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Priscilla

ROSLINDALE, MA, United States | Member Since 2012

6
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 9 reviews
  • 22 ratings
  • 111 titles in library
  • 18 purchased in 2014
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  • Reconstructing Amelia

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Kimberly McCreight
    • Narrated By Khristine Hvam
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (546)
    Performance
    (490)
    Story
    (492)

    When Kate, single mother and law firm partner, gets an urgent phone call summoning her to her daughter's exclusive private school, she's shocked. Amelia has been suspended for cheating, something that would be completely out of character for her over-achieving, well-behaved daughter. Kate rushes to Grace Hall, but what she finds when she finally arrives is beyond comprehension. Her daughter is dead.

    FanB14 says: "Gossip Girl"
    "Couldn't Stop Listening!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of Reconstructing Amelia to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version, but as an audiobook this is one of the best I have listened to, not only because it is a great mystery but also because of the way it exposes a dark, horribly destructive world of adolescents who are desperately trying to be accepted by their peers.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Reconstructing Amelia?

    Amelia's entire relationship with Dylan - also the revelations regarding horrendously inapprorapite adult behavior (no spoilers here)


    What does Khristine Hvam bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Khirstine Hvam is an excellent narrator and really brings both the adult and adolescent characters to life. For me, the best readers are the ones that allow me to become completely immersed in the story without becoming distracted or annoyed by the reader's voice, mannersims, etc. - and Ms. Hvam is one of them.


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

    The friendship between Sylvia and Amelia held some very poignant moments (again, I don't want to give away anything in the plot).


    Any additional comments?

    While I think that some of the plot twists are quite contrived, this is still an incredibly compelling story. The adolescent characters of Amelia, Sylvia, Dylan and Zadie are especially memorable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Light Between Oceans: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By M. L. Stedman
    • Narrated By Noah Taylor
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1294)
    Performance
    (1136)
    Story
    (1117)

    In 1918, after four harrowing years on the Western Front, Tom Sherbourne returns to Australia to take a job as the lighthouse keeper on remote Janus Rock. To this isolated island, where the supply boat comes only four times a year and shore leaves are granted every other year at best, Tom brings a young, bold, and loving wife, Isabel.

    Sandra says: "Wonderful story.....terrible narrator."
    "Almost Returned it - But Glad That I Didn't!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Light Between Oceans to be better than the print version?

    I have not read the print version, but expect that it is better that the audio one due to the difficulties of understanding this narrator.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Light Between Oceans?

    While the first half of the book is rather slow, the second half is difficult to tear yourself away from, with one memorable moment after another as Tom and Isabelle are forced to admit the truth about what they have done and confront the painful consequences that unfold. The emotional suffering experineced by all of the characters, particularly the little girl Lucy/Grace, will haunt me for a very long time.


    What didn’t you like about Noah Taylor’s performance?

    This narrator is very difficult to understand, not only because of his accent, but because he often speaks so softly that you cannot hear what he is saying. Because of this I almost returned the book, but wasn't able to (I had returned another title earlier this month because I also didn't like the narrator, so I gues I had reached my return limit!) so decided to keep going and found that I loved the story. I do, however, think that I missed a lot of the finer nuances due to the poor narration.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    A story of love, loss, and survival that you will never forget.


    Any additional comments?

    Read the print version if you can. However if you can't, and are able to tolerate the narration through the first half of the book, the second half is sure to draw you in.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Chosen One: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Carol Lynch Williams
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (374)
    Performance
    (170)
    Story
    (172)

    Thirteen-year-old Kyra has grown up in an isolated polygamous community without questioning her father's three wives and her 20 brothers and sisters. Or at least without questioning them much - if you don't count her secret visits to the Mobile Library on Wheels to read forbidden books, or her meetings with the boy she hopes to choose for herself instead of having a man chosen for her.

    Kim says: "Riveting Story - Amazing Narration"
    "My favorite female narrator!!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you consider the audio edition of The Chosen One to be better than the print version?

    I didn't read the printed version, however Jenna Lamia is such a fabulous narrator I don't think I would have enjoyed the story as much if she were not reading it to me.


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

    The ending left me longing for a sequel.


    Which character – as performed by Jenna Lamia – was your favorite?

    Kira and Joshua were my favorite characters. The others were either perpetrators of evil or those willing to tolerate it in the name of "God".


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I don't think my reaction was extreme, but I know that the story and characters will stay with me for a long time. The injustice and abuse that women have to endure in the religious society that the author describes are horrifying.


    Any additional comments?

    The story builds dramatically, impossible to stop listening at the end.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Woman Upstairs

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Claire Messud
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (326)
    Performance
    (286)
    Story
    (290)

    Nora Eldridge, a 37-year-old elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who long ago abandoned her ambition to be a successful artist, has become the "woman upstairs", a reliable friend and tidy neighbor always on the fringe of others' achievements. Then into her classroom walks Reza Shahid, a child who enchants as if from a fairy tale. He and his parents - dashing Skandar, a Lebanese scholar and professor at the École Normale Supérleure; and Sirena, an effortlessly glamorous Italian artist - have come to Boston for Skandar to take up a fellowship at Harvard.

    Beth Anne says: "Disturbing, Frustrating, Messed Up and AWESOME!"
    "Will Avoid This Narrator in the Future!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you like best about The Woman Upstairs? What did you like least?

    I think that we have all had moments in our lives when we come to a painful realization that a person or persons that we are enamored with, and have built our whole existence and fantasies around, does not feel the same way about us. Hopefully most of us, however, are not dealt the type of shattering betrayal experienced by Nora, the perpetual "woman upstairs". The story portrays this pain eloquently, although it left me with left me with an unsatisfied thirst for revenge! However, I did not like this narrator, Cassandra Campbell at all. Her excessively slow, pretentious melodramatic style of reading, and above all her overly enunciated diction, were highly annoying distractions which often tempted me to discontinue listening altogether. Some of her dialog was better, although again I found her Italian accents extremely annoying as well.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The emotional complexities of Nora's feelings toward each member of the Sayid family are very compelling.


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Cassandra Campbell?

    I think I would have liked anyone better. One of the narrators of The Help, maybe - they were all excellent


    Do you think The Woman Upstairs needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    A Getting Revenge Book, maybe - seriously though, no follow-up needed - probably what happens next in Nora's life is best left to the imagination


    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Secret Daughter

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Shilpi Somaya Gowda
    • Narrated By Soneela Nankani
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (291)
    Performance
    (221)
    Story
    (223)

    Debut novelist Shilpi Somaya Gowda pens this compelling tale about two families, worlds apart, linked by one Indian child. After giving birth to a girl for a second time, impoverished Kavita must give her up to an orphanage. The baby, named Asha, is adopted by an American doctor and raised in California. But once grown, Asha decides to return to India.

    Stephanie says: "A Must Read"
    "A Beautful Story Told By a Wonderful Narrator"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about Secret Daughter?

    The way it explores the love and heartbreak experienced by two mothers in very different cultures, and for very different reasons, over the same young girl. Also, the way it explores the conflicts and differences that may exist when a child is adopted, but at the same time, how an entire family can grow in the process - and how a young girl's attempts to connect with her birth parents can bring a sense of closure, but not in ways that one might expect.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Asha was my favorite character, because of her courage and spirit, as well as her willingness to grow and gain new understanding of both her birth and biological families.


    Have you listened to any of Soneela Nankani’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not heard any of her performances before, but would love to hear another.


    If you could rename Secret Daughter, what would you call it?

    I think that is a perfect name.


    Any additional comments?

    Through reading this you will also gain a lot of fascinating knowledge of India's society and culture, particularly as it impacts women and people struggling through poverty. It vividly describes both the beauty and the sadness of India in a way that makes me want to visit there and experience more..

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Crossing to Safety

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Wallace Stegner
    • Narrated By Richard Poe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (294)
    Performance
    (219)
    Story
    (223)

    One of the finest American authors of the 20th century, Wallace Stegner compiled an impressive collection of accolades during his lifetime, including a Pulitzer Prize for Fiction, a National Book Award, and three O. Henry Awards. His final novel, Crossing to Safety is the quiet yet stirring tale of two couples that meet during the Great Depression and form a lifelong bond.

    Barbara says: "Real characters dealing with life & death."
    "Beautifully written story, but...."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to Crossing to Safety again? Why?

    I don't think I would listen to it again, although it was beautifully written and narrated. I particularly disliked Charity,and she was really the dominant character in the book, as she was in the relationship between the two couples.


    How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

    For myself I would have changed the ending (although I don't want to have any spoilers here). I thought there was surprisinging cruelty shown to one of the main characters, although it actually seemd to be the culmination of the way he had been treated by his wife throughout their marriage. I wonder if others have this same reaction.


    Which character – as performed by Richard Poe – was your favorite?

    Definitely the narrator.


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

    No particular moment - just the enduring depth of the friendship between the two couples, the way they nurtured each other over the years and became each family to one another. Perhaps their reunion after several years of not seeing each other at the end was the most moving. (again, I don't want to give anything away about the ending)


    Any additional comments?

    It is ironic how the relationship between the two couples was mutually beneficial and nurturing, despite the flaws within each individual and particularly despite the serious flaws in the relationship of one of the couples.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Breaking Night: A Memoir of Forgiveness, Survival, and My Journey from Homeless to Harvard

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Liz Murray
    • Narrated By Liz Murray
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (87)
    Story
    (85)

    Liz Murray was born to loving but drug-addicted parents in the Bronx. In school she was taunted for her dirty clothing and lice-infested hair, eventually skipping so many classes that she was put into a girls' home. At age 15, Liz found herself on the streets when her family finally unraveled. She learned to scrape by, foraging for food and riding subways all night to have a warm place to sleep. Then, when Liz's mother died of AIDS, she decided to take control of her own destiny.

    luu says: "unbelievably inspiring"
    "Outstanding"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    Incredible, inspiring and moving story as well as testimony to human frailty and resilience.


    Have you listened to any of Liz Murray’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Wonderful performance by the author, making the story that much more compelling as it is her own.


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

    No specific moment, but there are many! The love and forgiveness that she consistently expresses for her parents is especially moving..


    Any additional comments?

    This author is someone that I would love to meet and know. This is one of my favorite Audible books to date.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Into the Darkest Corner

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Elizabeth Haynes
    • Narrated By David Thorpe, Karen Cass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1145)
    Performance
    (960)
    Story
    (963)

    Catherine has been enjoying the single life for long enough to know a good catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic, spontaneous – Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell. But there is a darker side to Lee. His erratic, controlling and sometimes frightening behaviour means that Catherine is increasingly isolated. Driven into the darkest corner of her world, and trusting no one, she plans a meticulous escape.

    Betty says: "AN OCD IS STALKED BY A PSYCHOPATH"
    "Disappointing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    First half really dragged, and moved back and forth between two time periods so quickly that it was hard to become engaged with either narrative. I almost stopped listening but the second half picked up a bit


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

    Predictable ending


    What do you think the narrator could have done better?

    Nothing


    Do you think Into the Darkest Corner needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Casual Vacancy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By J. K. Rowling
    • Narrated By Tom Hollander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2871)
    Performance
    (2522)
    Story
    (2542)

    When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

    cristina says: "I was surprised by how much I liked it"
    "This was amazing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Where does The Casual Vacancy rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    One of the best I have listened to so far


    What did you like best about this story?

    Amazing characters and some of the most dramatic "social meltdown" scenes that you will ever encounter. While totally different from the Harry Potter series (due to the very graphic sexuality and other descriptions that many might consider vulgar), it is also similar in that it deals with adolescents that are seeking revenge and justice in the face of injustices perpetrated by authority figures and society


    What about Tom Hollander’s performance did you like?

    Really brought each character to life


    Who was the most memorable character of The Casual Vacancy and why?

    Crystal Weedon


    Any additional comments?

    Lots of characters to keep track of, but well worth it! Don't compare to Harry Potter series - let it stand on it's own.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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