Madison is, at one point in the book, described as having no personality; that is how I feel this book comes across, very generic. I have listened to books about other presidents and felt I came to know the presidents politically and personally, as well as his friends and family. Madison's personality is described here but the description seems one-dimensional.
Perhaps this book is better read instead of listened to. I don't know if it was the writing or the narrator or my limited background knowledge of history (it was hard to keep up with the dates and order of events) but I was just happy to be done with it. I thought the reader read quite fast and sometimes in a monotone; I. therefore, found myself frequently tuning out and having to re-listen to sections. Unlike many other audiobooks, I won't be re-listening to this one.
My first book by this author, about this subject, or with this reader - three enjoyable firsts. I laughed and cried. I learned about a people and an area full of culture and character.
There times when I fast forwarded a bit or didn't pay close attention for various reasons but overall the story and it's characters stayed with me long after I'd finished the book.
Although it took a couple chapters for me to become interested in the story, I ended up really enjoying it. Elizabeth McGovern's voice is wonderful, especially for this particular story. Actually, I have now listened to the book several times; enjoying it each time and becoming aware of different interesting details along the way.
Moriarty did a terrific job describing the characters, scenes, and situations and McGovern read them beautifully, I felt like I was there in the midst of it all.
Cora, the main character, is a strong and admirable woman. Not only is she able to admit her mistakes, she willingly learns from them. Throughout her years, she becomes stronger as a result of life's challenges, more accepting of other's short-comings, and more open-minded about what she doesn't understand. Qualities we could all strive for, and qualities that were likely a rarity in the 1920's. Louise, Cora's charge, is also likely not the average 1920's female. Her life, and experiences, gives readers reason to pause and consider snap judgements made out of ignorance, and the impact they may have had on the person being judged. People are not always what they seem to be; and, when they are, it may not be of their own accord.
The Chaperone audiobook is great entertainment and great food for thought.
I am not a history buff but, for various reasons, recently decided to read or listen to a book about each president, in chronological order. John Adams, like the book about George Washington I listened to, was quite a long book, and with good reason, there is a lot of subject matter to cover. McCullough did a good job covering all the basics, and then some, for a beginner such as myself. Likely because I was listening and not reading, there were times I felt a little confused and had to re-listen to clarify.
I had a very difficult time adjusting to the narrator's style and nearly gave up a couple times but, eventually, I somehow got used to the many long pauses; hearing him swallow and breathe was a bit harder to ignore. I have not had this problem in the several other audiobooks I have listened to.
Overall, I think the book is well worth the credit and the hours spent listening.
The book is full of food for thought and reminders of the important things in life. An easy and enjoyable listen.
I only finished this book because it was an audiobook and I was able to listen while doing other things but for much of the time I just wanted it to end. Had I purchased the hardcopy, I never would have invested the time to read the entire story. There were a couple surprising twists to the plot, however most of the story is disturbing and negative - not my kind of entertainment. The narrator is adequate.
I should have read the other reader reviews prior to purchasing this book rather than relying only on Audible's summary - which was a bit misleading. The book is very juvenile, perhaps best for preteens; even then the story unfolds at an incredibly slow pace. Because I had already purchased the book I tried several times to listen, however, I was unable to get very far and eventually gave up altogether.
This was my first T. Jefferson Parker book. I don't usually choose murder mysteries but I am glad I gave this one a try. Interesting premise and very good reader.
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