Even though I had read this book a few years ago, I had enjoyed it so very much then, I decided it was worth a listen. I'm so glad I did, I was quite caught up all over again in the story. That narrator puts you right there in the mountain community of many years back, vivid descriptions of the mountains, the people in the story came to life for me.
I'm not sure why I did not especially love this book, but I did really like it. The enthusiasm of this teacher for involving and motivating his students was so admirable, the schools need more like him. What an interesting man, such a strong spirit to carry him through his battle. I felt sad his marriage suffered because of his dedication and then the cancer dominated everything after it arrived in the story. I felt very sad for D.Menasche as he met up with former students. It was very moving that many remembered him so well and wanted to help. I did end up inspired by him, but just a sadness remained.
This was a very enjoyable read/listen. In fact, the narration by the author added to the overall ++ enjoyment of the story for me. I became quite fond of the character Smithy. I wish I could sit down on a bench and have a chat with him. In his journey across the country he met some interesting folks. I found myself laughing out loud or feeling sadly sympathetic and protective of Smithy. If a movie is made, I do hope it stays true to the book.
I heard so much rave reviews about this book, and yet when I began I found myself struggling to decide to stay with it or not. After the initial excitement in the start, the story follows along at great length with various stages of life the main character finds himself in. I sometimes found myself wanting the story to hurry along, bored with the current section I might be in. It was quite involved in the world of stolen art, of which I had no idea went on. It definitely picked up towards the end and I HAD to stay with it now to find out what would happen. I'm glad I finished it, ended up enjoying it, but might be hesitant to refer it to my friends.
I sometimes struggle with books that switch back in time. This begins with the immigration of the irish to NY, and the story of the Orphan Train is fascinating , I had no idea that had happened. The story flips to the present to follow on with characters that will eventually be connected. The narration was wonderful and helped me easily keep on track with who, what,when,where. I became very involved with the characters. The narration added greatly to the entire impact of the story. The only reason I did not give 5 stars - I was slightly disappointed in the end, I wasn't ready at that moment that it would end like that, and wanted more closure, But still, an excellent audible listen.
I was pleased to pick up with this family where Her Mother's Hope had ended. It is a long story with alot of people to keep track of, so very much happens through the course of their lives. I thoroughly enjoy everything that Francine Rivers writes.
I was already a longtime fan of Francine Rivers, so I knew I would be completely engrossed in this story, as I did become. I love to get caught up in the character's lives and emotions, feeling what they feel, seeing what they see. Francine has such a gift for that. LOVED the story, was disappointed in the sudden ending. So of course it was not long until I was downloaded the next book Her Daughter's Dream so I was not disappointed. (The problem with listening to a book on tape, you don't see that you are coming down to the last few pages, otherwise I might of been better prepared for the abrupt ending!)
I could not wait each day for my next listen of The Witness. What a complex fascinating story, I had not even been aware of the Russian Mafia! I connected immediately with the main character and ached for her and all that transpired. I cheered for her strong spirit and independence. I was happy with the outcome of the story as well.
I couldn't stop listening to this story but was so caught up in the anguish of the lives these women have to live in that far corner of the world. It was a window into a world I heard somewhat about, but the story brought to life the reality of the cruelty and harshness of life for a woman in that world. Hard to read, but glad I did.
I appreciated this book much more this time around than when I read it many years ago as required reading. I became very involved in the main characters life, felt her range of emotions for all that befell her in her life. Excellent story.
I read this many many years ago on a school required reading list, but it's significance was lost on me then. Reading it now, I was very caught up in the life of these folks on the other side of the world, and what it must of been like for them in those times. I was captivated by the people's stories and eager each reading day to see what developed next. A very somber story, but an eye-opener into history.
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