This book is like most Patricia Wentworth books. Calming and cozy without a startling ending. This ending was pretty easy to figure out but nevertheless I Iiked it. There was an interesting subplot about one of the characters nude photos which I imagine was terribly shocking for the 50's. Of course it is dealt with in a very careful way because Patricia Wentworth is even more old fashioned than Christie.
I'm still not sure what the theme of this book is. Austin seems to make it about the relationship between characters but the story is told in a disjointed fashion. Kathleen and her daughter's story was resolved in far too pat a ending and the insertion of a murder mystery was rather ill advised. Eleanor, Kathleen's mother was a terrible parent although you understand the source of her bitterness. Nevertheless, to see her go from strong and fun loving to weak and bitter because of a man was disturbing. Fiona, Kathleen's grandmothe, was more exciting but once again the reader is left with a morally weak woman who has two long affairs with married men without considering the effect on anybody but herself. Austin certainly does not excuse such behavior but Fiona self pitying attitude was annoying. You want Fiona to actually do something with her life.
The book version had luscious prose and a sentimental but not cheesy story. The audible version is a dramatic reading so it is very much abridged. The actual book has a feeling of the grey, winter landscapes of Northern England. Philip Rhayader reminded me a little bit of Mr. Rochester although his personality is far nicer. Frith is a character very much like her surroundings with her wildness, fear and gentleness. The ending is tragic and yet is very beautiful.
P. D. James is one of those authors that describes things so well you could listen to her describe a flower pot. This book has some terrifying moments and I detected a slight gothic feeling much like the "Black Tower." Some things were not explained at the end and the murderer was revealed quite a while from the end. Partly this was due to James's wish to not be confused with Agatha Christie. Her books never have the fantastic endings of a Christie novel and are in fact not her strongest point. It is the journey not the destination that is key.
I did enjoy this novel even though it was a bit different. The characters are slightly type cast and the mystery element was very unbelievable but it was a fun, fluffy read.
Elizabeth George does get a bit repeitive over time and this book while practical is not unique. I found that she tends to assume that you have the same sort of life she does and it is geared for married women with children. If you don't have that sort of life then this may not be the best book for you. But on the whole I enjoyed it and found it helpful.
Another Miss Silver mystery. The ending was pretty unexpected. I liked that she portrayed the Jewish victim well and without racism. I detected a slight gothic undertone. As usual Miss Silver is wonderful.
First of all I was disappointed that this book has a Buddhist theme and yet it was never mentioned in the description. Also there is no mention of Christmas so it hardly seems like a Christmas gift. Ann seems a like someone who has seen a whole lot yet I did not see anything very inspiring. She was practically dragged into her second marriage and seemed frankly to be very lucky that a guy was willing to wait ten years. A interesting listen but not one I would hear again.
Agatha Christie's worst books are still better than most people's best. This book starts out painfully slow but picks up a third of the way through. I did not like the end as Christie seems to be encouraging girls marrying possibly abusive people. Christie seems to often pair handsome and possibly dangerous young men with smart and strong young women. She does understand how attractive such people can be. The ending is not quite as clever as many of hers. Hugh Fraser is one of the best readers I have heard and his range of voices is truly amazing.
Once again Renee Raudman almost ruined this story for me. She does really bad male voices and her famale voices are not much better. The story is light and fluffy as all Jane Peart books are. Avril is a bit selfish and immature but l still like her. This book is a little like eating cotton candy, enjoyable once in a while but not very good for a steady diet.
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