I was completely absorbed by the characters who struggled to create lives of purpose, creativity, responsibility and love. The moments of suspense and drama moved the mystery aspect along with several twists in the unfolding resolution.
Hillary Rodham Clinton logged thousands of miles and visited over 100 countries during her four years as Secretary of State. In this book she provides both a "big picture" historical review of the concerns, challenges and opportunities of the nations around the world, as well as the intimate aspects of the people charged with leading their countries. Several themes are woven into the narrative: the importance of relationships in diplomacy, the difficult compromises necessary to balance values and strategic interests, the intensity of human need and suffering and our human and national obligation to defend and expand human rights.
Barbara Kingsolver creates a total world, bringing the time and place and characters vividly to life. This is a book you can listen to for hours; I pick up a knitting project and settle in for the afternoon so that the book can flow over and around me without stopping. She writes about significant themes, exploring them through the characters' lives, in this book, the role of the media, conveying the truth of a man or a situation, the love of friendship and the many forms of romantic love, the purpose of government, the needs of the ordinary man. Above all, her writing is poetic with words that cause you to stop, take notice, and appreciate the phrase or sentence. This is a book that only improves with each re-reading, or listening to the performance of Barbara Kingsolver herself, which is even better than reading.
In his latest book, Daniel Silva brings together nearly all of his previous characters in an operation involving the President of Syria. Corsica is back in play, and so are the members of Gabriel's team in Israel. Gabriel is soon to become the chief of Israeli security, and the changing relationships are part of the story as well. Gabriels recruits a new member of their team, another strong and interesting woman who plays a critical role in the operation. With a plot that could be taken from the newspaper headlines, and the pleasure of greeting again all the characters, this is a gripping story and a very satisfying listen. George Guidall is excellent, giving each character a unique voice, with a gentle pacing, that perfectly emhasizes the repetitions Silva uses throughout the book. I can't imagine Gabriel Alon with a different voice!
The story is another excellent Sara Paretsky VI Warshawski, with an interesting plot and characters, but the narration is very bland. It took two tries for me to get into listening, and although the narrator's voice is very pleasant, there is very little difference in tone or phrasing for any of the characters or based on the content. I like the political and social justice content of all of Sara Paretsky's books and this one carries a banner as well.
This is one of my favorites, with the story of each of the five character' personal challenge, as a woman, a wife, and a mother. The challenges ring true, even while the optimism of the stories makes them "comfort" listening. Each of the women is likeable though far from perfect, and it truly feels good to hear them overcome the obstacles, face themselves and own their own responsibility to create their lives. Christina Moore is an excellent narrator, bringing each personality to life.
I found this classified in the 8-11 year old suggestions. I listened to a few hours with my 9 year old grandson, and had to turn it off. It is very violent and disturbing.
My 8 year old grandson and I listened to the entire series - twice! I like the values of friendship, diversity, leadership shared among the male and female characters, My grandson loves the action, and I enjoy the fun of the use of contemporary cultural icons in a whimsical way.
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