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ilene

palm desert, CA, United States | Member Since 2014

10
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 24 reviews
  • 90 ratings
  • 711 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2015
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  • The Invisible Bridge

    • UNABRIDGED (27 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Julie Orringer
    • Narrated By Arthur Morey
    Overall
    (382)
    Performance
    (254)
    Story
    (249)

    Julie Orringer's astonishing first novel, eagerly awaited since the publication of her heralded best-selling short-story collection, How to Breathe Underwater, is a grand love story set against the backdrop of Budapest and Paris, an epic tale of three brothers whose lives are ravaged by war, and the chronicle of one family's struggle against the forces that threaten to annihilate it.

    Howard says: "The Critics Got in Right"
    "A good character development"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book builds the characters so that when WWII comes about you are going through their struggles with them. I was a little disappointed with the ending but the reader did a good job bringing out the personalities of the characters. It is sad and depressing and a difficult subject to read but the author did an amazing job.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Husband's Secret

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5741)
    Performance
    (5047)
    Story
    (5061)

    Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret - something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive....

    Margaret says: "Escape to the land down under..."
    "Very amusing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At first I kept reading because the book was supposed to be discussed in my book club. I like all the characters discussed and how their lives wound round each other. The book reminds one of all the mistakes we make as human beings and how we still find within the desire to love one another.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Anthony Marra
    • Narrated By Colette Whitaker
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (430)
    Performance
    (386)
    Story
    (389)

    Anthony Marra transports us to a snow-covered village in Chechnya, where eight-year-old Havaa watches from the woods as Russian soldiers abduct her father in the middle of the night, accusing him of aiding Chechen rebels. Across the road their lifelong neighbor and family friend Akhmed has also been watching, fearing the worst when the soldiers set fire to Havaa’s house. But when he finds her hiding in the forest with a strange blue suitcase, he makes a decision that will forever change their lives. He will seek refuge at the abandoned hospital where the sole remaining doctor, Sonja Rabina, treats the wounded.

    Ryan says: "A bleak, beautiful debut"
    "Very very sad"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is must read for anyone interested in Russian history and the tragedies of was. It is a heartbreaking story.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Laura Lane McNeal
    • Narrated By January Lavoy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (434)
    Performance
    (392)
    Story
    (391)

    When Ibby Bell's father dies unexpectedly in the summer of 1964, her mother unceremoniously deposits Ibby with her eccentric grandmother Fannie and throws in her father's urn for good measure. Fannie's New Orleans house is like no place Ibby has ever been - and Fannie, who has a tendency to end up in the local asylum - is like no one she has ever met. Fortunately, Fannie's black cook, Queenie, and her smart-mouthed daughter, Dollbaby, take it upon themselves to initiate Ibby into the ways of the South both its grand traditions and its darkest secrets.

    Sudi says: "Tale of Old-New Orleans Well Paced"
    "A surprise find"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This novel was picked up because I wanted a light read before going to New Orleans for a vacation. It was a wonderful book so full of southern culture.

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

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Cynthia Bond
    • Narrated By Cynthia Bond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (362)
    Performance
    (311)
    Story
    (309)

    Ephram Jennings has never forgotten the beautiful girl with the long braids running through the piney woods of Liberty, their small East Texas town. Young Ruby, “the kind of pretty it hurt to look at,” has suffered beyond imagining, so as soon as she can, she flees suffocating Liberty for the bright pull of 1950s New York. Ruby quickly winds her way into the ripe center of the city - the darkened piano bars and hidden alleyways of the Village - all the while hoping for a glimpse of the red hair and green eyes of her mother.

    Beth Anne says: "disturbing yet beautiful"
    "Dark secrets"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book describes the underbelly of the devil and all the cruelties you can find in life. Facing the demons two people find a way to allow love into their lives.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl on the Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By Paula Hawkins
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett, Louise Brealey, India Fisher
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (23778)
    Performance
    (19758)
    Story
    (19747)

    Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. "Jess and Jason," she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good? Compulsively readable, The Girl on the Train is an emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller and an electrifying debut.

    L. O. Pardue says: ""Rear Window" Meets "Gone Girl""
    "What a wild ride"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not giving this away. It starts out slow but picks up speed. It was hard to put down .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Ocean at the End of the Lane: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Neil Gaiman
    • Narrated By Neil Gaiman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6196)
    Performance
    (5688)
    Story
    (5689)

    A middle-aged man returns to his childhood home to attend a funeral. He is drawn to the farm at the end of the road, where, when he was seven, he encountered a most remarkable girl, Lettie Hempstock. Forty years earlier, a man committed suicide in a stolen car at this farm at the end of the road. Like a fuse on a firework, his death lit a touchpaper. The darkness was unleashed, something scary and thoroughly incomprehensible to a little boy. And Lettie - magical, comforting, wise beyond her years - promised to protect him, no matter what.

    Cynthia says: "Shadows Dissolved in Vinegar"
    "Not for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Ocean at the End of the Lane?

    I usually like fantasy in fiction. But this story was too vague and really I was sorry I wasted my time finishing the book. There is nothing to pull it together or give you insight into why the magic changed the mans life. I would stay away from the pond he calls an ocean. This little story does not fill an ocean.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Orphan Train: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Christina Baker Kline
    • Narrated By Jessica Almasy, Suzanne Toren
    Overall
    (6737)
    Performance
    (5908)
    Story
    (5929)

    Penobscot Indian Molly Ayer is close to "aging out" out of the foster care system. A community-service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping Molly out of juvie and worse.... As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly learns that she and Vivian aren’t as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance.

    Kathi says: "Moving story of sharing and transformation."
    "Outstanding subject matter"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Orphan Train to be better than the print version?

    This is about an interesting period in American history. There was a real effort to deal with orphans and as the book demonstrates we as a society, have made little progress. I found the story interesting but unrealistic. The 90 year old woman only described the part of her life relevant for the book. The foster child was not well developed. I thought the read was ok.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Sycamore Row

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By John Grisham
    • Narrated By Michael Beck
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10735)
    Performance
    (9634)
    Story
    (9639)

    Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County's most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? Had chemotherapy and painkillers affected his ability to think clearly?

    Brock says: "Grisham at his best (again)"
    "Interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    While I finished this book I cannot recommend this book to anyone except fans of the author. The subject matter was very sad but the trial and investigation were too long and drawn out and the character development was weak.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12393)
    Performance
    (11221)
    Story
    (11248)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "Must read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This is the best book I read in so long. It is among my few favorites. Enjoy and give yourself a treat


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Moonlight Mile

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Dennis Lehane
    • Narrated By Jonathan Davis
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (314)
    Performance
    (178)
    Story
    (179)

    Amanda McCready was four years old when she vanished from a Boston neighborhood 12 years ago. Kenzie and Gennaro risked everything to find the young girl - only to orchestrate her return to a neglectful mother and a broken home. Now Amanda is sixteen - and gone again. Haunted by their consciences, Kenzie and Gennaro revisit the case that troubled them the most. Their search leads them into a world of identity thieves, methamphetamine dealers, and more....

    Richard Delman says: "A brilliant book. His best by far."
    "Now worth the listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I recently heard the author, Dennis Lehane, speak at a literary society and wanted to listen to the book badly. He is a wonderful speaker. The book jumps around to too many different scenerios and never lands on its feet. The beginning was OK but the middle and ending were uneventful. Recommend his other books but not this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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