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Rachel

DPO, AP, United States | Member Since 2009

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HELPFUL VOTES
  • 4 reviews
  • 28 ratings
  • 126 titles in library
  • 11 purchased in 2014
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  • The Glass Castle: A Memoir

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Jeannette Walls
    • Narrated By Jeannette Walls
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1147)
    Performance
    (879)
    Story
    (885)

    Jeannette Walls grew up with parents whose ideals and stubborn nonconformity were both their curse and their salvation. Rex and Rose Mary Walls had four children. In the beginning, they lived like nomads, moving among Southwest desert towns, camping in the mountains. Rex was a charismatic, brilliant man who, when sober, captured his children's imagination. Rose Mary painted and wrote and couldn't stand the responsibility of providing for her family; she called herself an "excitement addict."

    Elisabeth says: "Like peeping through your fingers at a car wreck"
    "Heartbreaking, Riveting"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    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.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    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."


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Although the author is not sentimental, it is heart-wrenching to think of the hardships these children faced.


    Any additional comments?

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6898)
    Performance
    (6245)
    Story
    (6245)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "Best recorded book I've listened to"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    This story is so compelling and well-written. It just draws you in as you listen to the points of view of these two characters. I had not realized until the interview with the author at the end that it is based on the true story of the Grimke sisters - but fictionalized to bring it to life - and it is brought to life. The readers are also amazing - bringing life and character to the book. I highly recommend this book, and am now starting another book by Sue Monk Kidd.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I had a hard time putting this down - it is so heart wrenching in parts, and made even more incredible by the (disturbing) historical facts it contains.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Casual Vacancy

    • UNABRIDGED (17 hrs and 55 mins)
    • By J. K. Rowling
    • Narrated By Tom Hollander
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (3017)
    Performance
    (2650)
    Story
    (2677)

    When Barry Fairweather dies unexpectedly in his early 40s, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Pagford is, seemingly, an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, but what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war. Rich at war with poor, teenagers at war with their parents, wives at war with their husbands, teachers at war with their pupils.... Pagford is not what it at first seems. And the empty seat left by Barry on the town's council soon becomes the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.

    cristina says: "I was surprised by how much I liked it"
    "Disappointed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about The Casual Vacancy?

    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.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    Skip this.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Town Like Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Robin Bailey
    Overall
    (1729)
    Performance
    (1158)
    Story
    (1168)

    Jean Paget is just twenty years old and working in Malaya when the Japanese invasion begins. When she is captured she joins a group of other European women and children whom the Japanese force to march for miles through the jungle. While on the march, the group run into some Australian prisoners, one of whom, Joe Harman, helps them steal some food, and is horrifically punished by the Japanese as a result.

    Amazon Customer says: "Better still in Audio form"
    "Memorable!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about A Town Like Alice?

    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.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Town Like Alice?

    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...


    What does Robin Bailey bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    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.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    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.


    Any additional comments?

    One to remember and re-listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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