Elizabeth Woodville a strong, ambitious commoner marries Plantagent King Edward for love. The York family featured in this book is part of Gregory’s “Cousins War” series exploring the War of the Roses from different sides. This was my first book in the series and while I enjoyed learning a little history while being entertained, I won’t read any of the others immediately; maybe at a later date. All Philippa Gregory books I’ve read are interesting, a little fact mixed with fiction, drama, intrigue, and love interests blended in a standard formula. You can enjoy and multitask simultaneously. Narrator delivers a solid performance with strong voice for Elizabeth and moves seamlessly between other characters.
Starz miniseries “The White Queen” airs in August exploring the stories of Elizabeth, Margaret Beaufort, and Anne Neville. Listening has given me enough background to prep and hopefully enjoy the new series. Reports thus far give the drama good marks and name Rebecca Ferguson as a possible breakout star. This book was worth my credit.
Fun story of funky, flighty Louisa undertaking a new and temporary position caring for a quadra paraplegic. Will lived a full, exciting life until a freak, ironic accident confined him to the chair. The plotline is fairly predictable, but worth your time for a fun and easy listen.
What I liked most was the surprising complexity of the characters. Lou/Louisa was open and honest about her frustrations of caring for an "ass" as she calls him and displays a mixture of emotions: easy-going, frustrated, complacent, and spirited. Will was stubborn, pragmatic and honest with his assessment of Lou and the situation, class system, and more details I won't give away. Moyes paints both characters with rich detail. I could picture Will down to his shirt, haircut, and even the smell of his skin ( I know that sounds creepy) but enjoyed the experience and even shed a tear at the end.
Jo Jo Moyes latest book, "The Girl You Left Behind" is an excellent read.
Reading this book in 2013, I understand why it sat atop the best seller list for so long several years ago. This is a sparse tale of a Dad trudging along a barren landscape with a shopping cart containing minimal supplies and son in tow. They persevere and plow ahead searching for food and shelter, forever in motion, avoiding unthinkable dangers. This is a gritty and stark story.
Enjoyed this book for the well thought out characters, especially the father struggling to keep his son safe while showing compassion and strength. The biggest struggle he faces is keeping his humanity and acting as a moral compass. The narrator fits the character as gruff, exhausted, and strong. Excellent read.
After reading in the 80s and now again to help my daughter with her homework, I view this book differently. I appreciate Steinbeck's straightforward, succinct writing style using the man versus nature theme here and everywhere.
Kino and Juana search desperatly for a way to save their child and the pearl seems like a benevolent gift from nature. The townspeople, doctor, and traders become envious and attempt to cheat and/or steal from Kino as he seeks to obtain a fair price and better his family's situation.
Artfully written, "The Pearl" set the precedent for many stories and movie plots to follow (watch, "A Simple Plan" if you enjoyed this book). My current take sides with Kino's hope to improve his station in life and I don't believe he's greedy to do so. If you haven't read this classic, the ending is tragic and satisfying provoking you to question your and others' motives. Could listen to this one again and again and probably will.
Lauren DeStefano wrote her frist trilogy, "The Chemical Garden" and I enjoyed the ideas and storylines. There were inconsistencies and disconnects, but liked it enough to try out her latest offering and was sorely disappointed.
First book in yet another dystopian trilogy with arranged marriages; assigned jobs/roles; and a corrupt clandestine government waiting to be overthrown. Please stop the merry-go-round, I want to get off. For every "Perks of Being a Wallflower" or "Fault in Our Stars" young adult triumphs, you must wade through a sea of mediocrity like "Perfect Ruin" and while I won't give up the search, I will warn other travelers. Beware: predictable, farcical, and redundant ahead.
The first novel introduced townie-witchy girl, Blue and her eccentric family and the Ravenwood privileged boys working together to locate an ancient king on the lay line. The book seemed to serve the main purpose of setting up for book 2 and 3 for yet another trilogy. While Steifvater's writing is stellar, I found the first book predictable and was apprehensive about spending a credit on book 2. Glad I did.
Steifvater opens up each character, delving into their motivations, desires, and actions; expounding beautifully, breathing life into Blue and the boys. While I enjoyed the writing and characters, wasn't engrossed in the dream manipulation and/or search for Hightower; all background accompaniment to me.
If you enjoy YA fiction, check out Maggie Steifvater's other selections. She's a talented young writer with a bright future who appreciates and responds to her fans.
To Audible Staff:
Will Patton is not a good fit for YA narration. If any Audible editor reads this review (wishful thinking) then for the love of all that is good and holy in the world work with him on book 3! It may be inconceivable to usurp Patton with a new narrator at this point, so coach him on the female voices. Aunt Persephone sounds like a stoned Minnie Mouse and Kazinsky sounded like a New Yorker Yogi the Bear. Help me, help you.
Positive reviews in Entertainment Weekly magazine always spark my interest to listen to said book on Audible. Usually spot on, not so for this one. The overall idea of the dead coming back at the same age, suspended in time, yet in the future is intriguing. If you watched "The 4400" on the USA Network in years past, you won't be surprised by the idea, but the two cannot compare. I cared about those characters and wanted to walk away from the farmer, his wife, and Jacob, but stayed for a visit waiting for some dramatic or even mildly interesting explanation that never came to pass.
Plodding along, "The Returned" introduces a newish idea and causes us to question our prejudices along with how society treats those who are different from the norm. I did enjoy the repartee between the farmer and man from the bureau. Mott is a good writer; story just sluggish and unsatisfying. Save your credit for another book.
A young Haitian girl is born on the same day her mother passes and raised by a father who wasn't sure he wanted to be a parent from the start. While he loves her, he grapples with the decision to let the village fabric shop owner keep her as she has lost her own daughter and can provide more opportunities than the poor fisherman.
Beautiful, brief, and honest novel explores the question of what it means to be a parent from mother's, father's, and a friend's (who ran away from fatherhood only to be smacked into reality later) point of view. The beginning was well written, but the middle diverged course with an inconsequential character loosely threaded to the story. The last 1/4 of the book returned to original form with a satisfying ending.
Beautifully written novel of Sophie, a French wife and her sister left to cook for Germans in occupied Paris in WWI. The portrait painted by Sophie's husband, Edourd, captures a moment when she discovers she loves and desires him for the first time, creating a captivating piece of artwork. As she struggles to stay brave for her family; keep up hope for Edourd; entertain monsters in her own home and place of business; she shows Herculean strength and fights to maintain her spirit and dignity.
Present day Liz, received, "The Girl You Left Behind" as a honeymoon present from her now deceased husband. She calls it her favorite possession and feels a deep connection with Sophie.
Both characters are as different as night and day, disparate, yet intriguing in their own way. When I read books told from two different points of view and time periods, I often find myself liking one more than the other. This was not the case, finally. I couldn't wait to hear Sophie's lilting, lovely French accent and was equally waiting to tag along with British Liz during her quest to move on and hold on to Sophie. Moyes created characters with depth you cared about and relationships you felt with intensity.
One of the best books I've listened to in months. Excellent read, and don't call it chic lit!
Friends raved about this one and reviewers gave it 5 stars so I took a chance. Beautiful Ruins was not for me. Good premise adding a backstory to the Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor firestorm making Cleopatra, with new characters. Parts were entertaining, but overall, the different points of view were disjointed, not flowing back together and characters were not developed beyond surface aspects. The ideas were present yet not explored with enough detail, creating real people you cared about. The ending was rushed.
No, not quoting Macbeth in comparison to this work of historical fiction, merely trying to illustrate how repetition consumes this novel. If you've read several of Philippa Gregory's works, you know the recipe of a little fact; a lot of conjecture; and a great deal of restating the same ideas. These works are B+ romantic novels and I'm not embarrassed to admit I enjoy some of her books.
It doesn't put me off how she takes leeway with some facts. Having read several of her Tudor novels, I was empowered to read and research material on the subjects on my own. Enjoyed the journey to discovery.
I had high hopes wanting to know about Henry VIII's mother and the childhood of the four children. Minimal pages are devoted to the offspring and quick references to Henry's gluttony of food and playing games were given paucity of attention. The beginning was interesting (even if not historically correct) and I sympathized with Elizabeth being trapped in a loveless marriage. However, the next 3/4 of the book regurgitated the same idea of how Henry VII was a usurper and his paranoia of chasing the possibility a true York king coming to take his throne were churned out superfluously.
Greggory should take her time and get back to the originality and fervent storytelling from her earlier novels instead of churning out books so quickly. Ignore the big paychecks for quantity and take time for quality.
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