This book focuses on the relationship between a damaged but determined young woman, the grandmother who raised her, and the Hollywood types that she longs to become a part of. The story held my interest, but I wanted the "flashbacks" to move a little faster. The pitfalls of romantic coming-of-age rang true, mostly. I felt the ending dragged out a bit... but was glad to have the story come full circle. Olivia Thrilby sounded authentic as the narrator's voice.
I love Claire Danes and took a chance on this novel because she was the narrator. It wasn't enough to salvage what I found to be a completely distasteful story. I understand dystopian literature and I think I understand the message of this novel, but there were times when I wondered out loud what horrible things happened in the life of the author to make her create such a story. The descriptions of encounters designed for reproductive purposes; the punishment described in gory detail; the willingness of the heroine to go along with what was happening to her... I'm sure I was meant to explore these themes more deeply and let them speak to the dangers of our society, but honestly, I was so turned off by the story, I could hardly finish it. Claire Danes' narration got better as the story went along, but the writing was so stilted, I'm not sure anyone could have made this an enjoyable experience. So glad it's over so I can move on to something else.
I wanted so badly to like this book but I just couldn't. After a few stops and starts, I finally made myself listen to the whole thing. I found the characters somewhat unlikeable, and in places, the story tedious. And then, toward the end, I just got mad at the turns the plot took. The narration was fine, although so quiet in places it made listening in the car difficult. Other reviews seem very positive so I'm not sure why it's not clicking for me but I just plain didn't like it and was actually glad it was over so I could remove it from my listening device and feel like I got my money's worth.
This was one of those books that made me sit in the car and listen, wear my headphones all the way into the office, and listen more during every bathroom break. I knew the subject matter would be difficult but the good reviews drew me in and I am so glad. The characters are so real I can picture each in my head. The slaves are depicted as compassionate, intelligent, and determined. The "white" characters are multi-dimensional and deal with their own difficulties. With every twist of the story, I was more invested in the outcome. The narrators both did a wonderful job in voices that seemed true to the characters they depicted. The climax was heartbreaking but left room for hope. I was so disappointed when the book ended... I may have to go back and read it again.
I can't remember why I ordered this book in the first place... perhaps a sale? Anyway, it was a bad pick for me. I enjoy escaping into a good story but this one was so annoying and all over the place. I disliked most of the characters with the exception of Tobias, with whom we barely scratch the surface. The rules of the "magic" seemed like the author just made it up as she went and then broke her own rules. The main character was silly and I just wanted her to go away. The narration was not my style either. I had trouble sticking with this book through the end and was glad when it was over.
Although not outstanding or particularly memorable, I did enjoy the story and it kept my attention during the commute. However, it wasn't the kind of book that made me plug in the iPhone as soon as I got home to continue the listen. The narrator did a nice job although I found the men's dialog a bit strange.
My husband and I listened to this book during a road trip and loved it! The book is divided into four parts. The first describes the end of the Civil War and sets the stage for the sentiment around Lincoln's assassination. The middle of the book describes the plot against Lincoln and his movements leading up to the fateful evening. The story of what happened after the actual shooting is something I had not heard before. And the last part describes the chase to capture and bring to justice the conspirators.
The story reads like a suspense thriller rather than a history lesson, and yet I learned a lot about this traumatic period of American history. Bill O’Reilly tells the story without judgment against the union or the confederacy. He does a great job with the narration, too, despite some jarring, repeated mispronunciations that surprised us (hence the 4 stars on performance... otherwise it would have been 5). But I would recommend this story to anyone who enjoys not just history, but also suspense thrillers and detective stories. Great job, Mr. O’Reilly!
I normally avoid dog stories because I can't stand the inevitable sad moments when we have to say goodbye. This book was different... although one particular goodbye scene stirred the emotions a bit, the others were sweet and matter-of-fact. That fact that this dog has four lives helped. I loved the story as told from the perspective of the dog, and how he achieved his ultimate purpose in the end. I recommend this as a great "listen" for all dog lovers!
I enjoyed listening to this book, a story of three sisters and their father falling in and out of love over the course of a summer. Some things about the story were a little too "pat"-- some plot themes seemed familiar and repetitive with other things I've read or movies I've seen. There were some laugh-out-loud moments and a few moments when I felt like I was waiting for something to happen. I did not enjoy the narration; Ms. White's voice a little too "arresting" and sometimes just comes off as tired. But overall, an enjoyable summer "read."
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