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Jeanette Finan

Little Rock, Arkansas | Member Since 2009

98
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 28 reviews
  • 174 ratings
  • 0 titles in library
  • 28 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
3
FOLLOWERS
6

  • Elegy for Eddie: A Maisie Dobbs Novel, Book 9

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Winspear
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (355)
    Performance
    (295)
    Story
    (300)

    To the costermongers of Covent Garden Eddie Pettit was a gentle soul with a gift for working with horses. When Eddie is killed in a violent accident, the grieving costers are skeptical about the cause of his death. Who would want to kill Eddie - and why? Maisie Dobbs' father, Frankie, had been a costermonger, so she had known the men since childhood. She remembers Eddie fondly and is determined to offer her help. But it soon becomes clear that powerful political and financial forces are equally determined to prevent her from learning the truth behind Eddie's death.

    connie says: "listen saved by last quarter of novel but..."
    "Slightly Flawed"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I ended up kind of conflicted about this story after I finished it. On one hand I liked it very much but there were a couple of things that bugged me. One of them was that some of the character's started taking pot shots at Maisie regarding the way she was handling her new found wealth. They were telling her that trying to help some of the people she cared about was putting them under an obligation to her that was not a good thing. Masie would not be where she is if not for this kind of generosity from Maurice, Lady Compton and to some extent Pricilla. I kind of felt like they were trying to keep her in her place as if they were afraid she would move on with her life and leave her working class background behind like this was some kind of a bad thing.

    As a result I thought that then Maisie, never very secure about herself anyway, over reactes with what seemed to me with teenage angst (and believe me I have seen enough teen age angst to recognize it when I see it) and started clutching her working class background like a hair shirt she was afraid to take off for fear she wouldn't be normal anymore unless she was itching. As a result poor James ended up in the crossfire. Maisie needs to pull herself together, grow a tougher skin and grow up a little.

    But I thought the mystery was good and I could see the basis for some darn good stories in the future. And as ever, Windspeare does a stellar job of nailing the time and place. She obviously is as fascinated with that era as I am.

    7 of 10 people found this review helpful
  • Maybe Someday

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Colleen Hoover
    • Narrated By Zachary Webber, Angela Goethals
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (110)
    Performance
    (107)
    Story
    (107)

    At 22 years old, Sydney has a great life: She’s in college; working a steady job; in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter; and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers Hunter's cheating on her - and she is left trying to decide what to do next. Sydney becomes captivated by Ridge, her mysterious neighbor. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to his playing his guitar every day out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either.

    Jeanette Finan says: "Very Good Story"
    "Very Good Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    There are a lot of 5 star reviews for this book both here and on amazon and I agree with almost of them. This book has a very good story line.

    Maybe Someday was almost entirelly written in the stream of conscienceless style and I have always found that style very hard going. Added to that is that there is so much angst in this story that I felt like I was running out of breath a couple of times. All that angst kept accumulating in my brain the way mud accumulates on your boots does when you walk across a muddy field after a wet spell.

    On the up side I really liked the characters in this story and thought it was beautifully read. Both narraters did a wonderful job of breathing life into them. But I didn't want to spend so much time in Ridge and Sydney's heads. I wanted the story to be more about what they were actually doing and less time about what was going their heads.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Then Came Heaven

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs)
    • By LaVyrle Spencer
    • Narrated By Amy Irving
    Overall
    (47)
    Performance
    (18)
    Story
    (18)

    Eddie Olczak, devoted husband and father, a man of unshakable faith, derives intense pleasure from the life he's built with his wife, Krystyna, their 2 daughters, and the Catholic church where he both works and worships. So when a tragic accident takes Krystyna's life, Eddie is sure his heart is broken forever. Friends and family rally around the Olczaks in their time of grief, but with Sister Regina, things are different.

    Jane says: "Terrible sound production."
    "Great Story, Terrible Audio Quality, Poor Reader"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was happy to see this story here in unabridged format but I had to think hard before I bought it. I bought it in spite of it being so poorly done. I am surprised that audible offered it for sale. It certainly doesn't reflect well on them. But I can't complain too much because I bought it with my eyes open.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Stella Bain

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 56 mins)
    • By Anita Shreve
    • Narrated By Hope Davis
    Overall
    (48)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (41)

    When an American woman, Stella Bain, is found suffering from severe shell shock in an exclusive garden in London, surgeon August Bridge and his wife selflessly agree to take her in. A gesture of goodwill turns into something more as Bridge quickly develops a clinical interest in his houseguest. Stella had been working as a nurse's aide near the front, but she can't remember anything prior to four months earlier when she was found wounded on a French battlefield.

    Jean says: "A captivating story"
    "No more Anita Shreve for me"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Earlier this week I purchased "Stella Bain" (audiobook) I started listening to it and then finally gave up on it. I may try again later but I probably won't. For me it fell into the same category as The English Patient. Beautiful writing but absolutely no story.

    I can overlook a lot in a good story including bad writing. But I can't overlook no story even if it is good writing. If I'm going to plunk my money down on a book I insist on a story. In Stella Bain I felt that the author was enamored by her own prose and was indulging herself by trying to work her words into some sort of a story in order to show how clever she was. If she gets off on stroking her ego that's her business but it really ticks me off when an author does it on my dime. Anita Shreve has been a hit and miss author for me in the past but I am definitely over her now.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Daniel James Brown
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (621)
    Performance
    (564)
    Story
    (575)

    Daniel James Brown's robust book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew and their epic quest for an Olympic gold medal, a team that transformed the sport and grabbed the attention of millions of Americans. The sons of loggers, shipyard workers, and farmers, the boys defeated elite rivals first from eastern and British universities and finally the German crew rowing for Adolf Hitler in the Olympic games in Berlin, 1936.

    Benoibe says: "Best book of the year!"
    "An Amazing Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is one of the two really outstanding non fiction books I read recently. The book tells the story of the University of Washington's 1936 eight-oar crew that won an Olympic Gold Medal in the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

    But this is a book about more than just a story about overcoming hard times but about what we are made of and what we can accomplish if we really make up our minds to do it. It's a shame that the title True Grit has already been used for a story because it would really fit this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Where She Went

    • UNABRIDGED (5 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Gayle Forman
    • Narrated By Dan Bittner
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (192)
    Performance
    (141)
    Story
    (142)

    It's been three years since the devastating accident... three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life forever. Now living on opposite coasts, Mia is Juilliard's rising star and Adam is LA tabloid fodder, thanks to his new rock-star status and celebrity girlfriend. When Adam gets stuck in New York by himself, chance brings the couple together again, for one last night. As they explore the city that has become Mia's home, Adam and Mia revisit the past and open their hearts to the future - and each other.

    Arwen says: "Groovy and the Geek"
    "Not quite as good as "If I Stay""
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I purchased this audiobook the minute I saw it was out and available on audio. It is a sequel to "If I Stay" and I am sorry to have to say that I was a little disappointed with it. I loved "If I Stay" but this one just didn't have the charm and poignancy the first book had. It felt flat - especially when compared to it predecessor. Still I'm glad I bought it because even though I knew "Where she went" I really wanted to know what happened when she got there.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Shadow of the Titanic: The Extraordinary Stories of those Who Survived

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Andrew Wilson
    • Narrated By Bill Wallis
    Overall
    (137)
    Performance
    (123)
    Story
    (122)

    Although we think we know the story of the Titanic - the famously unsinkable ship that hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Britain to America in April 1912 - little has been written about what happened to the survivors after the tragedy. How did the loss of the ship shape the lives of the people who survived? How did those who were saved feel about those who perished? And how did they remember that terrible night?

    Tad Davis says: "Wonderful"
    "I'm sorry that I didn't like this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It was well written and the subject of the book was interesting to me. I just couldn't get past that author presumed to write about dying peoples last thoughts and actions in a way that he could not possibly have known about.

    The book is a non-fictional account of the lives of a selected group of the survivors. All of them very deeply effected by the experience, some of them so much that it changed the entire course of their lives. A few were unable to cope and committed suicide. Some of them did not leave notes. However the author described the dying thoughts and actions of several people as if he had been there and was privy to their last thoughts. This really bothered me. It bothered me a lot. I felt like the author was being disrespectful to the people he was writing about. These were real people! He didn't even write any kind of disclaimer that explained why he decided he had the right to co-opt their last minutes. And then as a result of that I had another issue. How much credence can you give to anything in the book once you feel the author did at least part of his research in thin air. Otherwise I would have rated it at least four stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Queen Mother

    • ABRIDGED (9 hrs and 50 mins)
    • By William Shawcross
    • Narrated By William Shawcross
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (13)
    Story
    (15)

    The official and definitive biography of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother: consort of King George VI, mother of Queen Elizabeth II, grandmother of Prince Charles - and the most beloved British monarch of the 20th century.

    Jeanette Finan says: "The right woman at exactly the right time"
    "The right woman at exactly the right time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I was actually looking for a biography of George VI on audible but couldn't find on so I got this one as it was the closest I could get. I'm beginning to think audible is prejudiced towards male monarchs.

    She wasn't really all that special but she brought humanity to the Royal family at a time when they desperately needed it. And she did it with grace and an abundance of charm. She was the right woman at exactly the right place and time.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • That Woman: The Life of Wallis Simpson, Duchess of Windsor

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Anne Sebba
    • Narrated By Samantha Bond
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (102)
    Performance
    (82)
    Story
    (84)

    Here is the first full-scale biography of Wallis Simpson to be written by a woman, exploring the mind of one of the most glamorous and reviled figures of the 20th century, a character who figured prominently in the blockbuster film The King’s Speech. This is the story of the American divorcée notorious for allegedly seducing a British king off his throne.

    Gwynne says: "A fascinating read..."
    "Be Careful What You Wish For"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book is a cautionary tale if there ever was one. Be Careful What you Wish For is the message that comes through loud and clear.

    Because I have never been particularly interested in gossipy enquirer type articles I had never looked very closely at either the Duke or the Dutchess of Windsor. But lately I have been doing quite a bit of reading lately about WW2 and several of the books I have read have mentioned that they were both suspected of having pro Nazi sympathies I decided to search out a biography of the Duke. I didn't find one on audible.com but did find this book. My goodness, what a to-do!

    The conclusion that I came up with is that neither the Duke or the Dutchess had pro Nazi sympathies. In fact I got the impression that both of them were so self absorbed that it was impossible for them to connect with or even understand any concept beyond their own personal desires at any given moment. That is not to say the wouldn't has assisted the Nazi cause- but only if they perceived that by doing so they would advance their own interests.

    I felt a little sorry for the Duke because if the facts of what happened were represented accurately then a real good argument could be made for him having a developmental disability of some sort. Perhaps autism. He really did seem to be unable to understand cause and effect throughout his life. In the end he got exactly what he pushed so hard for and gave up so much to get and then spent the rest of his life unhappy because he was never able to understand why when he shed all responsibilities all his perks went away as well. I thought he was honestly bewildered by that.

    As for the Dutchess, well I have less sympathy for her. I don't think she ever wanted Edward "for keeps" but thought she could carry on an affair where she could enjoy royal patronage, snub her nose at Brittain's society types, advance her husbands career and then when Edward inevitably tired of her like he did all the mistresses that came before her go back to her long suffering second husband that she truly loved and her life would go back to normal. Instead she found herself in way over her head and ended up losing the husband she loved and stuck with an obsessively clingy husband that she didn't love.

    The only ones who came out ahead in this mess were the British people who ended up with a much better king at a time when they had enough to deal with without having to put up with a King who displayed all the maturity of judgement of a six year old brat.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Mountain Between Us: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Charles Martin
    • Narrated By George Newbern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (136)
    Performance
    (75)
    Story
    (76)

    When their last outgoing flight is cancelled, Ben finds a charter plane that can take him around the storm and drop him in Denver to catch a connection. And when the pilot says the single-engine prop plane can fit one more, if barely, Ben offers the seat to Ashley, knowing that she needs to get home just as urgently. And then the unthinkable happens. The pilot has a heart attack, and the plane crashes into one of the largest stretches of harsh and remote land in the United States.

    Suzanne says: "10 stars for The Mountain Between Us"
    "Very Good Story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I enjoyed this book very much in spite of its being classified as Inspirational. Charles Martin is a competent writer and a first rate story teller. Both of which are rare for Inspirational books.

    I had to suspend my disbelief a time or two but hey, this is fiction and implausible situations are allowed as long as the story is good. And this story was very good. It kept me listening with my full attention all the way to the very end and there was no way I could have shut if off until I learned how it came out. And it satisfied my urge to read a Romance novel although this was not exactly one. It's more of an adventure that accidentally ends up being a love story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Leaving Everything Most Loved: Maisie Dobbs, Book 10

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jacqueline Winspear
    • Narrated By Orlagh Cassidy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (333)
    Performance
    (289)
    Story
    (284)

    The year is 1933. Maisie Dobbs is contacted by an Indian gentleman who has come to England in the hopes of finding out who killed his sister two months ago. Scotland Yard failed to make any arrest in the case, and there is reason to believe they failed to conduct a thorough investigation. The case becomes even more challenging when another Indian woman is murdered just hours before a scheduled interview. Meanwhile, unfinished business from a previous case becomes a distraction, as does a new development in Maisie's personal life.

    C. Telfair says: "Mixed Feelings about Maisie"
    "Out of the ball park again"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Leaving Everything Most Loved

    Winspeare said that this was book was going to change the entire playing field and the woman did not lie. She changed almost everything we were familiar with over the course of the book.

    I have loved every one of these stories even when I got a little annoyed with the character of Maisie for clinging to tightly to her past and not moving on as fast as I thought she ought to. I am no longer annoyed. Plus she managed to change everything while leaving all the bare bones of the series firmly in place. This book just came out and I am already wishing for the next one.

    And as for the mystery, I didn't figure it who-done-it until the very end. I absolutely love twisty mysteries and this one had a grand twist at the end. The book reminds us that regardless of how much we want to see Masie and James wrapped in each others arms Winspeare is a mystery writer and any romance that floats by is strictly secondary and is meant to advance the plot only.

    I grew up watching Perry Mason mystery in the early days of TV and my brother and I competed every week to see which one of us could figure out the Grand Denouement first. I'll admit I had an advantage over him for a while because whoever casted the shows had a weakness for weak chins and all I had to do was look to see which character had one and I had the killer. But eventually he figured this out for himself and I had to fall back on thinking which is not usually my brain's default position.

    And I say this in every review that I write for the Maisie books. Winspeare is probably better than any other writer of mysteries set in this era. She does such a good job of setting the atmosphere of time and place that the reader is left as fly on wall as they experience the story in whatever format they have chosen.

    And, as a personal note to whoever reads this comment. I know I am sounding a little gushy but if you have read any of my journal entries in the past you know that I pretty much call them as I see them. It has gotten me quite a few negative votes on amazon and a few on audible. But happily I am not running for election to anything and I paid for my book and am not obligated to write a positive review for anyone so I will continue always to call them as I see them.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful

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