The diary of English housewife Nella Last's life on the Home Front during WWII. Often, a very "every day" kind of life despite the turbulent times: her anecdotes of dodging bombs in the blitz, and Churchill's speeches on the wireless, are interspersed with instructions for making custard with rationed eggs and milk, and baby gowns out of old pillowcases. I'm old enough to remember women like Nella: strong women who got their families through the war like sergeant majors with "make do" attitudes. These sketches of Nella's everyday life are interesting, but more interesting to me are Nella's revelations about her strained marriage, her views on the changing relations between men and women, and her growing dissatisfaction with her traditional role. Nella is smart, resourceful and talented - the wistful undercurrent throughout the diary is Nella's awareness that, under different circumstances, she could have been much more than "Housewife 49".
This is not a journalistic account; it is an agenda-driven hatchet job. I'm sorry I gave Ms Fink my money.
If you're reading the book because you think it mirrors the film or vice versa, be aware that the main characters in the film don't even exist in the book. The film bears little resemblance to the book.
and another superb reading by Gerard Doyle.
McKinty's Michael Forsythe series blew me away with its powerfully evocative and violent storylines, and his charismatic Irish hero. Here's the first installment of a new series that looks to be even better.
The action takes place against the backdrop of terrorist bombings, reprisals and the Maze prison hunger strikes of 1981. Sergeant Sean Duffy, a Catholic detective in the Protestant Royal Ulster Constabulary, investigates a serial murder preying on homosexuals in Belfast, while negotiating the bewildering, dangerous politics of Northern Ireland during the Troubles.
Sean is funny, smart, tough, surprising, and oh so complex.
If you like your heroes bad, your villains badder, the action bruising, and the themes thought-provoking, McKinty and Doyle will keep you in their grip right to the astonishing finale.
I enjoyed Innocent Traitor and The Lady Elizabeth, both by Weir, very much, but this biography is simply boring. I think I lasted about four hours in to the narration before I deleted it from my iPod. I wish I could get my credit back!
Much more moving and engaging than I expected. Diane juxtaposes her own diary entries and reminiscences of a very interesting life as an actress alongside the journal entries of her mother, a California housewife, a normal, but in her own way, quite extraordinary woman.
If you are a woman of around Keaton's age, who remembers growing up in the 60s and 70s, if you are a mother, or an adult child who is caring for elderly and dying parents, Keaton's words and experiences (and those of her mom) are warm, emotional, funny, resonant and affirming. At times, it is not an easy listen (Keaton is obviously moved to tears during some of it) but it is very rewarding.
"Katherine" was the first work of historical fiction that I ever read - when I was about 13 and I discovered it in my high school library. I absolutely adored it, and borrowed it so frequently that I don't think anyone else had a chance to read it! It was the beginning of a life long love affair with historical fiction, especially fiction set in the English royal courts and tinged with romance (though I'm not a " mass market historical romance" fan) .
A few years ago, I found the same hard cover version from my old library in a used book store and bought it, rereading it many times. And the older I get (I'm now 52), the more I appreciate this wonderful story of a love that survives the years.
So, I was delighted to find that "Katherine" is now available as an audio book. And it's terrific. Wanda does the story justice with a lovely reading. Immerse yourself in it, and be whisked back to 14th century England and a great story of politics, family, intrigue, and love. I know you'll enjoy it as much as I did.
Historical fiction, faithful to fact but also with some intriguing speculation in certain areas. Weir captures the voice of Elizabeth extremely well as she tells the story of the princess's life from the time of her mother Anne Boleyn's execution to the death of her sister Queen Mary, when Elizabeth finally comes to the throne. She brings the entire court, with all its intrigue and danger, to life, and makes Elizabeth real and vibrant. I found "The Lady Elizabeth" thoroughly entertaining. I didn't want it to end and I hope Alison Weir will pick up the story again and continue after Elizabeth's coronation.
As for Rosalyn Landor, I have listened to other books read by her and she is simply a delightful, accomplished narrator. So much so, that I often search for books narrated by her, rather than authors or titles, and I'm always pleased with what I discover.
The author's first novel, the prequel to this one, is one of my favourite novels ever. This is an attempt to provide "bookends" if you will, to the first novel, and it didn't totally succeed for me.
It feels rushed and thrown together in parts and could have used a thorough editing. But there is something about the female lead character that just didn't feel true to me - an example of a male author who can't truly inhabit his creation.
I will read The Meaning of Night over and over in the future, but not The Glass of Time.
I am not a part of the current pop fad for vampire novels so I'm not sure why I chose this book, but I'm very glad I did. It's certainly not pop, but rather a deeply thought out story with loving attention to historical detail.
(Sidenote - I have an interest in art and architecture, so I found the descriptions of, for example, Byzantine and Romanesque architecture fascinating, but I don't think they are too esoteric either for the average reader.)
The novel is a long, somewhat demanding, listen, but be patient. Let the story unfold and envelope you, which it does, due to two lovely performances by the male and female readers, and a gripping plot.
The novel follows three historians, one in the 1930s, one in the 1950s, and one in the 1970s, all linked, who are pursuing Dracula and in turn are being pursued by him. The historians are very real people and their stories are emotionally involving, at times bringing me to tears.
The transitions back and forth between the three different decades, and indeed back to medieval times, is very well done and I never felt lost or left behind by the writer.
And of course, this being a vampire story, it should be plenty blood-curdling too, and it succeeds.
My one quibble would be that the finale of the novel feels rushed to me, and the long-awaited confrontation between good and evil not quite as apocalyptic as I wanted.
Also, I had formed an emotional attachment to the Turkish characters who form such an integral part of the middle of the novel, and they are not mentioned at all in the denouement.
Overall though, a very enjoyable journey through time, from one fabulous locale to another, in the company of people I really came to care about. What more can we ask of a novelist?
My favourite reader on Audible, and he delivers a great story - a thriller set in Elizabethan England. The hero is the older brother of William Shakespeare (who makes a cameo appearance in the story). John Shakespeare is a spy for Secretary Walsingham, attempting to foil a plot to assassinate Sir Francis Drake on the eve of the Spanish Armada. Some wonderfully evil villains, a beautiful heroine, lots of action and intrigue and a touch of romance. I enjoyed every minute of this novel.
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