Toney, Alabama | Member Since 2009
This is a remarkable story of a young English boy in Africa being raised by his black nanny, whom he adores. His father is dead and his mother has had a nervous breakdown. As WWII breaks out, he is sent to boarding school at the tender age of five, where he suffers at the hands of the older boys as well as the head master. But what he learns there stays with him the rest of his life, good and bad. The narration is perfect, capturing the German accent of Doc, who is sent to prison during the war, as well as the English and African languages. The listener can close their eyes and "see" the landscape of Africa through the detailed description of the mountains and plants, and can feel the spirit of the African people by their singing. Peekay's journey is most unusual, frightening, and he becomes a man long before the age of "manhood". The lessons and his journey hold much for all of us, and make us question, "am I still wearing the camouflage"?
Perfect listen for the Christmas holidays . . . when folks desire peace and healing for themselves and their families. I disagree with the negative reviews posted for Angels at Christmas . . . I am not sure what people expect from a book that clearly is about faith and hope, angels and Christmas. I love how Debbie Macomber deals with the pain, hurts, and disappointments that come from living in an imperfect world, and ways that we humans must learn from our own mistakes. These stories are soul soothing and have a way of setting one's mind and heart at ease.
So much more than a detective story, this audio book spans the geography and history of Africa. It is a captivating and breathtaking glimpse into a culture and way of life that I have never even imagined. The simple beauty described makes me want to go there . . . then the crime and terrible injustices done to women especially, makes me literally sick to my stomach. The ingenious ways that Mma "Precious" Ramotswe thinks of to solve her cases are funny and just plain clever. I can already tell that I am going to have to continue with this series!
Perhaps this is not the genre for some folks . . . but it is for me . . . especially during the holidays. We all need to have our faith renewed, refreshed and to listen to an audio book that makes us feel BETTER, and not weighed down with the everyday woes of life. I love this story of a single dad with two wild twins. He lost his wife in a car wreck four years earlier, and he, whether wrong or right had let his in-laws take over raising them just after he lost his wife. The audio book is full of real life issues and pain that arises following the loss of someone so close to us. The way each of us reacts to such a loss is very different, sometimes very puzzling to those around us. If you do not know God, or want to know God, you will be put off by Debbie Macomber's books, because they will put you face to face with issues of faith and forgiveness. I appreciate that, admire that and would recommend this book and her others to anyone who wants to learn to love more, forgive more, and face every tomorrow a happier person.
First of all, this book is out of my usual genre, but it is chillingly, amazingly one of the best audio books I have listened to. While I listened, I thought, wow, she has captured, without bias, the essence of life in the current times . . . single women sleeping with married men, without shame, lesbian relationships . . . JUST DESCRIBED them . . . no judgement, no hate, no opinion whatsoever. Night clubs, college days, magazines, all the things in the BEFORE time . . . and then everything changed. Then the US government was overthrown, and the state of Gilead began. What is so engaging and refreshing about this book is the author's ability to suss out tiny bits of truth, which you have to really listen to catch. Before the take over of the government, Bibles were freely available, in every hotel room night stand. Afterward, they are locked up, only for the Commanders to read, and then only on special occasions. Scripture is taken completely out of context. Hymns of mercy and grace are banned in Gilead. The handmaid wistfully remembers churches and the freedom to sing in the BEFORE time. She spends a lot of time examining her own life before and after. The relationships formed by the handmaids is touching and encouraging to me. That mercy and love survives in times of persecution, in fact thrives during it, is the evidence of a God who never forsakes those who are suffering. There are strong parallels between the Jews in World War II and this fictional Gilead, as well as between the extreme treatment of women in the Muslim faith. Evil is evil. Period. There is nothing Christian about Gilead, let's make that clear. People have been doing evil in the name of God for centuries. What they did and are still doing is making themselves into mini gods . . . and yes, this could happen, even here in the USA.
While some reviewers seem to think this last in the trilogy of the story of the Solomon family falls short of the first two, I disagree. I found it very interesting, covering two more generations of the Solomons. All stories, particularly those containing the history of a nation, cannot be swash buckling, jungle hopping, tales. Solomon's Song does have quite a bit, including the Australia's involvement in WWI in Gallopi and France. I loved that this book focused on the relationships between Hawk and his brother's daughter, and her two children. The honesty with which Hawk mentored and parented the two grandchildren of his brother, Tommo, is the meat of the story to me. When he told them that doing what was right and good had never landed him much happiness in this world, but that he recommended it anyway, well, that sealed the deal.
I'm a mom of five, grandmother of six, and great grandmother of one. This short, straight-forward audio book is one that I would recommend to all parents and grandparents, or anyone who is trying to deal with difficult people, who fly off the handle at the spur of the moment. After raising five kids, one of whom is autistic and cannot speak, I am well acquainted with temper tantrums. My own intuition told me some of what Brenda Trott talks about in this book, and by the grace of God, I have learned some valuable skills in dealing with some mighty TERRIBLE tantrums. I didn't do as well as I would have liked as a very young mother, the first one is always a learning experience. Our third child was a handful, a strong willed little fella, who would throw himself into the floor when he got really mad and frustrated. Yet this mama always saw deep into his little heart and KNEW he was of great value, and somehow disciplined him without breaking his young spirit. However, this audio book would have sure come in handy back then. That same young boy is now an almost 30 year old man, most successful (and still head strong) and a force to be reckoned with. He is a soldier in the U.S. Army, career grade, having deployed into the war zone and about to do it again. He is a wonderful husband, father, son and defender of our freedom. He is loyal. He loves God. And if he thinks he is right, oh, my, he will STILL let you know. And now that little fella, has a little fella who IS JUST LIKE HIM. Oh, my, God DOES have a sense of humor. But my son's wife, certainly DOESN'T think it's very funny . . . at all. I have two grandchildren who are exactly like my tantrum-throwing son, both smart as tacks, and both very frustrated and FRUSTRATING. This audio book has already been of help to the father of one of those grandsons, and hopefully will be of help to the parents of the other tantrum-throwing grandson.
This second book from Jamie Ford, who also wrote "Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet", is set in Seattle, as his first book is. It is a beautiful, yet sad story that takes place beginning in the early 1920's. I love historical fiction. It never ceases to amaze me that in a nation (America) where we have prided ourselves on freedom, that there was really little "freedom" for some folks . . . even those born on American soil. Less than a century ago, our government turned it's back and turned a blind eye to the welfare of children just because they happened to be (in this case) Chinese. And the abuse of the Chinese men of their own wives and children and their expectation that a woman should accept this abuse without complaint, just turns my stomach. Yet, rarely we saw a man, a husband and father of true character . . . one that inspires his family, long after his death. And a woman, who is allowed to dream and grow, while remaining Chinese. What women of that era were forced to do for love, well, it just blows my mind . . . and women from a foreign culture were bound by an iron clad tradition . . . their marriages were arranged by their parents. More than anything, this is a human story of a very young Chinese girl, who lost both parents, endured horrible abuse by her step-father, and then bore the shame that he caused. Still she fought for her child, gave up every shred of humility, and ultimately did what she had to do in order to protect him from the horror that she had to endure as a child.
I really liked the story which includes several families in the small town of Cedar Cove. I appreciated the struggles of the young military couple who had lost their baby girl who was born prematurely. I found myself getting angry at the wife for not "sticking it out", since I am a 22 year veteran "army wife" myself. I cheered for the judge who caused the young couple's divorce to be delayed . . . and happily listened to the progress or lack of progress over the months that followed. This book, like some other reviewers have noted, is not made of HEAVY stuff . . . but sometimes I like that, normal people, normal problems, compassion and healing, and just settling in for a good listen. This book fits the bill nicely.
This audio book is absolutely incredible. The story which goes inside the lives of Hasidic Jewish families brings an onslaught of emotions. I didn't know that the holocaust reached into Romania, until I listened to this book. Then to learn that Hasidic Jews believe and teach that the atrocities that the Jewish people suffered during World War II by the evil Third Reich are somehow a punishment that they deserve . . . oh, my, it is so sad. Yet there is an order, an extreme love of family and tradition in these people that one cannot fail to see and appreciate. Josef's story is haunting and beautiful. And all through the book, I prayed that he would return to the brave Gentile maiden who rescued him and became his second mother, and who revealed to him the only mercy he had ever known in his life, the grace and love of Jesus Christ. This isn't a religious book. It's so much more. It's a book that makes one question things. It is sad, victorious, triumphant, and yet, you will end up, like we all do, knowing that we, human beings, alone, we are not enough. And we CAN NEVER BE GOOD ENOUGH. My heart broke every time that the Hasidic Jews chanted, Come my Messiah, come. They danced and sang. They punished themselves. They tried to keep a pure bloodline. Yet, all the while missing the gift that God send to them. Rejecting joy. Rejecting mercy. Josef's dreams of Jesus were haunting. This tale is beautifully written and the narration is just right.
The story begins in the great depression with 23 year old Jacob going to veterinary school, following in his father's footsteps. It goes back and forth between Jacob as an old man and Jacob at 23 . . . the narration is excellent. I connected with the story on many levels, most of all falling in love with the 93 year old Jacob, who is left in a nursing home, with a perfectly good mind, to pass the days, lonely and reliving the past, and being treated like a piece of the furniture. Bittersweet, unusual, an audio book not to be missed.
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