Toney, Alabama | Member Since 2009
I started reading RPE books in the 1990s with The Christmas Box . . . and have continued over the years . . . He has a gift for writing stories of hope and love that will lift your spirits, especially around Christmas time . . . Lost December is no exception.
I bought this one based on how much I loved Suspect by Robert Crais. Hostage is good, but doesn't compare. What turned me off from the beginning was the unnecessary use of GD and other over the top bad language ALL THE TIME in this book, and by the GOOD GUYS. I listened to the end, and now that it's over I still feel kind of cheated, not satisfied like I usually do after finishing a really good book.
I had listened to another Jack Reacher book (out of order) earlier, so was glad to go back and get the this one and listen to the first one in the series. A lot to identify with . . . where are you from? Well, everywhere . . . That's probably what my own kids say, because they're army brats . . . I married an army brat . . . and my army brat son joined the army and married a marine brat girl and they are raising their own army brats now . . . and so it goes . . . That in itself gives a person a different perspective, a "one up" on some situations, a sense of detachment (not healthy sometimes), and can make for very independent thinking. I listened with interest as Jack unraveled the mystery, then set about the job of avenging the murder of his brother.
I loved The Winter Sea, so I was anxious to listen to The Firebird. This one was more heavy on the romance, but I still loved it. The story of Anna as a child, Anna whisked away to a convent in Belgium for her own protection, Anna in St. Petersburg, Russia at the time of the Czars . . . and parallel story of Nicola and Rob in modern day who both have the "gift" of seeing into the past . . . I learned a lot about the history of the Jacobites, Scotland and Russia . . . and as for Rob and Nicola's physic abilities, well, they aren't plausible . . . but who doesn't love a good fairy tale?
I am a lover of historical fiction, but this one was outside what I usually listen to . . . so happy that I bought it! The narration is perfect; the tale of young Aishlinn whose mother died when she was five tugs at your heart from the beginning. I learned a lot about the Scottish clans and the brutality of the English upper class. The story of Laiden and Aishlinn's heritage and their family in the Scottish Highlands was compelling. The romance was true romance, not graphic sex. And I really appreciated that. It made the book absolutely beautiful, just as it should be. Yet the appetites, coarseness and humor of the Scottish countrymen and women are not left out . . . that's what makes this such a splendid book . . . You will grow to absolutely love the Scottish highlanders.
This book was chillingly familiar to me . . . I'm the child of an alcoholic . . . the woods and the river were my refuge, my peace, my place. I totally get it. I never had an older brother to protect me and I was never mute. I was the oldest child, and I was my own parent, just like Ben, Calli's older brother had to be. I listened with terror as Griff, Calli's dad took her off into the woods the morning he should have gone fishing. And then my terror escalated as Petra, looking out her window and seeing familiar faces followed. Heather Gudenkauf is an excellent writer, giving us the back story of Petra's parents, and of Antonia's childhood with her best friend, Lou who she fell in love with. Not all alcoholics have a mean and abusive heart, but Griff did, and unfortunately it does seem that most wives choose to placate them as Antonia did, at the detriment of herself and her children. There are many, many layers to this story, and a lot to think about. I, for one, am glad that Heather Gudenkauf wrote it, and I feel sure that beyond being an excellent book, it will be a healing balm to lots of children and families of alcoholics.
Absolutely ADORE this story of widowed Mrs. Pollifax who volunteers to work for the CIA. Is it plausible? No . . . Is it entirely serious? No . . . Does it take you on an adventure you won't forget???? YES, YES, YES!!! You will be rooting for the quirky Mrs. Pollifax the entire journey and wondering about all the strange folks she meets along the way . . . This is better than "Murder She Wrote" . . . can't wait for the next installment!
Historical fiction is usually at the top of my list, but this one is just "out there". The story is all over the place, the author obviously has an awfully high opinion of himself and is overly fixated on writing about sexual scenes, which detract greatly from the book. The book begins in 1906, an American era that I'm greatly interested in. I find it interesting, however, that Doctorow wrote the book in 1975 at the height of the "sexual" revolution in our country, and it's a sad commentary that he had to interject that into a novel written about the turn of the century America. I had to stop listening.
I can see from the reviews that some have taken the narrator, Scott Brick to the woodshed on this one, and I must admit at the beginning of the book some of the drama was really not called for. But all in all, I do love Scott Brick, and as the story progressed, so did the urgency. I really liked the actual story, and so what if it's a love story? It was that, but so much more. And it was anything but predictable. Excellent writing and kept me listening until the wee hours . . .
Giving my mind a break from weightier historical fiction and crime novels, I gave Emily and Einstein a listen. Still meaty enough, yet light enough not require every brain cell, the book was just right. A little far-fetched fantasy (pardon the pun) where an almost dead husband is turned into a pooch never hurt anyone. Also, as a woman having tried to balance being a wife, mother and full time career during the 1970's, I found it quite refreshing to hear that Emily and Jordan's mother, a pioneer in the women's lib movement came to the startling realization that she COULDN'T do it all . . . just like we all did. I'm a lover of children's books, too . . . just as Emily is . . . so I found the book a very enjoyable detour.
Set before, during and after the Great War, this is a wonderful historical mystery series that will keep you listening. It's clean, yet the depth of emotion and understanding of the horrors of war that the author displays will stay with me for a long time. I appreciate the sensitivity with which the childhood of young Maisie is written, and the seldom touched on mixing of social status. This first book in the series was absolutely necessary to learn exactly what Maisie Dobbs is made of, and I must say, she's made of some very fine stuff. Can't wait to listen to the next in the series!
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