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Rachel

Minneapolis, MN, United States | Member Since 2010

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 2 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 218 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
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  • The Kitchen House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By Kathleen Grissom
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy, Bahni Turpin
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (7111)
    Performance
    (5053)
    Story
    (5042)

    Orphaned while onboard ship from Ireland, seven-year-old Lavinia arrives on the steps of a tobacco plantation where she is to live and work with the slaves of the kitchen house. Under the care of Belle, the master's illegitimate daughter, Lavinia becomes deeply bonded to her adopted family, though she is set apart from them by her white skin. Eventually, Lavinia is accepted into the world of the big house, where the master is absent and the mistress battles opium addiction.

    B.J. says: "Good, but with reservations"
    "An Irish orphan's sufferings on a slave plantation"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    I wouldn't recommend it because the story feels flat. It lacks richness of character and there are no dramatic high points or moments of humor. I also found the Irish-accented narration droning.


    What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

    The most interesting aspect of the story was the notion of an outsider with unclear status taking part in both a slave family and a slave-owner family. The least interesting aspect was the stereotype-ridden characters.


    Have you listened to any of Orlagh Cassidy and Bahni Turpin ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    I have not heard any others.


    Do you think The Kitchen House needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No. The characters just aren't interesting enough.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Royal Highness

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Thomas Mann
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    Overall
    (7)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (7)

    For his Royal Highness Klaus Heinrich, prince of a small German duchy, life means servitude to traditional ducal functions - until he meets the independent-spirited and liberal-minded American Miss Spoelmann. During the course of his unorthodox and quixotically tender wooing, Heinrich is forced to reach into unknown depths of his personality and discover the real meaning of the word ‘duty’.

    Rachel says: "It's not The Magic Mountain."
    "It's not The Magic Mountain."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    It wasn't entirely wasted, but this is far from Mann at his best.


    Would you recommend Royal Highness to your friends? Why or why not?

    No, because the story is quite dull. It is mostly an exploration of what goes into forming the German prince of the pre-WWI era. I might recommend it to a fellow historian, as it seems clear that Mann was elaborating his view of the German national character and militaristic tendencies (of the era) in this story.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by Simon Vance?

    Yes, but the narration was rather uninspired.


    Do you think Royal Highness needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    No, not that type of a book.


    4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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