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kiwimum

Member Since 2010

8
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 16 reviews
  • 21 ratings
  • 238 titles in library
  • 5 purchased in 2014
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  • Gone Girl

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Gillian Flynn
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan, Kirby Heyborne
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (269)
    Performance
    (242)
    Story
    (243)

    Who are you? What have we done to each other? What will we do? Just how well can you ever know the person you love? These are the questions that Nick Dunne must ask himself on the morning of his fifth wedding anniversary, when his wife Amy suddenly disappears. The police immediately suspect Nick. Amy's friends reveal that she was afraid of him, that she kept secrets from him. He swears it isn't true. A police examination of his computer shows strange searches. He says they aren't his. And then there are the persistent calls on his mobile phone.

    Janie says: "Get Gone Girl soon!"
    "This Is A Book That Will Make You Think"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I was halfway through this book, I was scrolling through facebook and one of my friends had posted the quote: "I want someone who says I love you every night and proves it every day." I nearly asked them if they were reading this book, because this story has made me look at that quote in a totally different way!
    Gone Girl is brilliantly written. I found the first half start to get a bit tedious towards the end, but had read reviews to persevere past the halfway point, so I did. The story changes tack completely at halfway, and then you won't be able to put it down.
    Though many have complained about the ending, I loved it. It is the perfect ending for the disturbing, but exciting thrill of a ride while living in Nick and Amy's world. It's a psychological thriller, that's for sure!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Making of a Marchioness

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Frances Hodgson-Burnett
    • Narrated By Lucy Scott
    Overall
    (88)
    Performance
    (76)
    Story
    (78)

    Frances Hodgson Burnett published The Making of a Marchioness in 1901. She had written Little Lord Fauntleroy 15 years before and would write The Secret Garden in 10 years' time; it is these two books for which she is best known. Yet Marchioness was one of Nancy Mitford's favourite books, was considered 'the best novel Mrs Hodgson Burnett wrote' by Marghanita Laski, and is taught on a university course in America together with novels such as Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, and Daisy Miller.

    Curatina says: "A Sweet Romantic Tale"
    "A Sweet, Old-Fashioned Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really enjoyed this story. You are drawn into it almost instantly. It is a sweet romance with the merest hint of thriller in it. While it is rather predictable, it can be forgiven if you remember that you are reading it for light entertainment and not for the pursuit of intellect. It is very wholesome and sweet, and I liked the characters.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Cardinal of the Kremlin

    • UNABRIDGED (25 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Tom Clancy
    • Narrated By Michael Prichard
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (723)
    Performance
    (588)
    Story
    (600)

    Two men possess vital information on Russia's Star Wars missile defense system. One of them is Cardinal -- America's highest agent in the Kremlin -- and he's about to be terminated by the KGB. The other one is the American who can save Cardinal and lead the world to the brink of peace . . . or war. Here is author Tom Clancy's heart-stopping masterpiece -- a riveting novel about one of the most intriguing issues of our time.

    Tom says: "Great Story, a Less Great Reading"
    "Mixed Feelings"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have a love/hate relationship with this book. I love Tom Clancy's writing. He's so brilliant at characterisation that I am drawn into his stories, even when they are as dull as ditchwater. I loved the characters in this - enough that I was crying at the end - but I did not enjoy the long, drawn-out, meandering story with brief moments of excitment dotted a few times throughout the book.
    Pay attention to the Russian names and the descriptions of the Russian characters, because there are a lot and you will get them confused if you don't take notice. There are a lot of characters in this book, and some of the sub-stories don't really go anywhere - but at the same time, I thought it was an interesting study in the cold war and the possible scenarios that may have occured during this time. I happen to have an interest in Russia having known several Russians in the past, but if you don't have an interest in that country or culture, this book may be hard for you to finish.

    I liked the narrator's voice - a good reading voice, deep, mature and slow, but sometimes it was hard to differentiate between changes of scene and changes in dialogue.

    But still worth a credit to listen to.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Little Blog on the Prairie

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 2 mins)
    • By Cathleen Davitt Bell
    • Narrated By Therese Plummer
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (86)
    Performance
    (63)
    Story
    (61)

    Gen's family is more comfortable spending time apart than together. Then Gen's mom signs them up for Camp Frontiera vacation that promises the "thrill" of living like 1890s pioneers. Forced to give up all of her modern possessions, Gen nevertheless manages to email her friends back home about life at "Little Hell on the Prairie", as she's renamed the camp. But it turns out frontier life isn't without its good points, like the cute boy who lives in the next clearing.

    Champlain Mom says: "Absorbing and fun story for range of ages"
    "Very Entertaining"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was a very pleasant surprise. I kind of expected to be a bit bored by it and thought I'd be rolling my eyes all the way through, but it was really, really good. I loved it. It's humurous and it's thought-provoking. It's a teensy bit predictable, but probably only to an adult reader. It can be tense and it can be sweet. My pre-teen children have listened to it and I noticed that they had their earplugs in a lot! And one of them did tell me at one point that they were really enjoying it.
    A good, entertaining read that won't disappoint.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Patriot Games

    • UNABRIDGED (22 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Tom Clancy
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (733)
    Performance
    (605)
    Story
    (612)

    It is fall. CIA analyst Jack Ryan, historian and former Marine, is vacationing in London with his wife and young daughter. Suddenly, right before his eyes, a terrorist group launches its deadly attack. Instinctively, he dives forward to break it up, and is shot. It is not until he wakes up in the hospital that he learns whose lives he has saved - the Duke and Duchess of Kent.

    K. Masheter Deal says: "Oldie but Goodie!"
    "Worth It"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my first Tom Clancy book. I was in the mood for a thriller and stumbled upon this. I have never read his books before and I have never seen the movie adaptations. This story starts off with a bang and a good deal of excitement to get the reader hooked. Then it slows down quite a bit for quite a few pages - but Tom Clancy is such a brilliant writer it was a joy to listen to the way he crafted this story.

    I did find it a bit slow in the middle of the book - maybe a little too much detail, but I can appreciate this writer enough to overlook the dull bits. And the ending is worth it. By the end of the book, I had grown to know these characters in such a detailed way, that I could not stop listening until I found out what happened to them. I got so caught up in the tension and excitement that I completely lost track of time.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Witness

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Nora Roberts
    • Narrated By Julia Whelan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6672)
    Performance
    (5797)
    Story
    (5774)

    Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever. Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she works at home designing sophisticated security systems.

    Nicole says: "A great book"
    "My First Nora Roberts"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This was my first Nora Roberts book, and I bought it purely on what I had read in the reviews here on audible. Firstly, let me say how much I enjoyed it. It's a compelling story that pulls you in from the first page. I'm so glad I read it, and I will be adding it to my favourites. I always rate a book on how attached I get to the characters and how believable they are, and the author's skill at doing this in this story deserves a mention.
    The only criticism I have of it is that I found the ending to be rushed and slightly anti-climactic after the build up of the plot throughout the entire book. I would have liked a more drawn out ending with more detail on what happened to some of the minor characters. The ending is satisfying, but I finished it feeling slightly robbed of a grand finale. Everything is wrapped up in the last half hour or so which was too quick. But if you have enough imagination of your own, you can finish it off for yourself - as I did. :o)
    A great read, though.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Farewell to the East End

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Jennifer Worth
    • Narrated By Saskia Butler
    Overall
    (11)
    Performance
    (11)
    Story
    (10)

    Written by Jennifer Worth, Farewell to the East End is one of the trilogy of memoirs upon which the popular BBC series Call the Midwife is based. London's East End in the 1950s was a vibrant place-a close-knit community of families where children made playgrounds on bombsites and a lively social scene emerged.

    kiwimum says: "A Brilliant Book"
    "A Brilliant Book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the third book in the trilogy by Jennifer Worth on her life as a midwife in the East End of London in the 1950's. After being hooked on the BBC adaptation of her first book, Call the Midwife, I have devoured what I can find of her writings, and she does not disappoint.

    But I must emphasise that it is not a book for the faint-hearted! Most of the stories are sad, but she writes the accounts in such a way with humour sprinkled liberally throughout the book, that somehow you don't mind the sadness, and the characters you meet are filled to the brim with life, with all with the sweetness, brutality, stoicism, fortitude and love that comes with the desperately poor conditions Jennifer was working among. It is the stuff of real life.

    Her writings on this period in history is an education as well in a time of English history that is not so glittering, and Worth deals with many of the social issues that are not so widely talked about such as back-street abortions, suicide, infanticide and prostitution - so it is not a 'light' read, but I enjoyed it because of the richness of characters and the interesting lives and stories weaved around those lives, and found myself many times with tears on my face, or laughing out loud.

    I loved the ending because she gives a brief summary of the lives of the nurses she worked with and what happened to them. Chummy, Cynthia, Trixie, the Nuns and herself. There are no loose ends at the finish, and I find that very satisfying when you have come to love the main characters.

    You will run the gamut of emotions in this brilliant book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Wuthering Heights

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Emily Bronte
    • Narrated By Janet McTeer, David Timson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (631)
    Performance
    (261)
    Story
    (269)

    When Mr. Earnshaw brings a black-haired foundling child into his home on the Yorkshire moors, he little imagines the dramatic events which will follow. The passionate relationship between Cathy Earnshaw and the foundling, Heathcliff, is a story of love, hate, pity, and retribution, the effects of which reverberate throughout the succeeding generations.

    Stephanie says: "Classic"
    "It Never Grows Old"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wuthering Heights is one of those books that you don't forget. If you love the classics, then you will be familiar with this story. Brutal and sad, it is a strange love story - if you are looking for something different to the hundreds of 'predicatable' romances available to read, then this will satisfy. This story will make you think and analyse and ponder, long after you have finished reading it.
    What I liked about this particular reading is the dual narration. David Timson as Mr. Lockwood is good, but Janet McTeer who has the bulk of the reading as Nellie Deans is brilliant in her narration. You forget that it is one woman reading the many voices and interpreting the many and diverse personalities in this story. I have read Wuthering Heights many times - I know it inside out, but this is my favourite 'reading' of it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • My Last Duchess

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Daisy Goodwin
    • Narrated By Laurel Lefkow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (8)
    Story
    (8)

    Cora Cash, possibly the wealthiest heiress in 1890’s America, has been raised to believe that money will open every door to her. But when her mother whisks Cora to England to secure her an aristocratic match, Cora is dismayed by the welcome she at first receives. The great English houses in which she is entertained are frosty and forbidding, dogged by intrigue above stairs, and gossip below.

    kiwimum says: "Surprisingly Good"
    "Surprisingly Good"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I am not often very tolerant of romance novels, but this one intrigued me because of the latest excitement for all things Edwardian - although this is probably strictly more Victorian. I actually listened to the first 3 hours and then couldn't be bothered with the rest of it, until a few weeks later I thought I'd give it another try and then found I couldn't put it down. It follows Cora, a young, naive American heiress who accidentally meets and falls in love with a British aristocrat. She marries him for love, but can the same be said of him? With twists and turns and a good deal of intrigue, you can't help but become caught up in Cora's life and romance, and the lives of those around her, such as her maid, Bertha.
    I really enjoyed the historical facts that were woven through the story and you can see that the author has researched her subject and time period thoroughly.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Rebecca

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Daphne Du Maurier
    • Narrated By Anna Massey
    Overall
    (224)
    Performance
    (114)
    Story
    (113)

    Daphne du Maurier's young heroine meets the charming Maxim de Winter and despite her youth, they marry and go to Manderley, his home in Cornwall. There, the sinister housekeeper Mrs Danvers and the mystery she keeps alive of his first wife Rebecca - said to have drowned at sea - threatens to overwhelm the marriage.

    Rhonda says: "Riveting"
    "Creme de la creme of the Classics"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Rebecca is one of those books that stays with you long after you've turned the last page. It's haunting, it's even a little terrifying, it creates moral conflict, and the plot builds and builds from the first sentence until it's crescendo near the end. Anna Massey is the absolute perfect narrator for this story - she bring atmosphere to the story. I am in awe of the brilliance of Daphne Du Maurier in creating Rebecca. The story starts with the ending. It is written in first person from the second Mrs. de Winter - we are inside her head, but we never know her name. And the main character, who never actually is physically present in the entire story because she is dead, fills every page. It's brilliant. I love it. I'm sure you will too.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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