This is one of those books that I wish was required reading (or listening to) in school. It teaches a fair amount of history along with being entertaining. I would have liked it to be a little bit longer to learn more about Mattie. Hopefully there will be a sequel!
I was put off when I first began listening to this because the voice of the narrator sounded a bit raspy, and as a nurse I was disturbed that this women had probably smoked too many cigarettes. I was also put off by the strange names and music (Middle Eastern). Once I committed myself to finishing the book and began to ignore these uneasy feelings I became completely absorbed in the story. This is a story of a woman's survival in a country dominated by men and it is truly inspiring. The story incorporates history and the craft of carpet making which was obviously a very important trade. I enjoyed listening to the short interview by the author and will look for more books by this same author.
It seemed like once I finally got into this book it was over. I really wanted there to be a happy ending for the female characters but I guess that was unrealistic! It definitely was a man's world and the book has plenty of action and intrigue if you are interested in that. I was really disappointed in the ending....perhaps I need to read Book Two.
I was very excited about the whole premise of the story when I read a summary a few years ago. Perhaps I had built it up so much in my mind that I expected more. The idea of women sharing their gifts with girls and all the love and attention being showered on them inspired me to help start a group where we would do just that in our Church. The group was an amazing success. I think the book could have been much more and if it had not strayed so much from recorded facts I would have appreciated it more.
I generally don't care for books by male authors but since it had great reviews I decided to give it a chance. It took me a while to get into the book, mainly because I had to get used to the Australian accent, and the assorted phone calls and family members interrupting me. I was glad that I stuck with it because it is a wealth of information and entertainment. The characters are so well developed and interesting. The background for different world events allows for a better understanding of that period of history.
I loved James' singing voice of "Johnny I didn't know ya"! Excellent performance! I looked for the same song being sung on YouTube but none of them compared to the performance in the audiobook. Wonderful!
The acknowledgment at the end shouldn't be missed either. The acknowledgments give credit to the many people that were part of the creation of this book and helps explain how one person can create such a work. Bryce Courtenay is a master at bringing the experiences and minds of many people to create an unforgettable literary work.
This is not a book that you can put down once you have started listening as it is totally absorbing. The story will haunt you!
I am a now a truly devoted fan on both Alison Weir and Davina Porter. With Alison Weir as an author and Davina Porter as the voice, or in this case one of the voices, you cannot go wrong! This book has everything that I love: history, religion, romance and intrigue. This author always educates as she entertains and I love that! Alison Weir always makes me feel one with the main character and transports me to that place in time.
This book had a nice mix of history (going into a little detail about the Mennonites), spirituality and a touch of romance. The romance was in very good taste. The narrator was excellent going between male and female voices, with and without accents.
I love the strong elderly female as the main character. I would have liked a bit more description of the setting. The author had me guessing throughout the book and the murderer was a bit of a surprise. I would have liked to know more about what happened to Harley. I considered purchasing the book initially because of the narrator and I was not disappointed. The narration was excellent.
This book has it all as far as I am concerned. There is a strong female character with a bit of history mixed in, a lesson to be learned and wonderful narration. I can't believe that it was only $3.95. This was a great deal for a very good book.
I felt so much sorrow for the main character while listening to this book that I was becoming a bit depressed! The story is touching. I thought that I might start crying or hit something to ease my frustration. The ending unexpected and helped me to resolve some of the sorrow that I felt for the character. Narration is quite good although I think I would have preferred a female voice during some of it at least. I felt that there may have been some anti-Catholic sentiment by the author during part of the book but after having completed the book I believe that the author was simply reflecting the true sentiments of the time.
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