Ruth Rendell's books are time-released cleverness. All the time you're reading, your brain is storing information - without you realizing it - and for days, weeks, maybe years after you've finished the book, the stored bits will drop into your consciousness at the strangest moments. You will realize you didn't understand the full import of the book when you finished it. You will have a flash of insight, an eyebrow-raising or jaw-dropping AHA! moment as another hidden clue or bit of plot slips into its place or a layer is revealed. I'm still thinking about this book weeks after I finished it. Not because the Crocodile Bird was a gripping page-turner, though the story, told in Scheherazade-style chunks, is compelling: a young woman tells her boyfriend tales of her strange childhood with a murdering mother. It was beautifully written, of course, and the narration was good. I'm still thinking about it because the characters became real to me and I'd like to know what happens to them for the rest of their lives.
I'm glad I read (heard) it and I recommend it to the readers who enjoy storytelling that expects your brain to get involved.
A fan of Ms. Brown's 'Royal Spyness' series, I had high expectations of this series. I wasn't disappointed. They are completely different from each other; humor is not a main character in Molly Murphy's story. Having lethally dispatched an arrogant landlord's son who had an old-fashioned sense of droit de seigneur when he tried to rape her, Molly runs away. Much farther away than she would have ever believed possible, because of a chance meeting with a consumptive mother of two who begs her to take the children to America on the next ship. She gives Molly her ticket because she has learned she would not be allowed to disembark in America because of the tuberculosis.
I found the following tale of miserable conditions in steerage class and the rigors of disembarcation at Ellis Island very (painfully) believable. The story takes place in the very early 1900s, and I think the story is well-researched. Life in turn-of-the-century New York City is also portrayed realistically and rather depressingly. Before Molly and the children are allowed to leave Ellis Island, a man with whom Molly had an altercation on the ship is brutally murdered and Molly falls under suspicion. The New York police detective in charge of the investigation becomes a romantic interest, even though he believes Molly to be a married woman.
This is the first book in a very good series. I have only read the first four in the 13-book series, but they get better and better.
This is the first in a series which Audible doesn't carry in entirety, which was a terrible blow. In this first book, a skinflint drunkard 'inherits' a young woman from a deceased uncle. He rents a London house which is available at a shockingly low price because, unbeknownst to him, it has an unlucky reputation, even though the address is good. The staff is top-notch and excited the house has been rented for the season until they learn the new master of the house is a cheapskate. Fortunately, the young woman is singularly resourceful - making dresses from the curtains and out-gambling the gambling queens of the ton. She changes all their fortunes - especially downstairs. It's a great story with an odd twist at the end. Highly recommended. Hopefully Audible will get the rights for the rest of the tales soon.
This is the second of a series that is not carried in its entirety by Audible, which is a crying shame. The scenario: a London house with a good address has a bad luck reputation and a terrible landlord. The staff, on the other hand, is top-notch and trying to make it through rough times. When the elder, pretty sister has her first 'season', the cheap parents rent the house and do their best to forget the plain second sister. The staff will see about that.
I don't know if this will be the last book in the series, but if so, Ms. Sweeney saved the best for last. The mystery was good, the characters especially good, and the mysterious mill cat was an unexpectedly sweet pooka.
This is an entertaining series and the characters remain true throughout. The narrator has a lot of voices to keep true and she does a great job. This wasn't the best of the lot, but it was still fun.
This is a story full of adventure, danger, catastrophe, survival, loss and hope. Shipboard romance becomes something stronger under survival conditions on an uncharted island. Then everything changes disastrously. No spoilers here. The characters are strong and real. There is a nice continuance or re-emergence of characters throughout the story. The narration was very good and enhanced the tale. Very engaging. Heard to stop listening.
I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of anecdotes from safari-land. A little bit coming-of-age, a little bit self-expose, a whole lot funny, and totally charming. Winding through the entire story is a surprising amount of information: history, natural history, animal behavior, botany, psychology, geography and probably a lot of other things I didn't notice because it was so gently integrated. These are stories of the bush told by a safari guide who loved the animals, birds and plants he lived and worked amongst. I suspect this will stay in my favorites so I can listen to bits of it again whenever I have a few minutes. Highly recommended.
When a scientist tries to apply the theoritcal testing process to romance, something is bound to go wrong, right? And if he engages the assistance of his romantic objective in the process under false pretenses, he's an idiot. In the end, he's lucky he's surrounded by family who help him, because her family is on a course of destruction. Very entertaining.
I don't usually like books that anthropomorphosize animals. It's an eye-rolling premise. Normally. This is not a 'normal' book. This is a little piece of written artwork and the dog's narrative was perfect. No one else could have done it. This book is about a dog and his man, about racing cars, about how families support and betray each other, about success and failure, about living and dying, and mostly about love. This is a story told by a dog on the verge of human-hood.
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