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Daryl

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

ratings
183
REVIEWS
178
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
12
HELPFUL VOTES
123

  • Sisters in War: A Story of Love, Family, and Survival in the New Iraq

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Christina Asquith
    • Narrated By Miriam Laube
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    In Sisters in War, journalist Christina Asquith tells the story of the Iraq war and its aftermath through the eyes of four women who survived it: Iraqi sisters Zia and Nunu, US reservist Heather Coyne, and Washington, D.C. women's rights activist Manal Omar. Asquith weaves their fascinating stories together to create a larger picture of women's experience in Iraq during the occupation....

    Daryl says: "Sisters, strangers, friends"
    "Sisters, strangers, friends"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about this story?

    I really enjoyed the different backgrounds of the women - conservatives, liberals, Americans, Iraqis, progressives, traditionalists, and all the stripes in between. It depicts, with emotion and historical accuracy, the messiness of Iraq since the US occupation.


    Any additional comments?

    This book, while dealing almost primarily with the struggles of women, should not be read solely by women. The history of Iraq told from the point of view of two Iraqi sisters, a Muslim progressive activist, and a liberal soldier, is descriptive, compassionate, and riveting.

    The narrator is dramatic, sometimes overly so, but does a passable job of differentiating the voices of the players; the occasional whiny bits are grating, but this narrator reads most of the story with feeling and expression.

    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
    (6)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    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
    (4480)
    Performance
    (1958)
    Story
    (1948)

    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
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    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
  • Remember Me Like This: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Bret Anthony Johnston
    • Narrated By Mark Bramhall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (24)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    Four years have passed since Justin Campbell’s disappearance, a tragedy that rocked the small town of Southport, Texas. Did he run away? Was he kidnapped? Did he drown in the bay? As the Campbells search for answers, they struggle to hold what’s left of their family together. Then, one afternoon, the impossible happens. The police call to report that Justin has been found only miles away, in the neighboring town, and, most important, he appears to be fine. Though the reunion is a miracle, Justin’s homecoming exposes the deep rifts that have diminished his family.

    Dana says: "Gripping"
    "Gripping tale of pain, justice and recovery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Remember Me Like This again? Why?

    Yes. This book deals with the complexities of a family whose oldest child is kidnapped and is recovered, alive, 4 years later. All members have jagged edges of guilt, hope, and defeat, both regarding the search for Justin and the aftermath. All question what they could have done differently, and feelings of hatred and anger toward the man who took Justin away.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I liked that it didn't have a happy ending, but there were glimmers of hope amidst some of the mess left behind.


    Which character – as performed by Mark Bramhall – was your favorite?

    I don't really have one, but Mark Bramhall is a fantastic narrator, and his performance shines in the slow, humid descriptions of a Texas summer.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Chaperone

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Laura Moriarty
    • Narrated By Elizabeth McGovern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2113)
    Performance
    (1864)
    Story
    (1850)

    >The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both. Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a 15-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip.

    Amanda says: "Perfection."
    "4.5 stars if I could!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Chaperone rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Quite high. I enjoyed Moriarty's debut "The Center of Everything" immensely, but was disappointed by her subsequent books. This book brings the changing social customs of the early 1920s to life with grace, complexity, and humor. It took about an hours to get in to Elizabeth McGovern's performance, but once I got into it, I allowed her soothing, expressive diction carry me along.


    What other book might you compare The Chaperone to and why?

    "The Other Typist", at least for New York Period details.


    Which character – as performed by Elizabeth McGovern – was your favorite?

    Oh, her dialogue was amazing! Joseph, Cora, Louise were all drawn with great emotion, accent, expression.


    Any additional comments?

    I agree with many reviews that Cora's backstory was much more compelling than Louise's present-day one, but there is only so much fiction Moriarty could create for a well-known figure.
    This is a welcome addition to my historical fiction library.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Looking Through a Keyhole

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 20 mins)
    • By Julia Spencer
    • Narrated By Diana Andrade
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (6)
    Story
    (6)

    Julia Spencer takes the reader into her dreams, her fears, her hopes, her deepest private thoughts, and her most candid responses to her shrinking visual world. With humor and a feisty yet surprisingly gentle attitude, she begins to accept vision loss, welcoming her guide dog, Irene, into her life and discovering through that keyhole-sized remnant of vision a deeper understanding of her husband and family and world.

    Holly says: "Intense, clear and unself-pitying memior of change"
    "The way we see ourselves is the way other see us"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Julia, obviously, but the others in her world - her husband, children, grandchildren, trainers at the Seeing Eye... Many of the characters who populate her world are kind and understanding, and wrestle with the implications of vision loss. As someone who has been visually impaired all her life, I can relate surprisingly well to a woman who led a full primarily-sighted life into her fifties. Some of her comments and self-discoveries hvae taken some of my own questions, filed away the jagged edges, and given me my own perspectives and questions.


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

    I haven't. She was a wonderful narrator choice. Another reviewer has stated that it was like having Julia Spencer narrate her own thoughts to me, and I echo that sentiment.


    Any additional comments?

    I loved the descriptions of guide dog training. Having lived it myself, I could relate immensely to it, but I found that it took over almost 1/3 of the book, which was quite a bit longer than necessary. Beyond that, this book was a great look at vision loss... but it's more than that. It's a journey of self-discovery, well worth the read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Secret Piano: From Mao's Labor Camps to Bach's Goldberg Variations

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Zhu Xiao-Mei
    • Narrated By Nancy Wu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (36)
    Performance
    (33)
    Story
    (33)

    Zhu Xiao-Mei was three years old when she saw her first piano. Soon after, the child began to play, developing quickly into a prodigy who immersed herself in the work of such classical masters as Bach and Brahms. Her astonishing proficiency earned her a spot at the Beijing Conservatory at the tender age of 11, where she began laying the foundation for a promising career as a concert pianist. But in 1966, with the onset of the Cultural Revolution, life as she knew it ended abruptly.

    Irene says: "Hard to Put This Book Down"
    "The eternal fight for Music"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Secret Piano?

    When a piano - a PIANO - was smuggled into a Chinese labor camp! It was astounding!


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

    Yes! It was a riveting listen, making a long bus trip go by much quicker than it otherwise would have. It is not an easy read, but lest we forget...


    Any additional comments?

    This book is definitely very musically technical, but you don't need to be familiar with all things musical to appreciate the struggle present under an oppressive government regime.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Alice to Nowhere

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Evan Green
    • Narrated By Richard Aspel
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (3)
    Story
    (3)

    Once a fortnight, Fred Crawford drives his battered truck on the toughest mail run in the world - across sand dunes, salt pans and the fearsome Stony Desert. For the men and women of the remote cattle stations on the way, Fred's visit is a welcome diversion, especially when he brings a new nursing sister for the tiny mission hospital at Birdsville. But trouble also arrives.

    Daryl says: "Aspell stumbles on this one"
    "Aspell stumbles on this one"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you’ve listened to books by Evan Green before, how does this one compare?

    I think I would've enjoyed this book in print, but I can only compare it to Clancy's Crossing, also narrated by Aspell. CC is MUCH better than ATN, particularly in narration.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Not sure. Aspell's dialogue in particular was poor. I am starting to think Clancy's Crossing is an exceptionally good performance, but Alice to Nowhere, with so many Australian characters, was read so poorly that I couldn't continue past the first 1/4 of the book.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Malala Yousafzai
    • Narrated By Archie Panjabi
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (644)
    Performance
    (587)
    Story
    (589)

    When the Taliban took control of the Swat Valley in Pakistan, one girl spoke out. Malala Yousafzai refused to be silenced and fought for her right to an education. On Tuesday, October 9, 2012, when she was fifteen, she almost paid the ultimate price. She was shot in the head at point-blank range while riding the bus home from school, and few expected her to survive. Instead, Malala's miraculous recovery has taken her on an extraordinary journey from a remote valley in northern Pakistan to the halls of the United Nations in New York.

    Jan says: "So much more than expected..."
    "A brave girl from a brave family"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What made the experience of listening to I Am Malala the most enjoyable?

    I was fascinated from the first time I heard a snippet of Malala's speech to the UN last year. When I heard that there was a book about her experience, I eagerly waited to finish my backlog of books before purchasing it.
    Malala describes, in simple words, growing up in Pakistan, the rise of the Taliban, culminating in her shooting on her way home from school.

    I have heard Malala on interviews and enjoyed them immsensely; however, after Malala read the prologue to this book, I am glad that Archie Panjabi was chosen to read it. She incorporates a refinement and diction that Malala seems to lack from her reading, and she channels the energy that Malala presents in radio interviews.


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

    No. I haven't even looked for them. Perhaps this is a good thing. her dialogue is fairly weak, so anything beyond this biography would always be compared to I am Malala.


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

    Yes. It is compelling and describes both the personal and geopolitical circumstances that led up to Malala's shooting and its aftermath. The writing in some places is clunky and disjointed, but that seems to add to the innocence of Malala's childhood growing up in an beautiful yet unstable area.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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