Over the years I have read many Ann Rule books - some I have liked more than others. I think this one has been somehow lost in the shuffle. It is not as emotionally gripping as Small Sacrifices, but is super suspenseful. How did this happen? How could this happen? And how can justice come to pass?
This book seems to have been downplayed whenever anyone mentions Ann Rule, though I am not sure why. The hold that Brad Cunningham had over beautiful, successful - though obviously emotionally dependent - women is astounding. And yet....
Richard Ferone's narration of this was fantastic! I have read several of his novel narrations and have had a hard time with them, but he was pitch-perfect here.
If you like true crime with character study, this book is for you! Well, well worth the credit!
Hilarious, poignant, moving
Ryan Knighton's "Cockeyed." Both have denied, then been forced to embrace, their visual impairment with humour. While both had preconceived ideas about what blind people could do, both have lived productive lives.
Her acting talents are on full display here. She should definitely consider another career as a narrator!
The epilogue, when Nicole was enjoying alone time with Lucia, her youngest baby. It shows that you do not need vision to have quality time with children.
I loved this book. All paths to blindness have different routes, but at their core, we all have had to face anger, denial, frustration. While Nicole's denial was frustrating to behold, and the book was definitely irreverent, it seems that she is finding ways to acknowledge - yet not be consumed by - her blindness.
It started out compulsively readable, but it went into such detail about therapy sessions that it felt like I was reading a psychological case history.
I haven't, but I liked her performance immensely.
I did like some of the complexities of the post-abduction unification ...
I wanted to like this, but it was just all cliched dialogue. I feel like I know where this book is going, and the endless therapy sessions make me cringe with their predictability frustrate me. I find I don't even care about what happened to one of the characters, which is the emotional linchpin....
Save your time and credit.
It deals with family separation and tragedy without being sappy, morose, or otherwise depressing. Both narrators were terrific, and the book is written in such a way as to be a quick read, dealing with some complex issues of race, identity, and the love of a family.
I also loved the integration of faith in both James' and his mother's lives. It is not a conversion story in the sense of "I found Jesus and my life got better, the end"; the faith of James and his mother is more like a journey, an integral though not central focus of the biography.
I liked James' mom for the complexity and wisdom that was described of her... neither saint nor sinner, but complex and strong.
Definitely. I read this book quickly, and will read it again to pick up some of the little thigns you always miss along the way during a book's first reading.
Terrific book! I normally don't like books that use race as a central concept, but I found this book - which, dealing with issues of race, particularly in the 1930s-40s - was so much more than a treatise on race and racial identity.
Well worth the time, credit, or money.
I loved Nicole Baart's strategy of taking a break from Julia's life for a couple of books and then returning there to continue the story several years later. Julia and her little family have stretched and grown, both closer and further apart, in interesting and realistic ways. Johanna Parker's narration was superb in this book, as it was for the previous books, "After the Leaves Fall" and "Summer Snow."
She became Julia DeSmit, her grandmother, even the children. her voices were realistic and not grating, like so many narrators who try and portray children.
yes. Julia's growth as a character, as well as the growth and changes in Parker, Michael, and the children made for wonderful and compelling reading. I also thought the depiction of Julia's wise grandmother was mostly well-done, but it doesn't seem that she struggled with any unforgiveness, impetuousness... perhaps she was just too "saintly" for my taste. This is why I could only give the book 4 stars.
Baart has a knack of putting everyday characters with faults and foibles front and center in her books. They are damaged without being tragic, sympathetic without being sappy.
Great work, well worth the read!
Sometimes narrators overplay or underplay their own performance, but Regina Calcaterra did a wonderful job narrating her story. Her accent and pitch were terrific!
No. There were portions that were very difficult to read, but I wanted to see how Regina and her siblings grew and changed and overcame the brutality and inconsistency of their childhood.
This book was not an easy read, and the portions regarding Regina's law suit got a bit confusing, but it is well worth the time and credit. Regina and her siblings are tough, streetsmart and resilient, doing what they had to do to stay together and make better adulthoods for themselves.
There were very many. Julia DeSmit is growing as a character, as her author/creator is growing as a writer.
I love this narrator. I want to pick up many more of her performances. Her depiction of Julia, her grandmother, and even young Simon was pitch-perfect.
it made me laugh in spots and cry in spots. I felt Julia's understandable pain, anger, confusion and resolution as she grows to embrace and let go of people in her life.
I love Nicole Baart's writing. Her characters are flawed and believable, and faith elements are neither preachy nor glossed over. You would need to read her first book "After the Leaves Fall" to understand much of the build-up in this book, but Baart is certainly an author to watch!
Probably. I loved Johanna Parker's performance - she became Julia. Her performance made a descriptive coming-of-age tale into a pure joy to hear.
I would have to say Julia, just because she was messy and unpredictable. Beyond that, I liked Becca.
I found Julia's choice of a Christmas gift for her grandmother was moving and special, and the ending was bittersweet, leaving many open-ended questions. Thankfully Baart wrote two more books with some of these characters, and I look forward to seeing where Julia's fictional life takes her.
Terrific debut. baart creates Christian fiction that doesn't like the easy answers. I think this is what I like about her writing, because life - and faith journeys - are not that simple.
Probably. I don't know what audiobook another reviewer read, but I thoroughly loved this narration. Paula Christensen did a fantastic job with her characters, and thoroughly owned this personal book. Her pronunciation was wonderful, and the only weak spot was her dialogue portions, which were difficult to differentiate between the characters at points.
I would have to say Clara or Yadira - good girls, bookish, who (in Yadira's case) keep themselves squirreled away and not letting others get too close. I found them complex and likable.
There were many that moved me. I found myself asking many questions during the course of this book, not many of which have answers that will assist the girls in this book, and those like them - children who, through no fault of their own, are in the USA or Canada illegally - or the countries that struggle to find a place for them.
Fantastic and timely book. It was timely in 2009 when it was first published, and it is timely now, when we have people coming from war or poverty from Mexico, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, and many other countries.
It wasn't "enjoyable" in the sense that it was a happy read - in fact, it really and truly was not a happy read - but it was well-written, with real characters that felt real, raw, honest emotions, without the over-flowery pretty language that authors who create such characters seem to use. The narration was spot-on, turning a good book itno an outstanding performance.
yes. It was a difficult read, depicting a family already in crisis going through the necessary messy changes of recovery from a brain injury - the overwhelming expectations of older children and the other parent, the hopes and shattered innocence of the younger children...
I read Meyers' "The Murderer's Daughters" years ago, and I didn't like it then. Perhaps now that I ghave matured - and enjoyed this book so much - I will go back and read it.
I will also check out Susan Bennett's other narrations; if they're half as good as this, time and credits well spent!
Definitely. The narrators were wonderful choices for the characters, depicting the dreams and fears and memories of two people who survived war and love and loss long ago, their marriages to each other and others, the longing... I can't even begin to describe how thrilled I am with these narrator choices.
The depiction of the concentration camps and some of the resistance work... the deprivation... it is not happy reading, but it is unforgetable.
Yes, both... and this one shines above them all.
This is not an easy read... depicting with an artist's precision the love and loss and anger and pain experienced by the main characters. I purchased this book on sale, but it would be well worth the credit.
This is not just a love story, but a story of war, of family, of unforgetable tenderness.
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