First, this book was written 80 or so years ago. Listening to this book will take you to England and Scotland in the early 1930's, as the wife of an officer in the army. But, as you listen to the story you will find that in spite of the differences in details of daily life, human nature remains the same. Small children still delight and frustrate their parents. Organizing a holiday party for a number of families with children can be both joyful and embarrassing. Hunting for a house to rent and dealing with house agents is very frustrating indeed. Things don't turn out the way you expect.
I love the works of D. E. Stevenson, and this, her first successful novel is a delight.
The one warning I will give is that if you already own the D. E. Stevenson title Golden Days, which has been available from Audible for some time, the last half or so of this book will be a repeat. If you don't already own Golden Days you might not want to get both. But if you already own Golden Days, you will probably want to get this to discover the early adventures of Mrs. Tim.
Now, Audible, please make versions of the rest of this series available!! Mrs. Tim Carries On, about what happens to the family in WWII, followed by Mrs. Tim Gets a Job and Mrs. Tim Flies Home.
This is the first entry in the Brother Cadfael series. It introduces most of the continuing cast of characters and is a delight in and of itself. Brother Cadfael, "retired" crusader turned monk and sometime detective is an enjoyable creation by Ellis Peters, and his adventures as a Benedictine Monk in both England and Wales have long be favorites with me.
In this book Brother Cadfael is part of a group traveling into Wales to hunt for the body of long dead Saint Winifred to return to his abby to inspire pilgrims to visit. The Welsh villagers aren't eager to loose their saint, murder takes place, and it is up to Brother Cadfael to find a solution that will bring a measure of justice, mercy, fairness and satisfaction to as many people as possible.
Patrick Tull does a good job of bringing Brother Cadfael and his friends to life.
I love the Lord Peter Wimsey books by Dorothy L. Sayers. I own all of the unabridged audiobooks read by Ian Carmichael on audiocassette, and have been waiting eagerly for them to be available in digital format, as my cassettes are getting old and worn out from much playing. Ian Carmichael, who played Lord Peter in some of the BBC TV versions does a fantastic job narrating the story. I love the entire series. Unnatural Death is the third in the series, and I can only hope that Audible will soon have the rest of the series available for sale to US listeners, as they have been in some other countries for some time.
If you don't already know Lord Peter, this is a fair place to start. There are other books in the series I like more, but if you enjoy this one you will be delighted as more become available.
I will be listening to this many times over the next decade or more.
D. E. Stevenson wrote many novels of life in Scotland and/or England, beloved by loyal fans world wide. Since her death in the 70's, it was thought that we would have no new novels from her pen. However, two years ago her grandaughter discovered some previously unpublished manuscripts in her attic. The publication of "new" books by D. E. Stevenson 40 years or so after her death has been a joy to her fans.
While these early works aren't quite up to the level of quality of her mature works, a weak novel by D. E. Stevenson is still better than the best works of many lessor writers. This novel, with action set in both England and Scotland, tells of the life of Emily Dennistoun as she escapes the domination of her tyrant father and learns to trust herself and her true love. Other memorable characters are part of this tale. And, as always, D. E. Stevenson's descriptions of the countryside of both England and Scotland transport the reader to another time and place.
Lesley Mackie has added her gentle Scots accent to another of D. E. Stevenson's delightful novels set mainly in Scotland. This story, of The Marriage Of Katherine (the U.S. title for this novel) lets the modern listener travel to Scotland and camp by a lovely loch, shop in Edinburgh and visit its famous "Castle", and experience the joys and sorrows of newly married life. Like all of D. E. Stevenson's novels, this book is a pleasure to listen to, and Lesley Mackie helps it along.
I can only hope that soon we will get audio versions of the two books that come before this. Katherine's Marriage is a direct sequel to Katherine Wentworth, starting just a few days/weeks after the end of that book so I hope that plans to produce an audiobook version of Katherine Wentworth are in the works. Katherine's Marriage also makes reference to an early novel by D. E. Stevenson, Smouldering Fire, with overlaping characters and locations, and an audiobook version of that early novel would by wonderful as well.
While Frances Hodgson-Burnett is best known for her children's books, such as A Little Princess and The Secret Garden, she also wrote books for adult readers. What a pleasure that Lucy Scott and the folks from Persephone Publishers have brought this book to life for modern readers/listeners. Lucy Scott's reading is a perfect compliment for this, perhaps the best of the "adult" novels by Burnett.
Like all of the audiobooks published by Persephone, this book is very professionally done. Lucy Scott's reading of the stories reinforces the mood and feel of these stories which tell us a lot about England during WWII "on the home front" and also about how human beings interact and react. I will be keeping my eye out for more forgotten treasures from this publisher.
I will listen to Three Men in a Boat many more times in the future. This book was written pre-1900, but I love it's timeless sense of humor. Many things have changed since then, but human nature is still the same. And Ian Charmichael does a fantastic job of bringing the story to life.
Montmorency, the dog, is a delight. Jay, the Point of View character is a great deal of fun as well.
I think that Ian Carmichael brings a feeling of reality and importance to George that I hadn't noticed when reading the paper version of the book.
I love the novels of D. E. Stevenson. Rather than focus on one "hero" and "heroine", this book is the story of a family, and we follow quite a number of characters, hightlighting the widowed Mrs. Musgrave and her three daughters, but also covering their mysterious new neighbor, the secretary of the local golf club, some of the domestic staff, and others. Anne Dover does an excellent job of distingushing the various characters and also of demonstrating their moods and emotions. I loved to listen to her voice, and would love to hear her narrate other English based novels by D. E. Stevenson, such as The Four Graces or Vittoria Cottage. This is a reading to listen to over and over again.
Many of Stevenson's novels are set in Scotland or have some connection to Scotland, as Stevenson was born and lived there most of her life. However, The Musgraves is set completely in England, with mention of South Africa.
Miss Pettigrew Lives for A Day is a book that defies description. It is fun and thoughtful and full of insite. Quick moving, with never a dull moment. We follow Miss Pettigrew for one day of her life, but that day changes her life forever. If you have seen the movie, there are differences, but the core of the story is the same. And Frances McDormand, who played Miss Pettigrew in the movie, does a wonderful job of reading the story. Persephone Books, who reissued this long out of print story, also arranged for the recording of the audiobook, and I am so very glad that they did.
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