This book moved me deeply. I became interested in the book after hearing the author interviewed on National Public Radio. However, after reading the listener reviews on Audible.com, I wondered if I would actually enjoy it. I am so glad I got the book despite the other listener reviews. The book examines depression through a prism of different characters who arrive in that state through differing routes. It is a sensitive, deeply moving description of the impact on four different individuals, as well as on each one's family and friends of the illness and the course it may take. The story does revolve around a friendship between two mature women women and what it means when one cannot meet an urgent need of the other. But it also dissects the paralysis that depression can induce, using the lenses of the different life circumstances that precede the illness. There are no easy, flip answers here! This psychological novel is obviously not for everyone. For me, however, it resonated with experiences in my own life, and I think many others will find it meaningful. I liked the narrator, and felt the tone was appropriate for the subject matter.
I ordered this book based on the number of positive reviews. After reading a bit and skipping through chapters to try to find where the positive stuff is, I am perplexed. The author/reader drone on about numerous physical conditions and the theory that they originate in emotional problems, mostly repressed rage. I skipped forward to the chapter that supposedly contained a treatment plan, and did not find anything I could apply to my life.
I normally find a book that has solid reviews from other readers is engaging. In this case, I am mystified.
An excellent dystopian novel. The story is extreme. A friend read it and said "but this could never happen." But, the story takes a current situation to its possible logical conclusion.
I would not recommend it to a friend, as I feel my friends would not have the patience to listen to it.
It clarified exactly what happened during the budget negotiations during the last two years of President Obama's current term.
I was amazed to learn that the Speaker of the House took more than 24 hiours to respond to a phone call from the President. According to the author, this had never happened in the past. It dramatized the extreme gulf between the two sides. I felt it showed disrespect for the office of the President.
If you want to know what really went on, this book will tell you. It is factual and even-handed in its presentation. There is equal criticism of both sides.
Romantic, exotic, and very well-performed.
The author's description of the characters and the time are vivd. The story alternates suspenseful episodes with more domestic, introspective parts.
Her accents are wonderful. I loved the way she performed the Scottish accents.
Parts of the book are disturbing. The reader must be tolerant of a how very different time had very different manners of relations between the sexes and between parents and children. There is considerable domestic violence. The domestic violence is nevertheless overlaid with passion and attachment in the relationships. At times, I felt as though I was reading a tawdry romance novel, picked up at the supermarket (which is actually something I never read). I still have not completely reconciled how very much I enjoyed the story, and how harshly I judged the behavior of the male characters.
I loved the book, but I have a considerable interest in history, anthropology and the law. I have read the other reviews, and believe they reflect that this book is not for everyone, but is very much for some. I found the details about the legal system pertaining to slavery in Paris, Virginia, and elsewhere in the U.S. VERY interesting. I also loved the detail about the daily life of Sally Hemings, her brother, Thomas Jefferson and his household. For some, an abridged version would probably be a better choice, but I loved all the detail.
I enjoyed this book. I have listened to it more than once because I find it uplifting. It was originally written in 1904. I understand that in the current edition the author updates the language. The narrator is not related to the author.The narrator does a fine job. He obviouslly loves the material, and reads it with feeling and interpretation. It is described as a "classic," and I agree. It is well-written and succinctly conveys a philosophy of life in which we 'make our own reality" through the kinds of thoughts we cultivate. There is resonance with Buddhism, although it is not kown whether the original author was familiar with Buddhism. There is also a thread of what I would describe as "Protestant ethic", i.e., that our circumstances in life reflect our moral fiber; if we blame the world for our problems and act accordingly, this will bring negative consequences in the long run. This was not heavy-handed, however. it certainly reflects in tone the time and culture (England) in which it was written.
There are many modern authors who espouse similar commitment to the belief that we significantly influence our reality by how we choose to think. I found this book very interesting as an historical version of these thoughts. For me, the "jury is out" on to what extent our thoughts control our reality. I am open to it. This is a very charming, encouraging work that is enjoyable to listen to.
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