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Melissa

Waxhaw, North Carolina, United States | Member Since 2013

3
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 10 ratings
  • 52 titles in library
  • 16 purchased in 2014
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  • Mr. Darcy's Undoing: A Pride and Prejudice Variation

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Abigail Reynolds
    • Narrated By Vanessa Johansson
    Overall
    (33)
    Performance
    (31)
    Story
    (32)

    What could possibly make a proper gentleman come completely undone? What if Elizabeth Bennet accepted the proposal of another before she met Mr. Darcy again? In Abigail Reynolds' bold and playful retelling of the Austen classic, a devastated Mr. Darcy must decide how far he is willing to go to win the woman he loves. Consumed by jealousy, he knows that winning her will throw them both into scandal and disgrace, but losing her is unbearable. Mr. Darcy is going to have to fight for his love, and his life. . .

    Melissa says: "Started out promising..."
    "Started out promising..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What disappointed you about Mr. Darcy's Undoing?

    The last maybe quarter of the book. It was so dragged out and the characters began to break apart and they all stopped behaving characteristically. Seems to be done to try to milk some last bit of pointless and uninteresting rule-defying out before the book concluded. It should have concluded much earlier...


    What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

    I thought it was all a bit silly by then.


    What aspect of Vanessa Johansson’s performance would you have changed?

    Nothing. She's a *great* reader.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    The first half of the book truly interested me and I was hooked on it. The characters were quite like themselves in that portion of the book and the story was very romantic and intriguing. The writing was also top notch.


    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • The Portrait of a Lady

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By Henry James
    • Narrated By Wanda McCaddon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    When Isabel Archer, a young American woman with looks, wit, and imagination, arrives in Europe, she sees the world as "a place of brightness, of free expression, of irresistible action". She turns aside from suitors who offer her their wealth and devotion to follow her own path.

    Karen says: "Bleak and believable"
    "Loved it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you listen to The Portrait of a Lady again? Why?

    Probably. It's a very detailed book and explains the characters' motives and thought processes so thoroughly, yet without taking you out of the story in the least, that you feel very connected to everything going on. Some people find this a drawback in James' work but I find it a highlight. This sort of exposition makes the story much more realistic and connectable.
    With so much detail, rich characters, great dialogue and an engaging story, I could definitely see myself re-reading this in future.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The storyline between Ralph and Isabel.


    Which character – as performed by Wanda McCaddon – was your favorite?

    Ralph.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Yes. The pacing is very good.


    Any additional comments?

    Wanda McCaddon's performance is quite excellent in many aspects but she does have a difficult time maintaining separate voices for each character sometimes and will slip even in a conversation between only two characters. It can be slightly confusing from time to time but I would still recommend her as she's good with conveying the right emotional tone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Woodlanders

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Thomas Hardy
    • Narrated By Samuel West
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (81)
    Performance
    (38)
    Story
    (38)

    Set in the Dorset landscape familiar to Hardy novels, The Woodlanders concerns the fortunes of Giles Winterborne, whose love for the well-do-do Grace Melbury is challenged by the arrival of a dashing and dissolute doctor, Edred Fitzpiers. When the mysterious Mrs Charmond further complicates the romantic entanglements, marital choice and class mobility become inextricably linked.

    Molly Aultz says: "Thomas Hardy lesser known work"
    "A very realistic, beautiful book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    What did you love best about The Woodlanders?

    That it was realistic, especially for the time period, but in a way that is today still relatable and that the story is rather complicated both in story and emotion.
    Some in these reviews have compared this book to 'Far from The Madding Crowd' and almost seem to be saying they're both sort of the same. They're not. They're quite individual. They have different stories and are both beautifully written. I love both but I seem to like this one a bit better. It's more complex. Don't let them put you off reading this one because you've read 'Far from The Madding Crowd.' If you liked that novel, you'll be missing out quite a lot here.


    What other book might you compare The Woodlanders to and why?

    'Far From The Madding Crowd' because of the common theme of class conflict in love/marriage in both and that Hardy writes complexity of emotion and setting so well and it is apparent in both.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    [[SPOILERS]] Probably the scene where Fitzpiers attends Giles in his fever and has to tell Grace that Giles is dying quickly along with the ensuing conversation after he passes.


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

    I didn't have an *extreme* reaction but it did make me quite sad at parts and made me very pleased for a character at others. It made me snicker a couple times as well.


    Any additional comments?

    Samuel West was a wonderful narrator. Very nice to listen to and did a great job voicing the characters. The women didn't sound like they were done by Monty Python. Very natural.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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