect the dots, she knows her time is running out.

    Daryl says: "Introducing a compelling new heroine!"
    "Introducing a compelling new heroine!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Little Lies to be better than the print version?

    Mostly. Kate Rudd is a good narrator, although some of her diction is a little flat. I can't describe it, but it drives me nuts... but thankfully it's rare, and the rest of her performance is wonderful


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    I normally don't like novellas; I honestly think it could have been flushed out a bit better. But Ellen is a compelling character - a devoted mother, a bit obsessive, a social worker who is neither hardened to her work nor beaten down by it.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    I was surprised by the identity of the killer - I guess that's the mark of a good mystery.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Well, clocking in at 2 hours - 15 minutes of which was a preview of "Little Mercies" - it's not hard to do. It was a good read.


    Any additional comments?

    I normally don't like novellas. For some reason they just seem short and lacking in some way. If this book stood on its own, it's OK, I guess, but it's a great introduction to Ellen, a main character in Gudenkauf's full-length "Little Mercies". Hopefully Little Mercies refers back to this book in some way...

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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