I downloaded this audiobook somewhat on a whim. Four and a half stars from a few hundred ratings, sounds like it will be a good book, and then over 30 hours, how's that for value for money?!
Then I started listening... and I basically didn't stop. I was hooked from the first chapter. The writing is brilliant, and the characters even better. I usually struggle with books with heaps of characters, but Ken Follett introduces all the characters gradually and in a logical order so I didn't struggle even once.
As well as really enjoying the specifics of each characters story and becoming really invested in how their lives will turn out, the historical context of this book was fantastic for me. I'm ashamed to admit that my history knowledge is shockingly bad; I'd like to blame my schooling but that only takes me so far. So now, my favourite way to learn about history is like this; by reading (or more commonly listening to) a well researched historical fiction book, where the story keeps me listening but I learn all sorts about that period in history at the same time.
This book had me laughing out loud, and at one point tears running down my cheeks. John Lee did an amazing job at narrating an even more amazing story. I could not recommend this enough.
Wow, just wow. I think this is hands down the best audiobook that I have listened to on Audible. I highly recommend this book.
The Kitchen House is set in the late 1700's/early 1800's in Virginia, and tells an enchanting tale of the complicated relationships and interactions between the slaves and their owners, with poor Lavinia, an orphaned white Irish girl, caught somewhere in between. Told from two points of view in alternating chapters, we hear from Lavinia and Belle (a slave) as their story unfolds. Taking us through from when Lavinia is brought to the plantation, her growing up among the slaves and her transition into being a 'white woman' as she becomes an adult. The first half of the story was interesting, but it was the second half that had me gripped.
Kathleen Grissom has written a treasure in this book. The story is both horrific and beautiful at the same time. Not shying away from the difficult sections, just puts the rest of the story into better perspective. The key theme of the book is the complexities of the relationships between Lavinia, the family and their slaves. The characters she develops are well rounded and you can't help keep listening to find out how things turn out.
The book is read by two narrators, one for Lavinia and one for Belle, and both do a fantastic job. Adding just the right sentiment to the words, and keeping the individual personality of the narrator at the time.
Upon finishing "Fall of Giants" and checking out other books by Ken Follett I was thrilled to discover that there was a sequel! I downloaded it instantly and listened in every available moment until I finished.
Building on the background of Fall of Giants, Winter of the World picks up a fair few years after Fall of Giants finishes, and focuses on the children of the characters from Fall of Giants. I found this a refreshing way to go about writing a sequel; it had the perfect combination of familiarity and novelty.
While I recommend listening to/reading Fall of Giants first, that is by no means essential, with the two books complementing each other rather than requiring each other.
There are some scenes in this book that I think will stick in my brain forever. I enjoyed it just as much as the first and cannot wait for the third book to be published.
I really enjoyed this audiobook, and have actually listened to it a couple of times since downloading it. The story was great, the characters well developed and I really enjoyed listening. I can't think of much more to say than that, except if you are after a nice, light hearted story, this might be the one for you.
I downloaded this because the narrator was Jilly Bond, and I've really enjoyed her performances in the past. In addition to the narration being fantastic, the story turned out to be pretty good too! I wasn't really paying enough attention at the beginning and got a little confused that there were two points of view, but as soon as I got that sorted in my head I settled into really enjoying the story.
Shortly after listening to "Belles" and proclaiming that I would like for it to be the first in a series, I discover that it is! If you enjoyed Belles then I definitely recommend Winter White. Again Julia Whelan does a great job with the narration.
I downloaded this for free as part of the Valentines Day promotion, and am very glad that I did. Don't expect more than this genre of book will be, but it was a nice little story and I enjoyed listening to it. Gia St. Claire did a great job narrating.
I've never actually read the wonderful wizard of Oz, so thought I'd download it as an audiobook. It turns out I made a fantastic choice, this book is considered a classic for a reason! While different to the popular movie, the story has many similarities. It's a charming story, with enough differences from the movie to make it worth reading/listening to. My enjoyment of this audiobook was greatly increased by Anne Hathaway's narration - she was fantastic! If she narrates any other books I would definitely like to listen to them. Her voices, tone and inclination were perfect, really drawing you into the story. While you could definitely tell it was her reading, that just added to the effect. I strongly recommend downloading this audiobook, I don't think you'll regret it.
Another one I really enjoyed, a good listen that doesn't need your full attention. I reached the end of the audiobook and was disappointed that it finished - I found myself wishing it was the beginning of a series. Julia Whelan did a great job narrating, really bring the characters alive with her narration.
Another book in the normal "genre" I like to listen to, and exactly what I was after. A light-hearted story that kept my attention throughout. I picked this audiobook because it was narrated by Jilly Bond, and was not disappointed. I've already listened to it again.
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