This is one of those audiobooks with which a monumental amount of concentration is required. Brashares has written a beautiful, sweet story, but it moves very slowly in parts and the reader, who is perfect for this story, uses a gentle tone in which to tell it. I listen primarily in my car and found my mind drifting often with road distractions, simply because the pace and tone are slow. But that is not to say that the story is not wonderful. I loved this story very much -- my only advice is to force yourself to focus so you are not constantly rewinding to listen to missed paragraphs.
(I believe the other customer review posted here may be in error -- this is not a time travel story, nor are there any castles and it is entirely set in the USA).
I read this in book form when it came out years ago but was recently in the mood to experience this story again. If you're a fan of this book, I highly recommend doing it in audio form -- the narrator does an excellent job with the accents & dialects(both American and Brazilian) and pronouncing the Brazilian names and places. Plus, Frank Muller is just a really good narrator for Grisham's style. I love this story of a man's journey (physical and spiritual) and think it is one of Grisham's best.
I am a huge Jennifer Weiner fan and this collection of short stories did not disappoint. My only complaint is that this audio edition is considered "unabridged" yet this weekend I was in a bookstore and picked up the hardcover copy of this book to see if there were any author's notes (there are) or anything else not in the audio edition. I was stunned to discover three more stories after "The Mommy Hour" (the last story on the audio) that are in the book and not in the audiobook. So I ended up purchasing the book so I could read those three stories. Even without this discovery, though, I was very satisfied by this collection and would highly recommend it to any Jennifer Weiner fan. (And then spend a Sunday afternoon in your local bookstore reading the author's notes and the missing stories). The female reader is excellent. I loved her vocal interpretation of nearly every character.
Lolly Winston's first book, Good Grief, is one of the best books I've read, so I was really looking forward to this one. Winston is a great writer and I enjoyed each of her unique characters. But this is a difficult story all the way through, as you cannot imagine how there can be a happy ending. Without giving away too much, it did not leave me satisfied and I was a little depressed when it was over. However, it is still an well-written novel, and the narrator does a wonderful job with the audio version. Just be prepared that this is a heavy story, dealing with the fallout from adultery, divorce, and infertility.
This was my third Jane Green book, but by far the best of hers that I've read. The best part about this audiobook, though, was the narrator, Josephine Bailey. She's English, so her accent is appropriate for this story. I've listened to other English narrators, though, and had difficulty understanding them. Ms. Bailey is easy to listen to and her voices for the characters were perfect, especially for the two main characters, Ellie and Linda. I'm not sure that I would have enjoyed the book as much if it were read by someone else. I am a "chick lit" fan for escape reading, but this book is much deeper than that. Highly recommended!
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