Vintage Conroy...read Conroy to taste grits and shrimp, smell salt water, hear the drawl of Charleston. I love the southern flavor, but always lament Conroy's minimum requirements for enlistment as a Southern Belle... mysterious females born with Barbie doll figures, Mensa level IQ's, flawless skin, adorned by family diamonds (gifts from Sherman to grandmothers who saved homes...no towns... from being burned), mistress of all domestic arts, fluent in 6 languages (learned Italian and German while singing with the Met) ....and have at least one secret, illegitimate child by a brutal politician. I fall so short...but inspired to keep trying.
How nice when a book matches its reviews! Thank you, reviewers! This is a well-written and very worthwhile listen! I listened to it after "The Boys in the Boat"--the best book I have heard this year---and still thought it was excellent---different writing, but excellent!
First of all, let me say that I am setting this book aside at Chapter 5 because of the change in Mitford and the narrator's strained-diaphragmatic voice. It is not easy listening. I may resume the book at a later time and completely revise this, since other reviewers say the book improves toward the end, but for now, I very much agree with Sara's review. The early books were so charming! The therapeutic value of Mitford is that the story takes us to interpersonal relationships as they could be. As Sara said, there is now a strange edginess about the town. Father Tim seems to have beome a curmudgeon... others' over-attention to Tim's diabetes and others' efforts to dress Tim properly, cut Tim's hair and (for gosh sakes) offer Tim help with bowel purgatives make the priest appear childish and coddled. Wish I could give this 5 stars, but alas, it is 3 at best.
At the end of this audiobook, there is an interview with the author who mentions this is a book that should be told....read aloud in the American tradition of storytelling. How right he is! This is well written and avoids the pitfalls of over dramatization with such diverse characters. It is a coming-of-age book....you love this flawed family and are relieved when they find peace and redemption. The book begins and ends at the perfect time. The reader has wonderful intonation and articulation. Great book!
You do not listen to this for the story or the narration...you want to hear the facts. The facts are fairly solid, but the narration? There were so many odd pauses I had to wonder: was he getting tired of his own book? Did he lose his place? Was he choking on a bean? I am sure the publisher did their best to get him to use a professional reader, but they should have tried harder. I've only heard one health book where the author did a great job of reading...Drop Dead Healthy... Fuhrman may be a great doc, but his reading does not do him any favors. If he ever writes another book, I hope he will use a professional reader (I certainly won't buy another book he narrates). Reviews are just the reviewer's opinion, and obviously, few agreed with me.
Anything these guys write is good. It just is. They research their topics well and give practical advice. It's not the classic that "Boundaries" is, but it's a worthwhile comment to "The Secret"...much clearer spiritually. It is Christian perspective, so if you're hoping for a New Age experience, that it is not.
This is uplifting and informative, as others have mentioned, but I hoped for something a little more useful for my own life. Even tho I am a female, I preferred the thoroughness of the info (and delivery) in Drop Dead Healthy by AJ Jacobs. Laughter is GREAT for your health, and he really made me laugh! That's more my style since I am more recalcitrant in my health practices.
I was not familiar with AJ Jacobs, but now I feel as though I know his entire family! He is not only a great writer, but he is a wonderful narrator. This is a truly entertaining book, and I literally laughed out loud at some of his health experiments....I'm pretty sure my ears are healthier by listening to the book instead of reading it. It's an aural thing.
If you're looking for a good, southern author, Martin's your man. Martin's descriptions can be over-the-top; however, he skillfully created a character (Uncle Willy) whose bungled southern metaphors were endearing. We always enjoy Martin's ability to weave stories about everyday life.... he usually shows a human side to villains....which is important to his overall themes of mercy and justice. Our least favorite of Martin's books was, The Mountain Between Us.... so we were surprised to see it rated higher in popularity. Maybe we didn't enjoy it because it was set in the Rockies and we live in Southern Appalachia. :)... southerners love to read about their own beloved homes and schools. Go Dogs!
toward the end....when the house with the marble floors (where his wife and twins lived) turned out to be a mausoleum...their graves.
It was disppointing, because so many other people seemed to like this book; but, it was simply too tedious for me.
Very little about Folly Beach.... just another romance. No SC feel...very light on descriptions and history. Why didn't the female character franchise her sister's bakery to SC so that the southern ambience could come to life through daily life/customers? Could have been a healing journey...but the plots were scantily developed. The female victim's husband committed suicide. Oh well.... The male victim's wife tried to kill him. Oh well. Side plots were too dramatic for such bare mentions....victim-romances belong in a novel called "Betty Ford Center", not "Folly Beach". Guess we'll have to stick to Conroy for the SC feel....even if his characters are bigger than life. The reader was clear and had some good dialect-sounds.
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