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Love Historical fiction, 1750 -1950, stories from cold/temperate climates, stories from the British Isles, & physical disability fiction.

Normandy Park, WA, United States | Member Since 2012

  • 5 reviews
  • 97 ratings
  • 248 titles in library
  • 7 purchased in 2015

  • A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows: An Outlander Novella

    • UNABRIDGED (1 hr and 59 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Robert Ian MacKenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Available for the first time as an audiobook in this original Outlander novella, Diana Gabaldon reveals what really happened to Roger MacKenzie Wakefield’s parents. Orphaned during World War II, Roger believed that his mother died during the London Blitz, and that his father, an RAF pilot, was killed in combat. But in An Echo in the Bone, Roger discovers that this may not be the whole story. Now, in "A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows," readers finally learn the truth.

    sandy says: "I miss davina porter"
    "Overall a grim story, but oh, so well written."
    Would you listen to A Leaf on the Wind of All Hallows again? Why?

    It's a sad story. I have no need to hear it again. But the details are essential if you are a devoted Outlander follower.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    I loved Jerry McKenzie. Any man who can love one woman completely, steals my heart

    What about Robert Ian MacKenzie’s performance did you like?

    He did great accents, and was a great smooth reader.

    9 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie: Highland Pleasures, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jennifer Ashley
    • Narrated By Angela Dawe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    It was whispered all through London society that he was a murderer, that he'd spent his youth in an asylum and was not to be trusted - especially with a lady. Any woman caught in his presence was immediately ruined. Yet Beth found herself inexorably drawn to the Scottish lord whose hint of a brogue wrapped around her like silk and whose touch could draw her into a world of ecstasy.

    "Silly, Stupid, Dumb"
    Would you ever listen to anything by Jennifer Ashley again?

    No. The idea of the plot was interesting, but every time anything interesting began to happen, a steamy childish sex occurred with mad passion being the only emotion. It was like one of those 1950's musicals where normal life events are going along, and then suddenly the characters start singing and dancing, and then when they finish, the story starts again.

    In this story, it was sex instead of music being inserted into scenes, and like the music in good musicals, the sex scenes were interesting enough as stand-alones, but they often just got in the way of the plot. I like a good sexy book, but I thought that in this book, a serious interesting topic was going to be explored in a historical fiction format.

    The story was ostensibly about how the behaviors that today are diagnosed as Autism were perceived and treated few centuries ago. The problem was that the plot kept getting tangled up with its apparent need for suspenseful action and uncontrollable lust. The characters were stilted, one-dimensional, and completely predictable. The interesting plot line just got lost in the lust.

    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    The narration was fine. It was the story that was bad.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Life After Life: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Fenella Woolgar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

    Diane says: "Life after life after life after life after life.."
    "Hated the book that everyone else seems to love"
    What would have made Life After Life better?

    If Ursula remembered what she did from life to life and could have been the instigator of improvements in her later life. If she had shown any self-esteem

    Would you be willing to try another one of Fenella Woolgar’s performances?

    Sure. It wasn't her fault the book was so bad. I probably won't read anymore of Kate Atkinson, however.

    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger, lots of it. I wanted Ursula to stand up for herself. I wanted her to tell people off you abused her.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dead Shall Not Rest: A Dr. Thomas Silkstone Mystery, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 26 mins)
    • By Tessa Harris
    • Narrated By Simon Vance

    In 1780s London, it is not just the living who are prey to criminals and cutpurses. Corpses, too, are fair game - dug up from fresh graves and sold to unscrupulous men of science. Dr. Thomas Silkstone abhors such methods, but his leading rival, Dr. John Hunter, has learned of the imminent death of eight-foot-tall Charles Byrne and will go to any lengths to obtain the body for his research. Thomas intends to see that Byrne is allowed to rest in peace, but his efforts are complicated when his betrothed, Lady Lydia Farrell, breaks off their engagement without explanation.

    barbara says: "good but not as good as #1"
    "Very Grisly"
    What did you like best about The Dead Shall Not Rest? What did you like least?

    I liked catching up with Thomas and his mentor, but this story was too sad. Way too many horrible things happened to really good people. I know that really bad things happen to good people in real life all the time, but in a book that I read for pleasure, I want the people who are wronged to get a least a small amount of justice or compensation. There was absolutely none of that here.

    Also the book ended with Thomas' personal life completely unresolved. I felt this book ended where it did just to manipulate me into reading the next book. This type of manipulation is a cheap trick, and totally unnecessary.

    When a series is really good, each book stands alone. Think about series such as: Peter Robinson's Inspector Banks books, J.D. Robb's In-Death series, Deborah Crombie's Duncan Kincaid & Gemma James books, Louise Penny's Inspector Gamache series, and Diana Gabaldon's Outlander series. Every book in each of these series stands alone, and I read the next book simply because the last one was good, and I got attached to the main characters.

    After the first book in this series, I thought : Now here is the possibility for a really wonderful and unusual series. Now after reading the second book, I just feel emotionally jerked around.

    Has The Dead Shall Not Rest turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No, not at all. There are some truly great books in this genre. No one book could ever turn me off the entire genre.

    Although I certainly didn't love this particular book, this series still has really great potential if the author would focus more on the mysteries of early pathology, and the strange ideas that people of that time had about anatomy. What I was really turned off by, was the emphasis on senseless violence and the malevolence of unprincipled people.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    I liked when Lydia finally shared her past with Thomas.

    Do you think The Dead Shall Not Rest needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    The relationship between Thomas and Lydia needs resolution, as well as the personal problem of Lydia's that came out at the very end of this book. As I said: Cheap Trick!

    Any additional comments?

    To Tessa Harris, the Author. Trust your writing skills and your ability to develop characters that people can care about. Hook your readers with your writing skills, not cliff hangers.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Hide and Seek: Inspector Rebus, Book 2

    • ABRIDGED (3 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Ian Rankin
    • Narrated By Bill Paterson, Ian Rankin

    A junkie lies dead in an Edinburgh squat, spreadeagled, cross-like on the floor, between two burned-down candles, a five-pointed star daubed on the wall above. Just another dead addict - until John Rebus begins to chip away at the indifference, treachery, deceit and sleaze that lurks behind the facade of the Edinburgh familiar to tourists. Only Rebus seems to care about a death which looks more like a murder every day, about a seductive danger he can almost taste, appealing to the darkest corners of his mind.

    connie says: "skip the unabridged"
    "Loved book, love the author. HATE abridged books"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    I hate abridged books because I want to choose for myself whether or not to skip certain parts of a book. Many times I make a choice to skip places in books, but I want that choice to be mine. It angers me to have someone else make the editing decisions as to what parts are essential to the story and which are not. Since I was unable to find a non-abridged audio version any price, I actually got the print book to see what I missed. When I read the print version, it was apparent that the cuts were mostly to the male/female relationship interplay scenes. Given the choice, I would have chosen to hear those and skip some of the violence, but those who feel differently should be able to do their own editing too. Abridging also insults the author, and Ian Rankin is much to good an author to have that done to him.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    John Rebus is smart, funny, imperfect, and very real. I'd invite him to share my dinner table anytime.

    What about Bill Paterson and Ian Rankin ’s performance did you like?

    The accents, the slang, and the banter between characters. That's why I bought and listened to the audio version despite my aversion to abridged books.

    Could you see Hide and Seek being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    I don't care. I don't like movies especially movies based on books. It's just another example of someone else editing for me. I like audio-books better. I like to imagine my own characters.

    Any additional comments?

    Please...... offer non-abridged versions along with abridged versions of Audible books. Very frustrating.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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