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  • The Red Queen: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Philippa Gregory
    • Narrated By Bianca Amato
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    Heiress to the red rose of Lancaster, Margaret Beaufort never surrenders her belief that her house is the true ruler of England and that she has a great destiny before her. Her ambitions are disappointed when her sainted cousin Henry VI fails to recognize her as a kindred spirit, and she is even more dismayed when he sinks into madness.

    Karin says: "Good book, unsympathetic heroine"
    "You Gotta Read It...Resign Yourself"
    What did you love best about The Red Queen?

    It's hard to say. It wasn't a book I loved. It was -- on one hand -- KIND OF interesting to read the story from Margaret Beaufort's perspective, but on the other, it isn't a particularly sympathetic one. Because it's part of a series, you really should read it, but it's not the best of them so far.

    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    Check it off the list. Since you know how it ends, there was no real climax.

    What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

    Bianca Amato does a great job of reading a rather unimpressive book. Great affect, great interpretation...just not fantastic material.

    If you could take any character from The Red Queen out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    Elizabeth Woodville!! HA HA!! Sorry, but the white queen SO outshines the red one...

    Any additional comments?

    I love Philippa Gregory! But I have to admit that this wasn't one of her better books. I have to agree with other reviewers I read (before purchasing the book) that the events have been recounted in her other books and the perspective of Margaret Beaufort is singular (her divine duty and/or right) and uninteresting. And yet, I still assert that you have to read it as part of her Cousins War series! But don't let the worst of the reviews dissuade can't NOT read it!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • Plain Truth

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Jodi Picoult
    • Narrated By Christina Moore, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    The discovery of a dead infant in an Amish barn shakes Lancaster County to its core. But the police investigation leads to a more shocking disclosure: circumstantial evidence suggests that 18-year-old Katie Fisher, an unmarried Amish woman believed to be the newborn's mother, took the child's life.

    Susan says: "Plain good!"
    "A Rather Confusing Read"

    This book confused me. I couldn't quite decide whether Katie really was psychologically unbalanced or a pathological liar; Jodi Picoult doesn't answer this question for me at any point during the book.

    If you see Katie Fisher, the sweet, unadulterated Amish girl, then she's simply confused and naive. When confronted by an unwanted pregnancy, it tips her into a world of mental instability.

    If, however, you see Katie Fisher as a girl who feels trapped by her circumstances sneaking off to taste the English way of life, perhaps you see the other, sneakier Katie who just wants everyone to see her as "perfect" and willing to lie through her teeth to maintain that.

    On one hand you have the premise being laid down that the Amish will forgive any sin (real or simply admitted to) if one will only confess and then wait out the finite time of the "Meidung" or shunning.

    On the other, there's this whole web of lies. Or are they lies? Are they really Katie suppressing the memories? Why would she feel the need of suppressing the reality (of a baby), or memories, if an illegitimate birth will eventually be accepted and the child loved (since children are precious to the Amish according to Picoult)?

    This book raised question after question after question and I never felt like the book answered any of them!

    Ultimately, I never did connect to Katie emotionally. I felt like her perspective was too clouded.

    The ending to me was not surprising and -- again -- it only begged more questions than it answered. It made no sense in the context of the most fundamental paradigms of the Amish driven home throughout the book.

    The more sympathetic plot was that of Ellie. I was MUCH more interested in HER character development than that of Katie (if you can even say that her character was developed). Her intentions and motivations were clear and understandable. I liked Ellie.

    In the end, I was left with a feeling that I kind of liked this book, but not a whole lot. I am fascinated with the Amish lifestyle and books about it...I fear I am one of those Englischers, described derisively by the Katie's mom, who want to come live with the Amish and pretend that they're Amish. That's me. But the book, in general, left me feeling dissatisfied.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Stolen Life: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Jaycee Dugard
    • Narrated By Jaycee Dugard

    "In the summer of 1991 I was a normal kid. I did normal things. I had friends and a mother who loved me. I was just like you. Until the day my life was stolen. For eighteen years I was a prisoner. I was an object for someone to use and abuse. For eighteen years I was not allowed to speak my own name. I became a mother and was forced to be a sister. For eighteen years I survived an impossible situation. On August 26, 2009, I took my name back. My name is Jaycee Lee Dugard. I dont think of myself as a victim. I survived...."

    Daniel says: "Terrific"
    "A Hard, Powerful Read"
    What made the experience of listening to A Stolen Life the most enjoyable?

    What set this audiobook apart was listening to Jaycee Dugard read it. It was almost like sitting in her living room hearing her tell her story.

    What did you like best about this story?

    I absolutely loved Jaycee's indominable spirit. It was the only thing that got me thru the awful, heart-rending stories from the first years of her captivity.

    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scene was when she was reunited with her mom. Her fears and doubts about whether her mom still loved her - whether her mom would accept her girls - I cried the whole way through it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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