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jillian wightman

Member Since 2014

  • 2 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 269 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015

  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Maria Semple
    • Narrated By Kathleen Wilhoite
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she's a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she's a disgrace; to design mavens, she's a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

    Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette's intensifying allergy to Seattle - and people in general - has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands.

    S says: "One of my top 10 listens of the year!"
    "Narrator extraordinaire for hilarious tale!"
    What made the experience of listening to Where'd You Go, Bernadette the most enjoyable?

    The excellent narration brought the individual characters to life. I could picture each of the exchanges in emails and encounters as if they were a movie in my head. Reading this book by myself would never have been so entertaining, even though the writing is perfectly crisp and the story line is really funny. I bought this book without knowing anything about it and look forward to my daily walks just to get further along in the story.

    What was one of the most memorable moments of Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

    Without spoiling anything, the scene where the entire hillside of Bernadette's house slips down to crush her neighbor's durning a fundraiser for their children's school. Who knew that blackberry vines could be the only thing holding up a hillside?

    Which character – as performed by Kathleen Wilhoite – was your favorite?


    Who was the most memorable character of Where'd You Go, Bernadette and why?

    Bernadette! You have to listen to her, especially in the email to her former professor in LA. Just buy this book! It is so entertaining!

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • The Kitchen House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kathleen Grissom
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction.

    B.J. says: "Good, but with reservations"
    "Incredible, vivid story - but depressing"
    What did you love best about The Kitchen House?

    The narrators did an excellent job with all of the characters. It was a joy to listen to, but draining in that not enough good happened to balance the abundance of misery. But, I think perhaps that was the point.

    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Unsettled. But the author's note at the end explains that she couldn't take the story any other place when she was writing it. And that makes sense.

    What does Orlagh Cassidy and Bahni Turpin bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    This book needs to be listened to rather than read. It is so vivid with the characters' voices that despite one depressing event after another I was unable to walk away from it. Their performance brings it all to life. In that respect, it reminded me of "Where'd You Go, Bernadette?" and "Mr. Penumbra's 24-hr Book Store" (although definitely not as light-hearted). It was a 'must listen' rather than a 'must read.'

    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    There were so many that it was an emotional roller coaster. I wanted it to have some brighter moments, some real victories for the characters against the brutality of the beast that owned them. But perhaps was the point - to illustrate what a horrific situation this period in history was for so many.

    Any additional comments?

    This book was really well done as an Audible book, but I was frustrated with the protagonists' inability to manipulate the awful situation to any advantage and then unable to leave it unfinished because I had to know what happened. So, that makes it a good book, (even if it made me itchy listening to it) and I won't forget it for a long time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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