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WESTWOOD, MA, United States | Member Since 2009

  • 4 reviews
  • 12 ratings
  • 66 titles in library
  • 9 purchased in 2014

  • Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 4 mins)
    • By Jennifer Chiaverini
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    In Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, novelist Jennifer Chiaverini presents a stunning account of the friendship that blossomed between Mary Todd Lincoln and her seamstress, Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Keckley, a former slave who gained her professional reputation in Washington, D.C. by outfitting the city’s elite. Keckley made history by sewing for First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln within the White House, a trusted witness to many private moments between the President and his wife, two of the most compelling figures in American history.

    Ronna says: "A different , authentic view of history!!"
    "Fascinating history"

    This was a fascinating story and great listen. The performer did a fabulous job and the writer made Mrs. Eckley, Mrs. Lincoln and their relationship come to life. By the end, however, I found Mrs. Eckley (spelling?) a little too innocent and selfless to believe. I can't believe such a smart businesswoman would be taken for so many rides.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Life After Life: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 34 mins)
    • By Kate Atkinson
    • Narrated By Fenella Woolgar
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that same cold and snowy night, Ursula Todd is born, lets out a lusty wail, and embarks upon a life that will be, to say the least, unusual. For as she grows, she also dies, repeatedly, in a variety of ways, while the young century marches on towards its second cataclysmic world war.

    Diane says: "Life after life after life after life after life.."
    "Read this book DO NOT listen to it."
    Would you try another book from Kate Atkinson and/or Fenella Woolgar?

    I would try another book by Kate Atkison - she is a terrific writer, but I would READ it, not listen to it. Books that have a lot of characters, a lot of rotating viewpoints, or shift around in time do not make good audiobooks. This book does all three. You need to be able to flip back and forth in the pages to figure out exactly what she is trying to do with time and an unconventional plot. She had great characters and some great historical detail, butt the book went on for what seemed like a hundred pages too long. I had to force myself to listen for the last three or four chapters. The book seemed to belabor what seemed a fairly obvious point, but again, I think I would have felt differently if I'd read it.

    What do you think your next listen will be?

    A historical novel of some kind

    Which scene was your favorite?

    The London bombings are done quite well. Great detail.

    Was Life After Life worth the listening time?

    It went on way too long.

    Any additional comments?

    She is an excellent writer, however, with beautiful prose and great sibling interaction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • At Home in Mitford: The Mitford Years, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (19 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Jan Karon
    • Narrated By John McDonough

    It's easy to feel at home in Mitford. In these high, green hills, the air is pure, the village is charming, and the people are generally lovable. Yet Father Tim, the bachelor rector, wants something more. Enter a dog the size of a sofa who moves in and won't go away. Add an attractive neighbor who begins wearing a path through the hedge. Now, stir in a lovable but unloved boy, a mystifying jewel theft, and a secret that's 60 years old.

    Sara says: "Loved it"
    "Not my cup of tea."
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    To be fair, I didn't realize it was Christian fiction when I ordered it. So I found that heavy handed, but even if you are a Christian fiction fan, this story spends a long time going nowhere. I also did not realize her other book I ordered was Christian fiction, but that one had a decent story. For me, these are some overly cute characters with overly cute anecdotes that all felt so episodic, I gave up after about a third of the way in.

    Would you ever listen to anything by Jan Karon again?

    No,but mostly because I am not her target audience.

    Which character – as performed by John McDonough – was your favorite?

    Frankly, they all began to irritate me.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Major Pettigrew's Last Stand: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Helen Simonson
    • Narrated By Peter Altschuler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready

    You are about to travel to Edgecombe St. Mary, a small village in the English countryside filled with rolling hills, thatched cottages, and a cast of characters both hilariously original and as familiar as the members of your own family. Among them is Major Ernest Pettigrew (retired), the unlikely hero of Helen Simonson's wondrous debut. Wry, courtly, opinionated, and completely endearing, Major Pettigrew is one of the most indelible characters in contemporary fiction.

    Sara says: "A Surprising Treat!"
    "Character is everything"
    If you could sum up Major Pettigrew's Last Stand in three words, what would they be?

    WIt and Wisdom: The major has great insights and witticisms that made me laugh out loud. The characters are the perfect pitch for what is essentially a comedy and a romance.

    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The Major is old fashioned, yet forward thinking. He had very definite ideas of how things should be, but is also open minded.

    Have you listened to any of Peter Altschuler’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    NO. But I thought he was perfect for this.

    If you could take any character from Major Pettigrew's Last Stand out to dinner, who would it be and why?

    The major,of course. Or actually the author. She must be a riot.

    Any additional comments?

    This book was entertaining from word one. I can't recommend it highly enough.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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