This was a book that I think would be better to read than to listen to. There are many characters whose names sound very similar and it is hard to keep track of who's who. The book has many long discussions which on the written page, I would have preferred to scan. These philosophical discussions caused the listening to become tedious and slow at times. On the other hand, there are times in this story when I felt I was experiencing India, up close and personal. It is very interesting to learn about the fairly contemporary culture from the world of poverty and relationship. So, overall, this is a good book that I think would be best experienced on the page due to the difficulties I have described above.
This is a long book but it was so worth the listen. The readers were perfect. The story was imaginative and different. I read many books and few are as creative and as beautifully sculpted as this. This book includes adventure, character depth, creative storyline, interesting and surprising characters, and beautiful prose. I will probably listen to this book again at some point in the future. I wished it had ended differently but that's just me. Loved it. Reminded me somewhat of a modern day gothic tale. See what you think and try this one out.
I may have rated this book a bit higher but I expected more from Wally Lamb. I have thoroughly enjoyed two of his previous novels. Yet, with this one, I struggled listening to the life of a woman who didn't seem to be able to appreciate anything about her adult life despite the great privilege's that came her way. I didn't like Annie(the protagonist) and could not relate to her lack of growth as she moved throughout her life. The main reader's voice was hard to tolerate. I listened to the entire book but can't say I was glad that I did. I kept wishing that Annie could rise above her difficult early childhood and appreciate the life she was given. It made me sad; yet, maybe that is Mr. Lamb's point. Bottom line, not Mr. Lamb's best and lacking overall.
I will preface this by saying that I enjoy good fiction and standard mystery stories don't usually excite me. That being said, I read many reviews of this book and did expect more. The reader was talented and he moved along at a steady pace; no complaint there as long as you like the southern drawl. The storyline was steady and gave me just enough to draw me to the ending. However, the characters were a little flat and predictable. For a mystery, it was different and brought up some interesting legal dilemmas. It was the type of book that I could enjoy a little here and there as it plodded along towards the finish. I could have used a little more excitement or perhaps a little less predictability.
If you don't mind listening to street language, this book is a literary masterpiece. Complex family relationships over a few generations intertwined within Dominican history. Eye opening descriptions of the difficult lives of Dominican families and of Oscar and his family in particular who lived under the cloud of a perceived fuku. As the reader, I loved and sympathized with poor Oscar who was struggling to find ways to bring love and friendship into his life with little success due to his quirky ways and his technological interests. Poor Oscar just couldn't fit in anywhere. Quite good. I hated for this book to end.
I enjoyed this novel. It was a fun story including family dynamics, cultural interplay, marital friction, love, and all done in the context of modern day India. The characters were likeable and interesting. I loved the descriptions of Mr. and Mrs. Ali's home and of their marriage. As the reader, I could see the home, the garden and the streets surrounding the Ali's home thanks to the beautifully descriptive language of the author. Overall, well done, fun, if somewhat predictable sweet story.
Lionel Shriver is able to beautifully portray the complexities of parenthood. His understanding of the psyche of the mother is astounding and compelling. I identified with the woman and found myself often thinking, "I've thought that before but could never have put it into words." This book is an interesting study and well crafted story of parenting and of marriage/family dynamics while providing an interesting perspective on the development of a "bad seed" child.
This is my second novel by this author and while I loved the first novel, The Murderer's Daughters, this novel lacked in everything that the first one had. The reader's voice was downright obnoxious especially in her portrayal of the Jewish New Yorker, there was not one likeable character, and the storyline was predictable and trivial. This novel reminded me of a bad dramatic television show. I finished the novel entirely but OMG, it almost hurt to listen to this especially after having enjoyed the author's first novel so much.
If you like an interesting drama about families mixed with a little intrigue and mystery, this book works well. Set in Australia and beautifully performed, the book kept my interest throughout. I would have rated the story higher than three stars except there were times when I found the writing a bit slow with the literature style not of stellar quality, more like a teen novel but quite well done.
This is a great Australian story, funny and interesting. Ideas are presented about a woman's life, relationships and choices. The writing is fairly simple but enjoyable and engaging. In fact, after listening to this book, I went on to listen to the author's other two available books.
When I began this book, I was not sure that I could finish it because it begins with a gruesome act of violence but having read many rave reviews, I persevered and am so glad that I did. As one who works with traumatized children and families, I found the author's understanding of recovery from trauma over a lifetime of the two main characters to be true to life and incredibly interesting. While reading the book, I felt I was intimately getting a look into the lives of the two sisters, how each coped and developed. The book not only explored personality development and trauma recovery from many angles, but also explored the intricate nature of family relationships and the burden of the difficult choices people face in life. Not only is the author an extremely talented writer, but also must be a scholar of psychology, trauma and culture to be able to portray relationship and personality complexities as beautifully as she has with this novel. Bravo Ms. Meyers.
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