Fantastic autobiography of the author - so hard to put down as she leads you through her childhood. It's so heartbreaking, but is not at all sentimental in the way it is told, which is so matter-of-fact, and respectful, and childlike in its respect for her parents, and her sense of fun and adventure. It brings out the complex relationships of the family - love and hate for the same person, as a child might experience it. Really, fabulously told.
There are so many unforgettable scenes that I keep thinking about - but the one where her father comes home drunk and ruins Lori's statue of Shakespeare - what she considers her chance to "get out" and get an art scholarship - and he is so flip in an effort to be "genuine."
Although the author is not sentimental, it is heart-wrenching to think of the hardships these children faced.
The book is read by the author, which makes it even better - to hear it the way she intended it to be. The ending gets a little (strangely) sentimental, but overall the story is well worth your time to listen to.
To go from the most exciting series the literary world has seen in a while - with the vast imagination of Harry Potter, to this small town tale almost seems like the author was challenging herself to write about the most boring thing in the world and try to make it interesting, and see if people would read it. And honestly, it if wasn't JK Rowling, I would not have picked this up. The reader is great, though, and got me through it, in spite of it all. I kept thinking that Valdemort would eventually appear to liven things up, but it never happened.
It just kept going with the same theme of who was talking about who in their very small-town way. It's just not the kind of thing I would normally read about, and I remain mystified that a fantasy author could pen this sort of truer-than-life tale.
How often do you remember a book - even its details - months later? The story was completely captivating and has many layers. It really drew me in, and kept me engaged the whole way through. I wanted more.
There are so many memorable moments - the journey of the women through malaysia, the presumed death of their savior, the reunion in Alice Springs, the interactions among the characters...
The narration is fantastic - just the right pace and tone, it walks you through the book, and puts the right accents with the right people - British for British and Australian for Australian. It really brought the book to life for me.
There were so many moments - when the mother of one of the children died, when her rescuer was taken away to be killed, and the so British understatement and politeness of their reunion years later.
One to remember and re-listen.
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