This is the first Debbie Macomber book I have "read" and will likely be the only one. The writing is simply not very good for an adult level book. Perhaps it has been written as such with the intention of being family oriented, but frankly I doubt children would be interested in the storyline. The premise of the story held promise, but the book simply does not hold up. The writing is quite simplistic and often redundant. It serms there is very little effort put into describing the characters feelings and experiences. For instance, several times she describes characters reacting by "frowning" rather than more accurately describing if they are upset, angry, puzzled, distressed, etc...there are a number of emotions which could elicit a frown, but she simply does not make the effort to be more descriptive or expansive. The author was also repetitive in her general writing style throughout the book. The idea of the story is pleasant enough and I like uplifting stories, but this was a disappointment. I agree with previous reviews that the angels were portrayed as being very dumb...yet continually commenting on how slow-witted humans are!
The narrator affected my experience as well. The accents seemed possibly incorrect and at times inconsistent. The voice she used for the lead male character of Aren sounded very strange. She tried to speak so low for his voice that very little emotion or inflection could be properly portrayed. "His" voice sounded both strained (constipated) and quite monotone (= boring) so it was VERY unappealing to listen to his parts of the story (which are frequent). The parts of the story with only females were much better. I would certainly recommend to the narrator to try not use such an extreme change in lowering her voice for male characters as it simply does not come across well in the way it was done on this audiobook. The general narration as well as the story I often experienced as too syrupy and shallow.
The resolution between Aren and Lucie occurred, once again, in an over simplistic and unrealistic way. Additionally, for a contemporary book, the way it concluded was very provincial and conservative (narrow-minded even) as far as how the future would play out for the female, Lucie.
I had hoped for more after seeing and generally enjoying a few TV movies based on Debbie Macomber books, but this book did not deliver for me and I get the sense that the movies are perhaps transformed quite a bit from her books (unless this one is entirely different from the others).
Wish I had had a better experience with this one!
3 stars is probably a stretch for the story, but I am glad the author is putting out ideas and concepts which are not mainstream and those core concepts of this story could be very helpful to people on their spiritual, healing or new age journey. It addressed healing the emotions to heal the body which I believe is extremely important and an element about which many people are completely unaware or do not attempt to acknowledge or consider. Since our mind, body and spirit are all interconnected, this is an important message and theme contained in this book. For me, the writing and the story outline were jumbled and not cohesive, even for out of the ordinary topics such as this book contains. I believe the message in the book could have been delivered much more successfully with better writing and a more fluid story.
It is also extremely challenging to listen to this narrator. If there was a much better narrator, it would be much more enjoyable to listen to this book and hear the helpful messages within it.
After listening to the audiobook, I also watched a movie called "Walk-In" which was based on the book. Interestingly, the movie leaves out most of the important messages I feel the book strives to convey and was more unsatisfactory than the book in its content, though the acting in the movie was far superior to the narration of the book.
It has been a few months since I listened to this account of The Great War (WWI), so I will not delve into specifics. I can say this book is an excellent historical account of WWI with very competent and appealing narration. As it has been many years since I last studied WWI, I enjoyed and appreciated this thoroughly informative experience...it is certainly a book I fully expect to revisit as the information is voluminous but certainly very interesting and well presented, I highly recommend!
I thought I would buy this book for some light humorous easy listening and with the high ratings, decided to give this a try. Well, the first few chapters or so may have held my attention fairly well with some mild amusement and curiosity. Beyond that, the entire story line and writing took a nosedive into meaningless humorless drivel - boring plot and boring writing. Any humor in the book quickly lost its appeal as it was based on self-absorbed snarky jabs wallowing in the protagonist's whiny self pity, effectively whined by the narrator's ultimately grating voice. The writer's "humor" rapidly declined from any use of clever language and relied on attempting humor based upon nastiness in thoughts and words. Had this been a 2 hour short story, it may have been able to rate higher for me as an amusing brief diversion. As a full novel, it became painful boring and humorless listening which I was unable to endure and consequently i did not finish the book...I struggled through about 2/3 or 3/4 of the book, hoping for improvement which was at that point an unrealistic outcome. I decided my time and brain power could be utilized much more valuably and enjoyably with other endeavors or books.
Perhaps there is some sort of redeeming ending to the story, but the writing and story content in getting there were simply not worth my time. The portions of the story where Lacey is learning to write a novel (an endeavor based upon her ability to rake her cheating husband over the coals via writing his company newsletter) were extraordinarily uninteresting as were her "friends with benefits" relationship and sexual encounters with her new neighbor. The purpose of the sex scenes seemed to be trying to make a boring story more interesting, but they did not achieve that goal.
The narration became mostly annoying and grating to me. I felt the narration was as one dimensional as the book. Her vocal intonation was effectively whiny sounding, but to listen to that throughout for the primary character also diminished my listening experience along with the writing and story content. I have not heard this narrator (Amanda Ronconi) before and would not seek out books narrated by her in the future, though her narration could be more appealing for a different book or story. The most painful part of her narration for me was her portrayal of the male characters, especially Lacey's love interest, Monroe, since he is the primary male character. In her portrayal, the male voice sounded strained and constipated because of apparently forcing her voice into an unnatural vocal range. My personal preference for narrating of the opposite sex is when the reader maintains an unforced and more natural vocal range as otherwise the effect is very unappealing and makes listening more difficult to enjoy (conversely...such as some male narrators creating female voices who all sound like wimpy airheads is equally unpleasant).
I do not anticipate purchasing more books by Molly Harper and I definitely hope to use Audible's return policy for this one!
I really enjoyed this book. It was a lot of fun combined with mystery and suspense creating a fun lighter spy novel. Barbara Rosenblat narrates beautifully and brings the book even more to life. This is the first Mrs. Pollifax novel I have read (not the first in the series, but the first I have "read") and was delighted to find it and I am eager to purchase more of these books. Mrs. Pollifax is a wonderful character and the other characters in the novel are also interesting and entertaining. I greatly recommend!
I was disappointed in this listening experience. As this is an historical account of actual events during WWI, the narrator read it much too fast for my preference. It made it difficult to absorb many of the details of the information and difficult to understand some of her words at times. I felt like the reading was taking place under time constraints or as a contest in speed-reading the book. Additionally, the narrator added more characterization and dramatization than I found preferable for an historical account. I was relieved to finish the book (which seemed to take 3 times longer than actual time). The book itself provided a lot of information regarding this particular event and multiple events and scenarios prior to the telegram. It included many years prior to the telegram and, for me, it seemed more than necessary. Or perhaps if the narration was better for this type of book, it would have proved more interesting.
I recently finished "A World Undone" written by G.J. Meyer and narrated by Robin Sachs. It is a complete account of WWI and though it is lengthy, both the book and narration were very well done and held my interest. I thought The Zimmerman Telegram would be a good supplement to it, but I could have skipped it...this version at least. Perhaps if the book was shorter and/or had more effective narration, I would have enjoyed it.
I truly enjoyed listening to this biography of a most extraordinary woman/person. It was a great listen about the life and heroism of a woman who often seemed to "stumble" onto the amazing and fascinating path her life followed. She was a woman of great tenacity, perseverance, and courage as well as flair and wit. The book spans her entire life but is primarily focused on the period prior to and during WWII. I am glad the book covered her early and later life as well. I highly recommend this book and would enjoy reading more books about similarly extraordinary real women during WWII and otherwise.
Wonderful story and narrator! The only issues I have had with this recording/narrating is the balance of sound. From time to time, the narrator's voice is softer and I need to increase the volume to fully hear what she has said. I am not sure if this is just the narrator or if the engineering of the recording could have addressed this issue. Otherwise, the book and recording are terrific!
I was taken with this book about a young woman's life in 17th c. Iran. The narrator was quite good, though there were a few issues with English pronunciation and not being able to understand what she was actually saying at first. However, most of the mispronounced words I could still understand or decipher through the context, though there were a few along the way I did not understand. Still a very well performed narration and could certainly listen to another narration by Aghdashloo. The basic story was reasonably good and the setting in 17th c. Iranian culture including the rug-making aspects were quite interesting. I enjoyed her overall writing style and found it beautifully descriptive which helped the story to flourish as well. The side narratives (stories told by the characters) were a little hit and miss for me...some truly engaged me and others seemed to be more of a distraction from the main narrative: I would say that mostly the side narratives added to the book for me. Overall, I definitely recommend!
I thoroughly enjoyed The Twelve Clues of Christmas and am looking forward to more Rhys Bowen Royal Spyness novels. This is the first I have read in the series. The story moves quickly and is engaging all the way. If you enjoy entertaining mystery novels, I highly recommend this one. The narrator, Katherine Kellgren, is excellent and I look forward to listening to more of her narrations, including this series. Great fun book!
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