This is the first Sharon Penman's book I listened to. She is a gifted storyteller, and I am impressed by her ability to describe inner workings of souls, customs, and beliefs during the time of the 3rd crusade. I will readily listen to her other works if it becomes available on audio, with one condition - a different narrator.The narration was very poorly performed. Emily Gray gave Berangaria an unnatural squeaky voice; the only male character to have a masculine voice was the Lionheart. All the other males sounded like women. This was very irritating and I was thinking about returning the book when I started. However, I am glad I kept it - the story is great.
I did not want to rate this story, but Audible does not allow to proceed with review unless all categories are rated. The story might be good, but I just could not keep listening to the narrator's whiny voice. She is just not that good with male voices, and her performance sounds artificial.
Both narrators did a phenomenal job, but could not save the book.
I would not recommend this book, as I could barely get through it myself. I was considering returning the book after about 1 hour of listening, as I could not keep track of too many characters, introduced too quickly. In fact, at the end of part one I still was confused about who was who. Frankly, I did not care deeply about anyone (I need to care about at least 1 character in order to enjoy a book). I do think the writer had a great potential and a great talent to describe human emotions, scenery, and almost imperceptible subtleties of human interactions. But, with so many characters, it was very difficult to keep up.
Hard to say. The book definitely is a historical treasure, a first hand account of events. It peeked my interest in French history. However, enjoyment was minimal and frustration ran high.
I was reluctant to read another Holocaust book. I felt I was "saturated" with this topic, but decided to get it anyway because of the great reviews. I was not disappointed. The Lost Wife is a masterfully written novel and I felt so absorbed in it I could not listen to anything else for a week after finishing it. The author has this incredible ability to paint with words and conduct emotion in such a way, I felt like I was actually there, in Prague, in Terezin, and in Auschwitz. I recognized that "hollow shell" existence that many survivors had after liberation from seeing this in my own grandparents and my mother. They could never be the same after living through this horror. Despite wanting to cry a lot during many passages, I find this literary creation to be top notch. Great narration, too!
All Bastion Club novels were written using the same template... Once you listened to one of them, you listened to all. Too much sex, for my taste. All the men are tall, dark and handsome; all the heroines are so not into marriage... Yes, I do listen to romance novels to escape, but these are so unbelievable and unconvincing... Jill Tanner is a wonderful narrator and I love her voice, but even she cannot save this pseudo-literature.
Great. Rosalin Landor is one of my favorite narrators.
Absolutely wonderful, riveting, and toching novel. It is a portrate of a marrige, and it rings so true. Cried several times and could not stop listening
I bought this aoudiobook because I love Rozalyn Landor's voice and I thought she could do a miracle and transform even the mediocre prose. Well, it didn't happen. I had listened to author's previous book, "The Rose Garden", and did not like that book, eather. There is something missing - the characters feel artificial and superficial. It feels like all Susanna Kearsley's books were written by using same template, generating words that failed to reach my heart. Unfortunately, there is a deluge of literary garbage out there today, and this book is a part of it.
I tried to read Anton Chehkov as a teenager,did not like it, did not understand it. I know now that to understand and enjoy Chehkov you need emotional maturity, understanding of the human nature. Chekhov is a master painter of the inner workings of souls. I really enjoyed this listen, and planning to move on to his complete works.
I had listened to other books by C.W. Gortner and was expecting a great historical fiction novel. As expected, The Queen's Vow does not disappoint. Rosalyn Landor is one of my favorite narrators, and again, she delivered a great performance. Before reading this, my impression was that queen Isabella was this monster that expelled/killed/demanded conversion of the large Jewish community of Spain. The book forced me to rethink this. I feel like like my knowledge of this period in Spanish history had broadened, and it happened in a most pleasurable way.
This book is a gem. It is not just a glimpse into life of the Satmar's hasidim, it is full of universal themes - belonging, love, honesty, devotion, interconnectedness of generations. It had a special meaning for me, because I am an immigrant, a Jew, and my grandparents and parents were Holocaust survivors. The pain of leaving one's country (despite persecution), losing loved ones, feeling like you don't belong, being rejected by your own family, by your own people is palpable in the book. Rosalyn Landor did a superb job, as always.
If you are not familiar with Jewish history and Judaism, read about it. Hasidut is a movement in Judaism. To me, their beliefs seem closer to Christianity, with the emphasis on Salvation, Resurrection of the dead in the "world to come", Messiah coming any day,divine holiness of their rebbes who rule like kings.It is a lifestyle, and they are not holier then anyone else. Satmar Hasidim do not acknowledge the existence of the state of Israel. Hypocrisy of their Rebbe, who saved himself by boarding the "Zionist" train, while his community was sent to the ovens thanks to his silence speaks for itself.
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