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Margaret

ratings
18
REVIEWS
15
FOLLOWING
0
FOLLOWERS
4
HELPFUL VOTES
23

  • A Red Herring Without Mustard: A Flavia de Luce Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 47 mins)
    • By Alan Bradley
    • Narrated By Jayne Entwistle
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (487)
    Performance
    (332)
    Story
    (327)

    Award-winning author Alan Bradley returns with another beguiling novel starring the insidiously clever and unflappable 11-year-old sleuth Flavia de Luce. The precocious chemist with a passion for poisons uncovers a fresh slew of misdeeds in the hamlet of Bishop’s Lacey—mysteries involving a missing tot, a fortune-teller, and a corpse in Flavia’s own backyard.

    Kelli says: "An excellent addition to the series!"
    "Clever and poignant with a spot-on narration"
    Overall

    Reminds me of Haven Kimmel (A Girl Named Zippy), had she grown up in post-war England in a family of the declining gentry and a passion for chemistry and solving mysteries. Same laugh-out-loud, tear-in-the-eye observant take on an adventurous girl's childhood. Hard to imagine Flavia's voice in any other than Jayne Entwistle's. This is a series I only listen to, thanks to the pitch-perfect narration.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Goldfinch

    • UNABRIDGED (32 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donna Tartt
    • Narrated By David Pittu
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4194)
    Performance
    (3834)
    Story
    (3835)

    The Goldfinch is a haunted odyssey through present-day America and a drama of enthralling force and acuity. It begins with a boy. Theo Decker, a 13-year-old New Yorker, miraculously survives an accident that kills his mother. Abandoned by his father, Theo is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. Bewildered by his strange new home on Park Avenue, disturbed by schoolmates who don't know how to talk to him, and tormented above all by his unbearable longing for his mother, he clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, mysteriously captivating painting that ultimately draws Theo into the underworld of art.

    B.J. says: "A stunning achievement - for author and narrator"
    "The only audio book I've ever listened to twice"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    What a remarkable narration of a remarkable book. Sometimes, I had to stop listening, I felt so strongly the need to tell the main character, "no, don't do it!" And yet, when I got to the end, I started over again. The story is suspenseful and gripping, with an inevitability to the characters' actions that becomes clear at the end. So accomplished a narration, I had trouble shaking the idea that I know the characters personally.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches: A Flavia de Luce Novel, Book 6

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Alan Bradley
    • Narrated By Jayne Entwistle
    Overall
    (241)
    Performance
    (213)
    Story
    (214)

    On a spring morning in 1951, 11-year-old chemist and aspiring detective Flavia de Luce gathers with her family at the railway station, awaiting the return of her long-lost mother, Harriet. Yet upon the train’s arrival in the English village of Bishop’s Lacey, Flavia is approached by a tall stranger who whispers a cryptic message into her ear. Moments later, he is dead, mysteriously pushed under the train by someone in the crowd. Who was this man, what did his words mean, and why were they intended for Flavia? Back home at Buckshaw, the de Luces’ crumbling estate, Flavia puts her sleuthing skills to the test.

    theenglishmajor says: "A twist in the series- loved it!"
    "One of my favorite series: try it!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Was there ever a better match between character and narrator than Flavia de Luce and Jayne Entwistle? These books are funny, touching, and sometimes nail-bitingly suspenseful. I had trouble seeing with the logic of some parts of this installment, but all was wrapped up in the end in a way that made sense. I do hope there will be more in the series. Hint: don't listen to this one if you haven't listened to the previous installments. And, I do mean listen: truly a case where the narration is superior to anything one can conjure in one's head.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Twelve Clues of Christmas: A Royal Spyness Mystery

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Rhys Bowen
    • Narrated By Katherine Kellgren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1558)
    Performance
    (1384)
    Story
    (1375)

    On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me—well, actually, my true love, Darcy O’Mara, is spending a feliz navidad tramping around South America. Meanwhile, Mummy is holed up in a tiny village called Tiddleton-under-Lovey with that droll Noel Coward! And I’m snowed in at Castle Rannoch with my bumbling brother, Binky, and sourpuss sister-in-law, Fig.

    Felicia The Geeky Blogger says: "It was a great Christmas Who-Done-It!"
    "The narration makes the book: a fun listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Katherine Kellgren is one of the great narrators: every character has a distinct voice, and the pacing is spot-on with the plot. Her range of accents is impressive. This is a light-weight mystery but Ms. Kellgren's narration makes it quite enjoyable.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Valley of Amazement

    • UNABRIDGED (24 hrs and 51 mins)
    • By Amy Tan
    • Narrated By Nancy Wu, Joyce Bean, Amy Tan
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (650)
    Performance
    (573)
    Story
    (584)

    Shanghai, 1912. Violet Minturn is the privileged daughter of the American madam of the city's most exclusive courtesan house. But when the Ching dynasty is overturned, Violet is separated from her mother in a cruel act of chicanery and forced to become a "virgin courtesan." Half-Chinese and half-American, Violet grapples with her place in the worlds of East and West - until she is able to merge her two halves, empowering her to become a shrewd courtesan who excels in the business of seduction and illusion, though she still struggles to understand who she is.

    Pamela says: "Just could NOT get past the ugliness"
    "Engrossing, deep character and plot development"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Strong and yet realistically flawed women characters in vivid locations and situations. My favorite character was not one of the two main characters, but rather Magic Gourd, possessor of a dry wit and good soul. Beautifully narrated except for one inexplicable section in which a different and not especially convincing narrator takes over Magic Gourd's voice. I suspect it is Amy Tan. Really, it's a rare author who should read his or her works. Leave the writing to the writers and the reading to the actors, please!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Good House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Ann Leary
    • Narrated By Mary Beth Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1232)
    Performance
    (1117)
    Story
    (1109)

    The Good House tells the story of Hildy Good, who lives in a small town on Boston's North Shore. Hildy is a successful real-estate broker, good neighbor, mother, and grandmother. She's also a raging alcoholic. Hildy's family held an intervention for her about a year before this story takes place - "if they invite you over for dinner, and it’s not a major holiday," she advises "run for your life" - and now she feels lonely and unjustly persecuted. She has also fooled herself into thinking that moderation is the key.

    Rhonda Morrison says: "What a great book, Hildy is a great character!"
    "So true to life, nearly painful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This tightly novel leaves one off-guard: is the main character developing or deteriorating? The characters are so true to life, they could be one's own family. At first, I was put off by Mary Beth Hurt's narration, with sometimes odd and inappropriate inflection. Turns out, that was part of the character development (or deterioration). By the end, it's hard to imagine Hildy's voice as anyone's but Ms. Hurt's. She excels with the other characters' voices, too.I ran extra errands today in order to have the excuse to find out how this unpredictable plot wrapped up. An involving and often quite amusing listen.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • The Gallery of Vanished Husbands

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 19 mins)
    • By Natasha Solomon
    • Narrated By Karen Cass
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5)
    Performance
    (5)
    Story
    (5)

    When Juliet Montague's husband disappears, so does she. As far as the conservative Jewish community in which she lives is concerned, she is invisible. She does her best to conform to their rules, but then on her thirtieth birthday she does something unexpected. Instead of the fridge she has scrimped for, she impulsively spends her savings on a portrait of herself.It is the first in a series of portraits that punctuate Juliet's adult life as she joins London's lively post-war art scene and proves to be an astute spotter of talent.

    Margaret says: "Complex main character in an interesting time"
    "Complex main character in an interesting time"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I found myself quite caught up in the story of the not-entirely-sympathetic main character: a woman in an observant Jewish community in post-WWII London who becomes an art dealer -- and therefore is friends with artists from backgrounds very different from hers -- but is still part of her own community. I thought the author does an excellent job of maintaining and developing that tension, even as times change. Along the way, I learned about an aspect of English life I knew nothing about. Super narration: I could identify every character separately.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Rosie Project: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 32 mins)
    • By Graeme Simsion
    • Narrated By Dan O'Grady
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (873)
    Performance
    (797)
    Story
    (795)

    Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a "wonderful" husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical - most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver. Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent - and on a quest of her own....

    Margaret says: "A fun listen"
    "A fun listen"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I laughed out loud a few times, listening to this sympathetic rendering of a male college genetics professor somewhere on the Asperger's continuum helping a less controlled and controlling woman find out who among numerous doctors might be her biological father. Doesn't sound like a funny plot, but it manages to poke gentle (and sympathetic) fun at both the professor and those who follow "standard social protocols." The narration is spot-on.

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  • Bury Your Dead: A Chief Inspector Gamache Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 43 mins)
    • By Louise Penny
    • Narrated By Ralph Cosham
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (904)
    Performance
    (569)
    Story
    (570)

    Chief Inspector Armand Gamache has come to Winter Carnival - not to join the revels but to recover from an investigation gone hauntingly wrong. But violent death is inescapable, even in the apparent sanctuary of the Literary and Historical Society - where an obsessive historian’s quest for the remains of the founder of Quebec, Samuel de Champlain, ends in murder. Could a secret buried with Champlain for nearly 400 years be so dreadful that someone would kill to protect it?

    Judy says: "Another great tale!"
    "Most compelling yet"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    It's not often a mystery brings tears to one's eyes. Bury Your Dead does. This already engrossing series goes deeper in this volume, in which a previous case, a new case and a dreadful incident in between are masterfully intertwined. The narration is spot-on and entirely appropriate to the changing moods and action. Although this book can stand on its own, I would be sure to listen to at least the previous book before listening to this one in order to get the full impact of the events.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Wall

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 15 mins)
    • By Marlen Haushofer
    • Narrated By Kathe Mazur
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (10)
    Performance
    (9)
    Story
    (9)

    “I can allow myself to write the truth; all the people for whom I have lied throughout my life are dead....” writes the heroine of Marlen Haushofer’s The Wall, a quite ordinary, unnamed middle-aged woman who awakens to find she is the last living human being. Surmising her solitude is the result of a military experiment gone awry, she begins the terrifying work of not only survival but also self-renewal.

    Margaret says: "Haunting, yet unexpectedly realistic"
    "Haunting, yet unexpectedly realistic"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Lots to think about in this book: how would I react in this situation, what would I do, what would be the worst parts, maybe some good parts? Just as one thinks there is something that has gone unconsidered or that one could argue with the character's actions, the story addresses that point. The narrator is pitch perfect to convey the feel of the story, which is in the form of a report written by perhaps the last person alive: quiet, yet urgent. One can clearly visualize the main character telling the story in her own head as she writes it down.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Chaperone

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Laura Moriarty
    • Narrated By Elizabeth McGovern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1993)
    Performance
    (1758)
    Story
    (1744)

    >The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both. Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a 15-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip.

    Amanda says: "Perfection."
    "Not what it seems at first"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    If you could sum up The Chaperone in three words, what would they be?

    Unexpected


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    The main character deepens and develops in unexpected ways, yet her actions are internally consistent and so plausible.


    Which character – as performed by Elizabeth McGovern – was your favorite?

    Elizabeth McGovern is an excellent narrator: clear and able to adjust to each character. Her flat midwestern accent was spot-on, especially as it was stronger when the action occurred in the Midwest.


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

    I thought about this book for quite some time after finishing it: what don't we know about the people around us, how do people change and develop -- and under what circumstances -- yet stay true to their essential selves? I truly wished to meet many of the characters.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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