Toney, Alabama | Member Since 2013
This is book number four in the Cork O'Connor series, and so far they have all been excellent. My husband and I have listened to all four together, so they are definitely for both men and women. The twists and turns in this one are REALLY unpredictable . . . we were guessing until the very end . . . The story begins with the murder of a beautiful young high school girl . . . You will find yourself wanting to learn more and more about her and her family . . . and you will grab all that is close to you and treasure it, fear for it, and wonder, "what, who is out there that would hurt a kid?" Some of the reviewers are critical of this book, saying it is overly "religious" . . . I did not find that to be true at all. In fact, since the beginning of the series, ex-sheriff, Cork O'Connor has been pretty much open and honest about his "crisis of faith" since leaving the Catholic church, where he grew up, went to school, and even served as an altar boy. If readers were paying attention, this theme of "examining the heart" has been there all along. The story line has included the church, priests, and a very faithful and grounded sister-in-law, Rose, who lives in the house with Cork and Jo and helps to raise their three kids. The moral compass which has been Cork's guide from day one has been from God . . . a God that is plenty big enough to allow Cork to question His existence . . . I love the inclusion of the spiritual stories of the Indians, who know God on a very personal level . . . so whatever you call God . . . even when you deny His existence, He always brings you around . . . This book in no way "preaches" to anyone. It leaves readers to their own conclusions. It isn't "goody goody" or even full of theology. So if anyone is offended, maybe they should check to see who that voice is that is speaking to them . . . These books are mysteries/thrillers which include all areas of the lives of their characters. To exclude this one area would just be dicing up the story. Can't wait for book five!!!
When the book started, I wasn't at all sure that I could stick with it . . . it was bizarre and gruesome . . . it began with a horrid murder in the most sick sex scene . . . books like that are not my cup of tea. PERIOD. But that is NOT the whole of this book . . . far from it . . . In fact, it's a story of a pretty normal young woman, a bit naive, who believes in love . . . and trusts the wrong man . . . but a man who goes to great lengths to appear very gentle and kind, to seem like everything that he ISN'T. It's a fascinating story, many layered, and at the center of is a little girl, growing up in an evil nest . . . Overall, the book is not full of gruesome details, but you know they exist . . . Eastern European prostitutes supposedly being "rescued" from a life of sin and despair, the power and manipulation of an evil, rich man over his wife and family . . . and a young woman, his wife, who secretly continues to fight for what is right . . . and hold on to a shred of decency . . . I listened and listened, with a bit of dread in my heart . . . how would this all end? But I was not disappointed . . . I couldn't see any good end for all this . . . I was totally surprised . . . the end was worth the wait . . .
What a fun listen! Never would I have thought that a book narrated by a dog could be so much fun . . . but I thoroughly enjoyed it . . . a kidnapped girl, Bernie and his dog, Chet . . .
One of the most interesting and entertaining books I've come across in a long, long time . . . the folks in this small country Oklahoma town call 'em like they see 'em . . . Life is hard in 1912 and when an old drunk freezes to death in his front yard nobody expects murder . . . but seems as though it may be just that . . . I grew to love the Day and the Tucker families in this expertly narrated book . . . and never saw what was coming in the end . . . can't wait to listen to the next in the series . . . which I have already downloaded . . .
Hidden deep within us all is the child, either wrapped up and protected, or scared and running . . . and inside Stanley Peke is the seven year old Jewish boy in the forests of Poland during WWII. He's 72 years old now. He's lived a good life, re-invented himself in America, become a successful businessman, Americanized his name. After 40 years in New England, it's time to sell his big home and downsize. Then on moving day, he is tricked and it is all stolen, taken, and a lifetime of memories is ripped away from him. Insurance will cover it. But that's not the point. His wife, Rose, wants him to let it go. He thinks and thinks about it. He walks around in the empty house. And something primal stirs deep within him . . . he cannot let it go. He has lost everything once before . . . not again. The emotional roller coaster that Jonathan Stone takes us on in Moving Day is one that is unexpected, deeply shaking and it will keep me thinking for a long time. How much we are shaped by our early years . . . How much we keep hidden deep within ourselves . . . even from those we love the most . . . How little we understand our own motivations . . . How the material things around us, the home we build with the ones we love . . . well, they are everything . . . and nothing . . .
This is a great listen, a human story of facing cancer and the death of a loved one and the aftermath of picking up the pieces of life and the emptiness that comes after loss. This book about Lucy, a college professor, who teaches religion and has an odd interest in all the Catholic saints is funny, quirky, and deeply emotional. She nurses her best friend until he dies of cancer. Then grief stricken, she goes to Russia to adopt a little boy. The circumstances of adopting from a Russian orphanage are strange and scary . . . and I can truly relate to them, as adoption in Romania was the same . . . greasing the palms of the officials, and not knowing one day to the next if you would ever get out of the country with your child. You will grow to love Lucy, her parents and friends . . . and most of all little Matt. It is a clean story, full of heart.
The Last Sin Eater is one of the BEST audio books that I have ever listened to. I had never heard of a sin eater before. After listening, I had to research the custom of using sin eaters when a person died, and found that it was common in Europe during the 1800's and that early settlers to the Smoky Mountains probably carried the practice to the Appalachian Mountains for a time. As late as the early 1900's, the practice still existed in Bavaria. How amazing (and crazy) what people do to try to get rid of their sins and make their way into heaven . . . when Jesus Christ has already paid the price in full. Not only is this an incredible lesson in history, it's a wonderful generational story of family and faith. I can't recommend it enough.
A heartwarming story of a returning war veteran and his struggles to re-integrate into normal society after suffering traumatic brain injury and severe PTSD . . . I learned so much about service dogs, which until now I thought were only for sight or hearing impaired people. The story of Captain Montalvan and Tuesday is at times a hard one to listen to. But it is one of healing and progress. Being the mother of two Iraqi war veterans, it helps to hear from a first hand point of view what these brave young men have endured . . . and survived.
Born in 1936, left under a bridge, abandoned and found by Pastor Zeke, Abra began life alone. Then loved and treasured by Zeke, his wife Marianne, and their son Joshua, Abra feels safe . . . for five years. Widowed, grief stricken and weighed down by the demands of his church ministry, Pastor Zeke allows the Matthews family from his parish to adopt Abra. Brokenhearted, Abra doesn't trust anyone . . . let alone a God who would take Marianne, the only mother she had ever known away. At seventeen, Abra runs off with a good looking rich boy, mistaking his attentions for love, leading her on a five year search to "find herself". But as far and as hard as she could run, she couldn't outrun God. Bridge to Haven is a well written, honest look at broken people in need of a loving God. All of us Christians would do well to listen and learn . . . to love as Christ loves, to extend grace as Christ does, and to be His hands and feet in a world in much need of acceptance and care.
As soon as I finished this, I had to look up the details of Don Julius, the mad son of King Rudolph II and his relationship with Marketa . . . best done AFTER listening to The Bloodletter's Daughter. The 1600's was a fascinating time in history, when a great debate between Christianity and Science began, as well as one between Catholics and Protestants. While some listeners think the book long and wandering with unneeded content, I found the discussions of astrology, medicine, potions, changing thoughts on bleeding patients, and the great battle between the priest and the physician to be critical to the story and time period . . . and a great foundation for modern medicine and science. Without wavering on faith in God. In the beginning, I was put off by the acts in the bath houses, and very much so by Marketa's mother . . . but now I have researched, and I find that the bath houses were common during this period in history. I'm saddened that children could have been used in this way. The book is fiction, written very much like an old Grimm's fairy tale, mixing historical facts with some "magic" and taking some liberties . . . the legend of the white lady exist and are expertly woven into the book . . . It was a long listen, expertly woven and the end was worth the wait.
The Victory Club is the story of four very different women (who are friends) in Boise, Idaho during WWII. The war has affected each of them in ways they didn't expect and tested their faith in God. I very much appreciate the open Christian dialog in this book AND that the trials that the women and the soldiers that they love encounter are not sugar coated or swept under the rug, but rather are dealt with honestly. It's a good, solid listen. It's a clean, wholesome book, and the scriptures included are a balm to my soul.
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