I was really looking forward to this book because not only the subject matter, but the women facing extraordinary challenges need much more attention. This book could have been really amazing, but I found the narrator to be tiresome and monotone. There was no energy, no realness, no compassion in her voice, there were just words. In terms of the writing style, it was repetitive and at times it was preachy.
In all, the message is obviously worthwhile and the personal stories about individual women really make this book, which is why I gave it three stars and not less. But the narration was subpar and I gave up on it. I'm going to read it instead.
The 30 minute lessons are just the right length to listen and practice. I found that for the first 10 lessons +/-, I only needed to listen to them once and I could listen to them once a day (usually in the morning on my way to work) and I was able to retain the information and recall it the next day. As the course progressed, so did my need to listen to the lessons more than once (sometimes 2, 3, or 4 times). I also periodically go back to earlier lessons if I'm finding that I need a refresher on certain things.
The way the course is structured, the instructor asks you to recall a word or phrase or take part in a conversation. You usually have about 5 seconds to recall the word or phrase and as I progressed, that just wasn't enough time for me to recall the information. That is one of the reasons that I listened to it multiple times, so that by time I could recall most of the phases in the lesson, I would move on to the next one. One improvement they could consider is allowing even a second or two more for recall.
Overall, I think this course is very good. It is very easy to do on a commute. I am just about done with this first phase and will be starting phase 2 this week. I can't fully participate in a conversation yet, but I can say common phrases and speak about daily occurences in the past, present and future tenses. It took me about 3 months to get through the first round of tapes (this includes the listening to the sessions multiple times to ensure I had a good recall of the material).
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