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Marjorie

I enjoy literary fiction with character depth and psychological exploration. I am in my 50s, work in psychology, and love the outdoors.

Santa Rosa, CA, United States | Member Since 2010

ratings
155
REVIEWS
47
FOLLOWING
15
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
49

  • The Fault in Our Stars

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 14 mins)
    • By John Green
    • Narrated By Kate Rudd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8823)
    Performance
    (8081)
    Story
    (8131)

    Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning-author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

    FanB14 says: "Sad Premise, Fantastic Story"
    "Sweet, Funny and Interesting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Fault In Our Stars was a quaint, interesting character study of teens who struggle with terminal illness. The reader gets a window into the world of two fearless teens who dare to love, live and grow while facing imminent death. The author did his homework on this book. The parents of each teen also showed themselves in this book. The perspective parents and their journeys of love and respect for their children's processes were deeply felt and beautifully reflected in the qualities and choices of their children. Well done, Mr. Green. I can't imagine how the author gained the inside information of the world of teen age cancer patients and their parents, but bravo to him. These families do appear to have money, though, which is a luxury which many cancer patients do not have, so bare that in mind before you purchase this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Weight of Silence

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Heather Gudenkauf
    • Narrated By Jim Colby, Eliza Foss, Cassandra Morris, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (493)
    Performance
    (384)
    Story
    (382)

    It happens quietly one August morning. As dawn's shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night. Now these families are tied by the question of what happened to their children. And the answer is trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets.

    Sara says: "A jewel"
    "If Only I Could, I Would Give it 3.8"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book comes ever so close to being four stars but just barely misses the mark. I did enjoy the listen all the way through except that Griff, the father of Calli, is an unlikeable, ignorant, mean man with zero redeeming qualities presented in his character. Thus, I could not stop feeling angst about why the wife and mother of his children (Antonia) could not break out of the cycle of violence. She was presented as a good mother who was intelligent, thoughtful and beautiful but she tolerated his abuse and failed to protect and understand her children. The story's credibility was compromised because of this but, then again, that is the oppression of silence. I found the premise of Calli's selective mutism to be credible. The disappearance of the girls was well developed and exciting. The author also created an interesting twist as she had the two families coping together with the disappearance of their daughters. The narration of this book was well done but, again, Griff is such a creep and sounds like such a creep, I couldn't get past it. If the author's intention is to make the reader hate Griff, she did a great job. Maybe you better read this book yourself and see what you think.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Presumed Innocent

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Scott Turow
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1120)
    Performance
    (568)
    Story
    (574)

    Presumed Innocent brings to life our worst nightmare: that of an ordinary citizen facing conviction for the most terrible of crimes. Prosecutor Rusty Sabich is transformed from accuser to accused when he is handed an explosive case - that of the brutal murder of a woman who happens to be his former lover.

    Glen says: "Excellent Book, Gripping Entertainment!"
    "It Does Keep You Wondering..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First of all, I have to admit that I am not a big fan of a courtroom drama but I read many reviews of this book and do enjoy a mystery, so I gave it a listen. There were parts of this story that were exciting but overall it was frustrating, bogged down in minutia and disappointing. I found myself daydreaming while waiting for anything pertinent to take place. Maybe I just prefer a murder mystery where the focus is on solving the crime. This book overlooks solving the crime and, then, suddenly at the end, the murderer is revealed. I read one review that suggests that listening to Chapter 40 first (where the murderer is revealed) and then listening to the book helps the reader understand what is happening and I don't doubt that to be true. Also, I understand there is a movie of this book, so perhaps watching the movie first would help. Yet, I was left wondering why the author had the characters working on prosecuting a crime while no one was interested in solving the crime. The narrator is perfect. I enjoy the cadence and tone of his reading very much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Girl in Translation

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jean Kwok
    • Narrated By Grayce Wey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (455)
    Performance
    (177)
    Story
    (176)

    When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life-like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family's future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition-Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.

    Susan B. Johnson says: "This is a keeper"
    "Inspiring Story of Two Courageous Women"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I listened to the preview of this book, I worried that I would not enjoy the strong Chinese dialect of the reader as she portrays dialect of a Chinese American young woman but, as I listenened, I grew to love the sound and thoroughly enjoyed the Chinese dialect along with the interesting interpretations of American slang and Chinese slang. This was an inspiring story of the love between a mother and her daughter and the courage of these two Chinese immigrants to succeed. Through the experience of the young girl, Kim, the reader learns of the poverty and the hardships that face these immigrants. It was a fantastic story of courage, love, dedication, and the difficult challenges that face young women.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bodies of Water

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By T. Greenwood
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (19)
    Story
    (18)

    In 1960, Billie Valentine is a young housewife living in a sleepy Massachusetts suburb, treading water in a dull marriage and caring for two adopted daughters. Summers spent with the girls at their lakeside camp in Vermont are her one escape - from her husband's demands, from days consumed by household drudgery, and from the nagging suspicion that life was supposed to hold something different. Then a new family moves in across the street. Ted and Eva Wilson have three children and a fourth on the way, and their arrival reignites long-buried feelings in Billie.

    glamazon says: "Beautiful, tender, layered story"
    "Women's Issues of the 50s Explored"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't want to spoil this book for anyone so will write an oblique review without a spoiler. As a female reader interested in issues of psychology, society and storyline, I found it interesting in its exploration of the tragedy of the White middle-class "housewife" of the 50's in the United States; especially as it pertains to the many secrets and facades required in those times of strict role requirements for men and women. Many issues were explored and the characters were well developed. The book felt anti-climactic as it moved towards the end but, overall, this book was well written and engaging. The reader did a beautiful job with the voices and, in that sense, it was a pleasure to listen to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Until You're Mine: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Samantha Hayes
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett
    Overall
    (30)
    Performance
    (28)
    Story
    (28)

    You're alone. You're vulnerable. And you have something that someone else wants. At any cost. Claudia Morgan-Brown finally has it all. Pregnant with a much-wanted first baby of her own, she has a happily established family of two small step-sons and a loving husband with a great career. But she is also committed to her full-time job as a social worker, and her husband travels often. So when Claudia hires Zoe to help her around the house in anticipation of the baby’s arrival, it seems like the answer to her prayers.

    Marjorie says: "Not Up to Par"
    "Not Up to Par"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First of all, the same reader plays all parts and throughout the entire book, I could not tell which character's voice was talking which was quite confusing. This lack of clarity continued through much of the book. Secondly, the story was slow getting started and then gradually built to an interesting premise only to lose all credibility as it began to move towards the end. The storyline does keep moving, however, and keeps the reader guessing enough to encourage continued listening. This book had promise with its interesting and mysterious storyline, but it did not deliver overall. I need a storyline to have more credibiity than this one offered.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Signature of All Things: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Elizabeth Gilbert
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (876)
    Performance
    (802)
    Story
    (810)

    In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker - a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia.

    Dina says: "An Educational and Epic Oddity"
    "Interesting and Different"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was beautifully read by Juliet Stevenson adding to the pleasure of the story. I did not expect to like this book as much as I did. It held a steady pace and kept my interest until about the last hour or so. I enjoyed the travels to several continents of the world while listening to the tales of the unusual lives of the Whittaker family, specifically, of Alma Whittaker. I also enjoyed learning about Alma's academic life as she was able to enjoy it following on the heels of her hard working, courageous if not conniving father. The reader is delivered into Alma's world of study, of adventure, and of the trials of sexual satisfaction and relationship satisfaction for a woman during the 19th century. My only complaint about this book is that it seemed to slowly die out towards the end but, to be fair, I often do not enjoy endings.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Homesman: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Glendon Swarthout
    • Narrated By Candace Thaxton
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (97)
    Performance
    (90)
    Story
    (92)

    Soon to be a major motion picture directed by Tommy Lee Jones, The Homesman is a devastating story of early pioneers in 1850s American West. It celebrates the ones we hear nothing of: the brave women whose hearts and minds were broken by a life of bitter hardship. A "homesman" must be found to escort a handful of them back East to a sanitarium. When none of the county’s men steps up, the job falls to Mary Bee Cuddy - ex-teacher, spinster, indomitable and resourceful.

    Janice says: "Riding into a different sunset"
    "Adventure, Prose, History - Fantastic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book not only describes the hardships of the pioneers traveling the American West but it also provides the reader an adventure of unparalleled surprises. I did not want this book to end. I grew to respect and enjoy the female protagonist, Mary, and did not want to let her go when the book ended. It was refreshing to read a book of the Western frontier showing more of the female and family perspectives. The male protagonist was full of surprises with a character that continued to evolve until the end. It is difficult to write a review that could capture the beauty of this book without "spoiling" the plot. In summary, I like historical fiction if the storyline is interesting and fast paced while keeping the reader immersed in history and this book's got it. I highly recommend this book, it's a wild ride packed with adventure and with beautiful prose allowing the reader to experience the rugged beauty and complexities of the situations presented. Whether you like historical fiction or not, this book is a fantastic story.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Backseat Saints

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Narrated By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (493)
    Performance
    (294)
    Story
    (291)

    Rose Mae Lolley is a fierce and dirty girl, long-suppressed under flowery skirts and bow-trimmed ballet flats. As "Mrs. Ro Grandee" she's trapped in a marriage that's thick with love and sick with abuse. Her true self has been bound in the chains of marital bliss in rural Texas, letting "Ro" make eggs, iron shirts, and take her punches.

    J. E. JONES says: "Loved this audio!"
    "A Southern Belle Finds Herself"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Once again, Joshilyn Jackson has written an interesting tale of Southern women. What I particularly liked about this one was Ms. Jackson's development of a the love/hate, push pull of an abusive relationship and the strength it takes to move on. While writing about a very difficult subject matter. Jackson manages to bring in enough mystery with a little fantasy (the gypsy) to lighten up the darkness of the protagonist's experience. In this "Chick Book", the reader gets to watch a young woman find her strength while uncovering how her family history has influenced her choices. Plus, there is a faithful dog in the story keeping company with our heroine throughout her many adventures. I really enjoyed this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Girl Who Stopped Swimming

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Narrated By Joshilyn Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (415)
    Performance
    (217)
    Story
    (221)

    While Laurel Gray Hawthorne's life seems neatly on track - a passionate marriage, a treasured daughter, and a lovely home in suburban Victorianna - everything she holds dear is suddenly thrown into question the night she is visited by the ghost of a her 13-year old neighbor, Molly Dufresne.

    J. E. JONES says: "One of the Best books I've purchased"
    "It's a Good "Who Dun' It?" Novel for Women"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I like Joshilyn Jackson novels and I like this one well enough too. She is a brilliant narrator and a very good author. This Jackson novel was a Southern mystery novel solved by the women of the family. I did not think the book was as good or as interesting as some of the other Jackson novels that I read but it was good and, if you are a fan of Jackson, you will most likely like this book also. The relationships between the women of this family were well developed and mostly believable. The question of who did it hung on until almost the end which kept me interested and curious to keep listening.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Weight of Blood: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Laura McHugh
    • Narrated By Dorothy Dillingham Blue, Shannon McManus, Sofia Willingham
    Overall
    (376)
    Performance
    (336)
    Story
    (334)

    The town of Henbane sits deep in the Ozark Mountains. Folks there still whisper about Lucy Dane's mother, a bewitching stranger who appeared long enough to marry Carl Dane and then vanished when Lucy was just a child. Now on the brink of adulthood, Lucy experiences another loss when her friend Cheri disappears and is then found murdered, her body placed on display for all to see.

    John S says: "Not too bad but you have to pay attention."
    "Good Mystery; Just a Little Juvenile"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed the narration of this book, the voices were easy to listen to and understand with good pacing. It took me some time, however, to sort out who was who in the beginning and after about two hours when I finally figured out what was going on, I went back and listened to many parts to solidify what I had missed when I was trying to place what was happening in the story. After that, the book was very good as the teen-age (19 year old) protagonist was working to solve two mysteries, the death of her friend and then the death of her mother. The mystery became involved and suspenseful keeping me interested and impressed with the author's ability to create such an intricate tale. Unfortunately, I felt the ending was a bit disappointing but will leave that up to you to decide. This book could be for a teen or young adult audience but works for adults too. If there was a 3.8, I would have given that but there isn't and the storyline was not quite good enough to make a 4 for me.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful

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