I fought getting this book or audio book ??? wasn???t sure I wanted to relive the mid 60???s again??? but glad I did the audio book. I thoroughly enjoyed all the narrators they were excellent especially evoking the dialect - especially Mini. For a 1st time novel I felt Stockett did a marvelous job of evoking time and place, from the food to the weather to of course the dialect. Being from the North the story was in some aspects an eye opener. I did feel the book was a little longer than it needed to be ??? it got a little tiring about 2/3rds the way through. The ending left me a little hanging ??? I wish Stockett wrapped up Skeeter???s story a little better and what might have happened to the others.
I did enjoy "The Help" and would recommend it to others.
The story is centers around 2 people mourning a loss of a child. Five years earlier Julia lost her daughter in a tragic car accident and at the same time Roberto lost his daughter illegally crossing the Mexican border in the Arizona dessert. When Julia agrees to house sit for her aunt and uncle on their sprawling lemon estate she encounters Roberto, lemon orchard manager. As their relationship grows, each shares their story of loss and sadness but now are finding some happiness with each other. Julia becomes determined to learn the final faith of Roberto’s daughter Rosa.
I have forgotten how much I love Luanne Rice’s writing – The Lemon Orchard is no exception. The Lemon Orchard is a heartrending and beautifully written novel – you can’t help to get emotionally involved with each characters pain and sadness yet having hope that they will find happiness.
Ms Rice does not shy aware from some difficult subjects; the death of a child and immigration laws – it certainly made me thinks about the later in a different light.
This was an audiobook and the narrator by Blair Brown who did an exceptional job bring the story to life. Highly recommend this book whether you read or list to it.
Footsteps in Time: A Time Travel Fantasy (The After Cilmeri Series Book 1) (Audio book Version) Written by: Sarah Woodbury and Narrated by: Laurel Schroeder
This was a free audio book from the author, Ms Woodbury ask if I would review.
Prior to reading this book I read Daughter of Time: A Time Travel Romance: After Cilmeri, Book 0.5 – this book was about Meg and her daughter Anna that accidentally slips through time and meets up with Llywelyn, the Prince of Wales. This particular book centers on a relationship between Meg and Prince Llewlyn, and just as Meg is about to give birth to their child she pops back to her time.
Footsteps in Time starts when 2 teenagers, Anna (age 17) and her brother David (age 14) arrives on December of 1282 and interrupts the murder of Llywelyn ap Gruffydd. As the story progresses David will learn that Llywelyn is his father and somehow no matter what happens to David. There are several incidents when David gets in some tight predicaments including meeting up with Edward – David always comes away unscathed. At some point Anna marries and Meg arrives and marries Llywelyn.
Yes, I know this is a fantasy but it got a little ridiculous when David finds the wrecked vehicle that he and Meg arrived back in time with, it has been sitting the for 2 years, it is wrecked but still starts and he is able to drive away loaded with 8 knights.
This audio book was narrated Laurel Schroeder. I found her extremely difficult to listen to – she would read a sentence very fast then there would be a looooonnng pause and then she would read another sentence very fast then there would be a looooonnng pause – it was very choppy and irritating.
I highly doubt I will continue with this series – I found the time period is one I have no interest in and this particularly series rather childishly written.
Sorry Ms Woodbury the best I can given you is 2 stars
The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs is the 1st book of the Bella Vista Chronicles. This is a story of 2 sisters, unknown to each other that are brought together when Magnus, their grandfather and patriarch of Bella Vista falls and lands in a coma.
Tess Delaney, works in the big city for the Sheffield Auction House where she finds lost family treasures and reunites them with their owners. Tess grew up with her grandmother in Ireland knowing nothing about her father and with a mother that was always traveling. But Tess’s life is about to change when Dominic Rossi arrives at the Sheffield Auction House with news that the grandfather she has never known is in a coma and she is named in his will to inherit half of Bella Vista, an apple orchard in a town called Archangel. Her half sister Isabel Johansen will inherit the other half of Bella Vista. But Bella Vista is in financial trouble and about to be foreclosed on.
Ms Wiggs weaves a lovely story of 2 sisters, of new love, of a mother and daughter reuniting and family secrets. As Tess begins to discover a simpler way of life she begins to uncover the mysterious life of her grandfather and his escape from Nazi occupied Denmark and the treasured artifact that could save Bella Vista from foreclosure.
Although the story was predicable I thoroughly enjoyed it, I really did not find any of the character annoying and looking forward to book 2 of the Bella Vista Chronicles - The Beekeeper's Ball.
The audio book was narrated by Christina Traister and on the whole, I enjoyed her narration I found at times I had a hard time distinguishing between Tess and Isabel
If you have picked up The Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley expecting it to be one of her charming time travel romances novels you are in for a surprise. The story revolves around 28 year old Emily Braden who is convinced by her errant cousin Harry to go on holiday to the French town of Chinon, France where a young and beautiful Queen Isabella once rumored to have hidden a great treasure. Ahh but there is another story of a lost treasure and another beautiful Isabella – hidden in a medieval chateau or in the maze of ancient tunnels underneath the streets of Chinon – and Harry has gone missing Emily begins to fear that Harry might be more than just delayed. As Emily tries to find her cousin, she becomes more aware of some strange tension, old hostilities, new friend and loves among her fellow guest.
I found it took a bit to get into the story but once the web of secrets started to disentangle I found the story compelling and unpredictable. The Splendour Falls I felt one of Ms. Kearsley’s best – The Winter Sea being my favorite.
This was an audio book that was narrated by Barbara Rosenblat. While I felt she did a decent job narrating the book I felt her voice was too old for the main character – it was too gruffy. She did more justice to male voices, with spot on French accents and word pronunciation.
I am quite disappointed in Dark Witch book 1 of The Cousins O'Dwyer Trilogy. I am not sure if it is because the story is very similar to Three Sisters Island trilogy, it felt like Ms Roberts is just rewriting this series or because I found the narrator a little irritating – she made the main character Iona at times a little flaky. I highly doubt I will read the next 2 books in the series.
woudl only give it 2 1/2 stars
At one time Nicole and Charlotte we best of friend – inseparable – spending their summers on Nicole’s family summer home on Quinnipeague, a small island off the coast of Maine. But 10 years have passed, with secrets kept and different life paths that have caused these women to grow apart. Nicole’s dad has passed away and now the summer home on Quinnipeague is going to be sold. Nicole being a food blogger and Charlotte a successful travel writer will bring these 2 friends together once more to renew their friendship and write a cookbook bases on Quinnipeague recipes – but each has a secret that will change both their lives. Nicole’s secret would betray her husband, Julian’s wishes, for Charlotte it could destroy her renewed friendship with Nicole but prolong Julian’s life. It would release Charlotte from her guilt of the past and allow her to love again.
Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky it a story of the strength of friendship, the ability to face misfortune, to love again and follow your heart when your life does not follow your life plan.
I can’t say the story was unpredictable. I did find Nicole’s character at time be grating but total enjoyed Charlotte and Leo. This was my first Barbara Delinsky book - it was well written, I found the characters well developed - I will definitely read another Delinsky. This was an audiobook was narrated by Marguerite Gavin – she did an excellent job.
Joyland by Stephen King is the story of 21 year old virgin Devin Jones who spends the summer and fall of 1973 working at the North Carolina amusement park. Jump on board for Dev’s journey – it is a coming of age tale; of lost love and love found, of new friends, of ghost stories, of murder and of the fate of a dying child that will change his life forever.
The audio book was narrated by Michael Kelly. It took me some time to warm up to his style but by the end of the almost 8 hour narration I thought he did an excellent job.
A Hundred Summers is Beatriz Williams’ second novel, the first being Overseas. A Hundred Summers is a story of friendships, betrayals, old families and guarded secrets. The audiobook was an easy listen and thought Kathleen McInerney did a fine job narrating.
The story alternates between 1931/1932 and 1938. In 1931 we meet up with the main characters Lily Dane and Budgie Byrne where they are attending college football game to watch Budgie's boyfriend, Graham Pendleton play. Here Lily meets Nicholsen Greenwald at a game, and fall instantly in love with each other but with Nick being Jewish they become star cross lovers. Fast forward to 1938 to Seaview, RI where Lily has arrived at her family’s summer home with her Mother, Aunt and 6 year old sister, Kiki. And who shows up, her former best friend Budgie with former fiancé, now recently married Nicholsen Greenwald. Seeing that Lily is still single Budgie tries to match up her old boyfriend Graham Pendleton – who just happens to be a relief pitcher for the Yankees. But there is a storm brewing, the ties between Lily and Nick are too strong, the Budgie/Nick marriage is not all that it looks to be and Graham is not very trustful – threw in the Hurricane of 1938 for added.
The characters are where I had my issues. I could not find one redeeming thing about Budgie and I think the author realized that as well as she throws you a little curve ball towards the end. I had no empathy for Lily, I could understand Lily being naïve in 1931 but to stay naive for 7 years was a bit too much. Her relationship with her little sister (or was it her sister), Kiki was a bit over the top.
I really would have liked to have given this book 4 stars for I felt it was well written but I found the story very predictable and several of the main characters quite annoying – so 3 ½ stars.
I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella is the story about one unlucky wacky and at times exasperating Poppy Wyatt. Poppy is about to get married to the most perfect man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her life starts to falls apart – she loses the family heirloom engagement ring in a hotel fire drill and then her phone is stolen but someone has tossed their mobile away. In comes businessman Sam Roxton said owner of tossed mobile phone and he wants the company phone back. As the story evolves Poppy and Sam are constantly butting into each other through emails and text all while Poppy it trying to juggles wedding preparations and hiding her engagement hand to Magnus and his parent .. ahh by Poppy is in for even a bigger surprises.
It took me some time to get into this book – I found Poppy annoying at times especially with all the ‘footnote’ comments. Once we got past the whole ‘lost ring’ I warmed up to the book and had a few good chuckles. This audiobook was narrated by Jayne Entwistle and whom I enjoyed.
The Silver Linings Playbook is Matthew Quick's stellar debut novel. The story is told by the main character Pat Peoples, as he releases from the ‘the bad place’ (neural health facility) in the care of his emotional Mother and remote Father. Pat believes in silver linings; that his life is a movie produced by God, he is extremely focus on recreating himself by becoming physically fit and emotionally supportive, and his happy ending will be the return of his estranged wife, Nikki, ending their “a part time”. Into his life comes Tiffany; a tragically over sexed clinically depressed widowed with a rather demanding condition, to act as a liaison between him and Nikki …needless to say, things don't go quite as she expects. The characters are complex, flawed and a little bit crazy.
The Silver Linings Playbook will warm your heart, make you chuckle and may bring a tear to your eye.
After reading the book I rented the movie and was sadly disappointed - I would give it 3 stars – I felt the movie was jumpy and hard to follow, way too much yelling in amongst the characters, the changed quite a lot of the story line. Too bad Hollywood ruined story. They left some of the best parts of the story out.
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