Yes this book is beautifully written and nicely narrated, and the story is engaging. In book form I would have enjoyed it, as I would have been free to skim over some of the incredibly exhausting details. Trapped in my car with the audio version, however, this option was not available. There is just far too much detail and far too much time spent on matters that are largely irrelevant to the plot. For some readers who enjoy the journey more than the destination, this is a positive thing I know but for me, way too frustrating. I thought I would tear my hair out in the final couple of hours, waiting for the end to come, and having to endure endless amounts of descriptive prose. As I said, beautifully written, no denying that, and the author has a truly impressive ability to paint a mental picture, but for me, just too long.
I was really enjoying this book until it hit the "hidden theme" which has already been revealed here by others. I found this annoying, because frankly I would have avoided the book had I known about it which is probably why it is kept hidden in the publisher's synopsis. I stuck with it, however, mainly because I didn't have another book on reserve and had a long drive ahead of me. I really don't know what to think about how the three stories panned out, central theme wise. You can be the judge of that. However, I will say that the characters were interesting and the other aspects of the stories were engaging and entertaining. I agree with one of the other reviewers about the Brooke story - it did seem like something was missing and this must be the plot line mentioned in the synopsis that never materialized. It must have been edited out, which for me is probably not a bad thing because I like to think that there are marriages where the partners are happy and fully committed. Anyway, on balance, I would say that the book was not bad but not great.
I really enjoyed this book, until its abrupt ending. It was very well written and completely relateable, with well drawn characters and amusing dialogue. I was looking forward to hearing how the main character was going to resolve her dilemma, when the book unexpectedly drew to a close. I guess that's why the book is called "out-takes" - I get it now. Very disappointing!
Perhaps I have been overly influenced by reading Michael Connelly's Harry Bosch series of detective stories, but I found this book to be almost laughable. The narrator's youthful, eager voice, while very pleasant, sounds completely wrong for a police lieutenant, and the dialogue is so sanitized (there is never a lapse into profanity - even the supposedly hardened police detectives say "what the heck") I just could not take this book seriously. As others have said, this is more a romance story than a police procedural, so if that is what you are after and you prefer an airbrushed version of life as a police officer and a politician (and there is nothing wrong with that), then this book is for you. As for me, I could not be bothered to finish it.
Loved the characters and the story. Touching but real. Characters very engaging. Narration excellent. I feel like moving to South Carolina. Made me think about a few things too in terms of why we do the things we do. Read this book.
I found the writing style very difficult to tolerate. The story was interesting, but the journey to get there was far too long winded, with lots of mind numbing detail. The lack of emotion in the writing (and hence the narration) may have been purposely done to illustrate the fact that all the characters were subject to very strict controls on their lives, but I found it very distracting. And there has been enough said about the swallowing etc. - also very distracting. I don't recommend this book.
What a compelling book! While tough to read the very graphic descriptions of physical and mental abuse, this book really transports the reader to the time and place. The plot was pleasingly unpredictable, in accordance with what real life has to offer. A very moving work, with absolutely fabulous narration.
I really enjoyed this book. The two female characters were interesting and credible, though I found myself relating much more to one than the other. My only complaint is regarding the male character, who did not have the benefit of a first voice perspective and therefore remained a mystery in terms of his motivation. But maybe the motivation for this kind of behavior is always somewhat of a mystery anyway, even to the subject. Nevertheless, a very satisfying (audio) read. Narration top notch as well.
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