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Berta Thomas

knitting fiend

Boise, ID USA | Member Since 2010

41
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 26 reviews
  • 81 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 14 purchased in 2014
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FOLLOWERS
4

  • The Lost Wife: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Alyson Richman
    • Narrated By George Guidall, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (783)
    Performance
    (690)
    Story
    (694)

    In pre-war Prague, the dreams of two young lovers are shattered when they are separated by the Nazi invasion. Then, decades later, thousands of miles away in New York, there's an inescapable glance of recognition between two strangers. Providence is giving Lenka and Josef one more chance. From the glamorous ease of life in Prague before the Occupation, to the horrors of Nazi Europe, The Lost Wife explores the power of first love, the resilience of the human spirit, and the strength of memory.

    DIANE says: "Never read a book so fast"
    "Wonerful, heartbreaking,loved it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    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!

    5 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • The Lady and the Unicorn

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs)
    • By Tracy Chevalier
    • Narrated By Robert Blumenfeld, Terry Donnelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (191)
    Performance
    (45)
    Story
    (42)

    Bewitching art experts and enthusiasts alike for centuries, the Lady and the Unicorn tapestries hang today in the Cluny Museum in Paris.

    Lovin' life and winding down says: "Wonderful Audiobook!"
    "Needs to be re- recorded"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The quality of this recording is plainly poor. A different narration(or an ongoing conversation) is heard in the background for almost all of the first half of this book. It is very distracting and I almost stopped listening. The male narrator sounds like an old man, even when acting as the young artist Nicola. I really did not even like anyone in this book until introduction of the blind Eleonore. Terry Donnelly saved the day and I give this book 3 stars for performance, just because Terry is so great. Overall, a wasted credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Fine Balance

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Rohinton Mistry
    • Narrated By John Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (521)
    Performance
    (224)
    Story
    (225)

    In the India of the mid-1970s, Indira Gandhi's government has just come to power. It institutionalizes corruption and arbitrary force, most oppressive to the poorest and weakest people under its sway. Against this backdrop, in an unnamed city by the sea, four people struggle to survive. Dina, Maneck, and two tailors, the Untouchables Om and Ishvar, who are sewing in Dina's service, undergo a series of reversals.

    Karen says: "Praise for the Narrator as much as the Writer"
    "One of the best novels ever written"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    At first, I had trouble "getting into" this book - a lot of foreign names to sort through. However, I kept listening and got completely engrossed in it. For sure, this is one of the greatest work of literature of our times, and I don't declare it lightly. What an amazing portrait of humanity with all its flaws, a slice of life painted with masterful strokes. The destinies of main characters - a widow, two taylors, and a college student intersect for a year.They become an unusual family of sorts, enjoying companionship, friendship and mutual support.
    The book has a very sad ending. It is probably more true and realistic then the "good" endings I like to enjoy at the end of stories. Do not miss this novel, it is a true gem.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Daughters of the Witching Hill

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Mary Sharratt
    • Narrated By Terry Donnelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (58)
    Performance
    (47)
    Story
    (48)

    Bess Southerns, an impoverished widow, lives with her children in a crumbling old tower in Pendle Forest. Drawing on Catholic ritual, medicinal herbs, and guidance from her spirit-friend Tibb, Bess heals the sick and foretells the future in exchange for food and drink. As she ages, she instructs her best friend, Anne, and her granddaughter, Alizon, in her craft. Anne ultimately turns to dark magic, while Alizon struggles to accept the power she has inherited and dreams of a simpler life.

    Berta Thomas says: "Fascinating"
    "Fascinating"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    An absolutely wonderful and touching story! Daughters of the Witching Hill brought tears to my eyes...Terry Donnelly is great as always - she is one of my favorite narrators. It was fascinating for me to understand this piece of 17th century's English history and culture. I am amazed how these poor unfortunates were able make a living using divination, begging and fear. Not a good living, but a temporary reprieve from hunger and cruelty of the surrounding world. Robbed of comforting catholic rituals and left with no protection against the powerful, women of the Pendle Hill had to fill the void in their souls and bellies by something - so called witchcraft. Said and uplifting at the same time, "Daughters of the Witching Hill" is well worth your time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Vanishing Point

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Mary Sharratt
    • Narrated By Terry Donnelly
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    In the tradition of Philippa Gregorys smart, transporting fiction comes this tale of dark suspense, love, and betrayal, featuring two star-crossed sisters, one lost and the other searching.Bright and inquisitive, Hannah Powers was raised by a father who treated her as if she were his son. While her beautiful and reckless sister, May, pushes the limits of propriety in their small English town, Hannah harbors her own secret: their father has given her an education forbidden to women.

    Berta Thomas says: "A most wonderful story, don't miss it!"
    "A most wonderful story, don't miss it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was looking for a book that was narrated by Terry Donnelly, any good book, since I love her voice and find her to be amazingly gifted. Initially, I was hesitant to buy this book because of 1 poor rating and luck of Audible reviews. I am glad I did!
    Vanishing Point is a very believable story that touched my heart - story of love and loss, happiness and pain, devotion and cruelty - story of human condition. Wonderful character development and attention to detail. I cried at the end - please do not worry, this book does not have a bad or dissatisfying ending, but because of how real the characters were to me. I did not want the book to end.
    The story line is well described in the Library Review, and I don't want to give anything away. I have a feeling this book will be more appealing to women than to men. If you love good fiction with a historical background, this is it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Blood & Beauty: The Borgias; A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Sarah Dunant
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (80)
    Performance
    (67)
    Story
    (67)

    By the end of the fifteenth century, the beauty and creativity of Italy is matched by its brutality and corruption, nowhere more than in Rome and inside the Church. When Cardinal Rodrigo Borgia buys his way into the papacy as Alexander VI, he is defined not just by his wealth or his passionate love for his illegitimate children, but by his blood: He is a Spanish Pope in a city run by Italians. If the Borgias are to triumph, this charismatic, consummate politician with a huge appetite for life, women, and power must use papacy and family—in particular, his eldest son, Cesare, and his daughter Lucrezia—in order to succeed.

    Taryn says: "Borgias Brought to Life"
    "Not engaging..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Listened to this book for 8 hours and quit... Really interested in Borgia s, however, non of the characters captured my imagination or engaged my heart/brain. Love Eduardo Ballerini - he is phenomenal, but he cannot make a poorly written book to be great. I read other books by Sarah Durant, found them to be lucking something - authenticity, perhaps?Characters not fully fleshed out? Will be asking for a refund.

    0 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Golem and the Jinni: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Helene Wecker
    • Narrated By George Guidall
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1714)
    Performance
    (1578)
    Story
    (1582)

    Helene Wecker's dazzling debut novel tells the story of two supernatural creatures who appear mysteriously in 1899 New York. Chava is a golem, a creature made of clay, brought to life by a strange man who dabbles in dark Kabbalistic magic. When her master dies at sea on the voyage from Poland, she is unmoored and adrift as the ship arrives in New York Harbor. Ahmad is a jinni, a being of fire, born in the ancient Syrian Desert. Trapped in an old copper flask by a Bedouin wizard centuries ago, he is released accidentally by a tinsmith in a Lower Manhattan shop.

    Jefferson says: "Fine Romantic Urban Historical Immigrant Fantasy"
    "Best book of the year?!...Not..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I guess I am of the minority opinion - I was left feeling empty and dissatisfied after reading this book. Something is lucking. I can't even say that I disliked it - the book is just bland, like a meal cooked by a beginner. It will obviously have a sequel - the Epilogue is leading me to believe this, but I have no intention of ever listening to it. It seems like the author threw together few fantastic and unbelievable characters, magical beliefs from Jewish and Arab cultures. What is the point of this? The lasting peace in the Middle East?!
    As far as a description of the immigrant experience, it is just filled with glum and doom. There are so many better works of literature describing it.
    George Guidall is great as always, but he did not "save" this book for me.

    1 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Last Hero

    • UNABRIDGED (26 hrs and 27 mins)
    • By Peter Forbath
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (17)
    Performance
    (14)
    Story
    (14)

    In the greatest adventure of the Victorian age, a famous explorer makes a heroic relief expedition to a beleaguered British outpost deep in the heart of Africa. The British Empire, at its zenith, is shocked by the fall of Khartoum and the murder of General Gordon. But word reaches London that all is not lost; one garrison, commanded by the Emin Pasha, still holds out against the Mahdi leading the rebellion against the British in the Sudan. The Emin Pasha is hailed as a hero of mythic proportions.

    UncleHammy says: "Great stroy, Fantasticlly told but be aware..."
    "Simon Vance at his best!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Riveting, chilling account of Henry Morton Stanly's expedition to "save" Emin Pasha. I love listening to Simon Vance, and his narration is astonishingly spot on. Wonderful listen - and was educational for me as well.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Against the Tide

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 29 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Camden
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (38)
    Performance
    (36)
    Story
    (36)

    As a child, Lydia Pallas became all too familiar with uncertainty when it came to the future. Now, she's finally carved out a perfect life for herself - a life of stability and order with no changes, surprises, or chaos of any kind. She adores her apartment overlooking the bustling Boston Harbor, and her skill with languages has landed her a secure position as a translator for the U.S. Navy. However, it is her talent for translation that brings her into contact with Alexander Banebridge, or "Bane", a man who equally attracts and aggravates her.

    Robin says: "Are You Kidding Me?"
    "Simplistic and predictable"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I did not enjoy listening to this book. It did not really touch me. It is amazing how many villains are called "Professor". I found this story to be hard to believe, simplistic and predictable, with a hefty dose of Christian preaching. I seem to forget that "Recorded Books spirituals" stands for "beware, this book is going to ram some religion down your throat". In Elizabeth Camden's books there is no premarital sex and every one just enjoys gentle embraces... I am sure they are all blessed with an iron will...The characters are not fully developed, seem to resemble marionettes and not real people.
    I love Barbara Rosenblat. Listening to this book would not be bearable without her talent.
    I did listen to "The house on Winslow street" by the same author and found it to be better.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Winter King: The Dawn of Tudor England

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Thomas Penn
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (147)
    Performance
    (124)
    Story
    (124)

    A fresh look at the endlessly fascinating Tudors - the dramatic and overlooked story of Henry VII and his founding of the Tudor Dynasty - filled with spies, plots, counter-plots, and an uneasy royal succession to Henry VIII. Near the turn of the sixteenth century, England had been ravaged for decades by conspiracy and civil war. Henry Tudor clambered to the top of the heap, a fugitive with a flimsy claim to England’s crown who managed to win the throne and stay on it for 24 years.

    E. Stein says: "Excellent portrayal of a man and his time"
    "Informative but depressing..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    I bought this book without realizing this was an "actual" history book and not a historical fiction novel. I listened; I feel like I know so much more now about Henry the VII and his time. It does not make for pleasant pastime: I was shocked by his "regime"'s brutality, deceit, systematic destruction of his subjects' lives and highway robbery of their assets. I can see why "monarchy" and "tyranny"are so close - practically synonyms. I did get quite depressed listening to it, but I would listen to more of Penn's writings if it becomes available on audio.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Sister: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 42 mins)
    • By Rosamund Lupton
    • Narrated By Juanita McMahon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (99)
    Performance
    (86)
    Story
    (82)

    When Beatrice learns her sister Tess is missing, she goes to London to join the search. And when everyone else gives up, only Beatrice soldiers on—determined to cut through the dark secrets and learn the truth behind her sister’s disappearance.

    Susianna says: "Deliciously Dark Literary Thriller"
    "Excruciatingly boring..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book is boring, artificial, and failing to engage me as a listener. I had listened for 3 hour now, and I am done...I love Juanita MC Mahon, but her great talent cannot save this piece of literary garbage. I am getting a refund on this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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