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Gayle

ratings
202
REVIEWS
53
FOLLOWING
5
FOLLOWERS
3
HELPFUL VOTES
73

  • Freeman

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Leonard Pitts
    • Narrated By Sean Crisden
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (126)
    Performance
    (113)
    Story
    (111)

    Freeman, the new novel by Leonard Pitts, Jr., takes place in the first few months following the Confederate surrender and the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. Upon learning of Lee's surrender, Sam - a runaway slave who once worked for the Union Army - decides to leave his safe haven in Philadelphia and set out on foot to return to the war-torn South. What compels him on this almost-suicidal course is the desire to find his wife, the mother of his only child, whom he and their son left behind 15 years earlier on the Mississippi farm to which they all "belonged".

    Chrissie says: "After the Civil War"
    "Makes You Care"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a book I won't soon forget. I loved the characters--Prudence, Bonnie, Sam, Miss Jenny, Tilda. The author makes you care about these people and want them to succeed. They were all so real, and the author's portrayals were enhanced by the narrator. We even gain insight into the despicable people and their actions. That doesn't make their actions any less atrocious, but it does make them perhaps a little more understandable.

    This definitely makes my Top 10, probably Top 5!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Forgotten Garden

    • UNABRIDGED (20 hrs and 38 mins)
    • By Kate Morton
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5264)
    Performance
    (3030)
    Story
    (3072)

    Thirty-eight year old Cassandra is lost, alone, and grieving. Her much loved grandmother, Nell, has just died and Cassandra, her life already shaken by a tragic accident 10 years ago, feels like she has lost everything known and dear to her.

    avid reader says: "Hours of enjoyable, fun listening"
    "Interesting mystery"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book switches many times from when one of the characters, Nell, is a little girl to a mature woman to an elderly woman, and because of the frequent switches requires somewhat closer listening than is sometimes my preference.

    That said, I was completely absorbed in the mystery of Nell's past. I like that we are given all the clues and just need to put them together. The secondary story line of Cassandra putting her life back together is a little predictable but pleasant.

    Can't give this book a 4, but would give it a solid 3.5.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Narrated By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1451)
    Performance
    (1252)
    Story
    (1228)

    A Grown-Up Kind of Pretty is a powerful saga of three generations of women, plagued by hardships and torn by a devastating secret, yet inextricably joined by the bonds of family. Fifteen-year-old Mosey Slocumb-spirited, sassy, and on the cusp of womanhood-is shaken when a small grave is unearthed in the backyard, and determined to figure out why it's there. Liza, her stroke-ravaged mother, is haunted by choices she made as a teenager. But it is Jenny, Mosey's strong and big-hearted grandmother....

    Janice says: "I wanted to cheer out loud!"
    "Charming"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I really liked this story of three generations of women and found myself pulling for each of them, even though they sometimes seemed to be at odds with each other. Underneath it all, they love each other and that comes through. I like that the characters are intelligent and have common sense and for the most part behave in such a manner.

    I thought the author's narration was delightful, that she captured the Southern accents and flavor of each character.

    I was a little disappointed that there was not more of a concrete, line-in-the-sand resolution to the situation, but I guess if the characters can go with it, so can I!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ordinary Grace

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 59 mins)
    • By William Kent Krueger
    • Narrated By Rich Orlow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (673)
    Performance
    (598)
    Story
    (596)

    Award-winning author William Kent Krueger has gained an immense fan base for his Cork O’Connor series. In Ordinary Grace, Krueger looks back to 1961 to tell the story of Frank Drum, a boy on the cusp of manhood. A typical 13-year-old with a strong, loving family, Frank is devastated when a tragedy forces him to face the unthinkable - and to take on a maturity beyond his years.

    Ronna says: "best book to come along this year!!"
    "Compelling listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this book very much. The characters were consistent, believable, and wonderfully described. The narrator was great. He made each voice distinguishable, did not over dramatize.

    There is, however, one detail that keeps niggling at me. I even went back and listened to sections again, thinking perhaps I’d missed it. Why were the “treasures” kept? Other than this, I thought everything flowed beautifully. Despite my missing the explanation for this, I liked this book very much and found it a compelling listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • 44 Scotland Street

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Robert Ian Mackenzie
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (687)
    Performance
    (435)
    Story
    (435)

    The brilliant Alexander McCall Smith became an international sensation with his New York Times best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency novels. His award-winning wit, made famous through that series, is fully on display in 44 Scotland Street.

    J. Rogers says: "Smith's answer to Maupin"
    "Entertaining, lighthearted read"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was originally published serially in a newspaper. I don't think I would have liked to read this book in that way--I would not have wanted to wait for each installment!

    I’m glad to see that there is a second book for I, like the author, have grown attached to the characters. I have also read a couple of the books in the author's No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, and although I also liked those characters, I feel that this book somehow has a bit more substance and is, therefore, more interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Emperor's Soul

    • UNABRIDGED (3 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Brandon Sanderson
    • Narrated By Angela Lin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1061)
    Performance
    (963)
    Story
    (975)

    New York Times best-selling author Brandon Sanderson is widely celebrated for his Mistborn Trilogy and contribution to the final three books of Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. In The Emperor's Soul, a Forger named Shai can copy and re-create any item by using magic to rewrite its history. After being condemned to death for attempting to steal the emperor's scepter, Shai is given one final chance. She' ll be allowed to live if she can create a new soul for the emperor, who hovers near death.

    debbie says: "A Great Short Novella that is Long in Story"
    "Enjoyable and Engrossing"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I used to say that I’m not a fantasy fan, but perhaps I am. I thoroughly enjoyed being immersed in Shai’s plight and marveled at the Sanderson-created world and its possibilities.

    Maybe because this is a novela, I felt less time was spent on the minute, stage-setting details of the "world", which allowed us to get to the heart of the story sooner. I like that aspect of this being a novela; at the same time, I would have loved for this to be a series. I want more Shai!

    I thought the narrator's voice was ideal for Shai and that she did very well with the other characters as well, making each one distinguishable.

    A very enjoyable and engrossing listen - even if it is fantasy! ;)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Life of Pi

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Yann Martel
    • Narrated By Jeff Woodman
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10994)
    Performance
    (6188)
    Story
    (6237)

    Pi Patel has been raised in a zoo in India. When his father decides to move the family to Canada and sell the animals to American zoos, everyone boards a Japanese cargo ship. The ship sinks, and 16-year-old Pi finds himself alone on a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra with a broken leg, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon it's just Pi, the tiger, and the vast Pacific Ocean - for 227 days. Pi's fear, knowledge, and cunning keep him alive until they reach the coast of Mexico, where the tiger disappears into the jungle.

    Theresa says: "Best audio of the year for me"
    "Lighthearted fantasy - not quite"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Not what I expected. For some reason, I was expecting this to be kind of a lighthearted fantasy about a boy and his pet lion. Wrong. Instead, the first part of the book was an exploration of religion. The section on the boat was more adventure with education on animal training and other tidbits.

    I did not care for the conclusion. Am I supposed to choose what I believe happened? And is that choice supposed to indicate my view on religion? It was a little too nebulous for me. It's not that I object to books that make me think. I guess I just didn't expect this book to have an underlying religious theme.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • In the Company of Cheerful Ladies: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Lisette Lecat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1705)
    Performance
    (937)
    Story
    (925)

    Readers everywhere have become entranced by the New York Times best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, from acclaimed author and award-winning wit Alexander McCall Smith. Each charming book in the series is a masterpiece of comic subtlety and a window for viewing the distinctive culture and landscape of Botswana.

    Nancy says: "Great Listen"
    "Pleasant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would best describe this book as "pleasant." The characters are pleasant; the narrator is pleasant.

    If you're looking for any sort of crime thriller, this is not it. The "mysteries" are pretty minor and easily solved by our ladies.

    The narrator had a very pleasant voice and represented each character well and captured the book's nuances very well also.

    I should say that this was my first book in the series (even though it's no. 6). I didn't feel that I'd missed a lot of background, but when I'm in the mood for a light listen, I will probably go back and start the series from the beginning. All in all, a lighthearted, pleasant listening experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Adam Makos
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (1119)
    Performance
    (1019)
    Story
    (1032)

    Four days before Christmas in 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail - a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber with the squeeze of a trigger.

    JerryL says: "An Absolutely Incredcredible Audiobook!"
    "Implausible fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If this were fiction, I'd have to say it was a little implausible. Being a true story, It's amazing. I think it's amazing that the incident occurred in the first place, and secondly that they were able to resolve it so many years later as they did.

    It was interesting to see two opposing sides but not necessarily two opposing conclusions.
    I think the story of these men shows there are good, noble people all over the world and that there are more than two sides to every story.

    A worthwhile listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4997)
    Performance
    (2385)
    Story
    (2400)

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Mary Lynn says: "Brilliant story, pitch perfect narration"
    "One Word - Wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wonderful story, wonderful characters, wonderful narrator. All interwove to create a memorable and fulfilling listening experience.

    With an audio book in particular, it is sometimes difficult for me to keep track of person, time, and place. I think both the narrator and author skillfully eliminated any such confusion for me.

    Oddly enough, as much as I enjoyed the book and loved the characters, this is not one of those books I hated to have end. I felt there were no loose ends, so to speak. Each character’s story and the overall story came satisfyingly full circle.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Town Like Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Robin Bailey
    Overall
    (1718)
    Performance
    (1148)
    Story
    (1157)

    Jean Paget is just twenty years old and working in Malaya when the Japanese invasion begins. When she is captured she joins a group of other European women and children whom the Japanese force to march for miles through the jungle. While on the march, the group run into some Australian prisoners, one of whom, Joe Harman, helps them steal some food, and is horrifically punished by the Japanese as a result.

    Amazon Customer says: "Better still in Audio form"
    "Liked this a lot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this audio book a lot, although I can't say exactly why. It's not action-packed, not compellingly dramatic, not hilariously funny. The characters are not flamboyantly magnetic. All the same, I was drawn to the main character, Jean, and and her story and wanted to keep listening.

    The narrator is delightful. He brings the voices of each character to life and sets just the right tone for the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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