One of my favorite pastimes is to browse the audible website which is how I found this book. Based on other reviews, I decided to give it a try....someone mentioned they heard high praise of it on NPR which was good enough for me. It took me an hour or so to get into it....I can honestly say I didn't like the whole Donner party stuff but weathered that storyline well enough. In the end I think this will go down as one of my all time favorite reads. The wonderful reading by Edoardo just enhances the characters. It was a wonderfully and inventively woven tale which ended with me shedding a few quiet tears...though it's not sad.....just the richness and fullness of life.
I have a few bad habits as an audible listener. First, I tend to only review great reads (can't seem to be bothered with the so so). I often bookmark where I am and then spot listen here an there so I'm never surprised. And I almost never read anything super tragic.
Sooooo, not only did I jump completely out of my box on this one, even when I knew what was going to happen, I continued to listen. I think that's a testament to both Jojo Moyes and the narrators (all who are superb). As tragic, poignant and sad as this is, it's also not. It's entertaining, thought provoking and beautiful too. It also helped that I listened to One Plus One before this and loved it. So even though Moyes deals with challenging themes, the characters are so engaging that you care for them. And in this case (SPOILER), even though there's not a happily ever after, you can be comfortable with the final resolution.
I've read a number of novels that flip back in forth in time and for the most part, enjoy the premise. There were a few minor weaknesses (spoiler here - Faulk, although you could see his cruel streak, never seemed so in relation to Constance. I therefore found his treatment of her (finally) hard to fathom. I know there was a "history repeating itself" theme in the 2 sets of brothers, one out to destroy the other (and the good one finally prevailing in each instance) but I don't see why that even had to be an element in the story. I think the basic plot would have worked regardless…i.e.…have the modern brothers but the 2 in WWII could have been non-related. Nevertheless and although it certainly covers a lot of sad ground, it's ultimately uplifting. I'm not one to spend much time mucking through relentlessly sad tales and this one, probably as much the success of the narration as not, engenders hope throughout. I loved the ending with was a wonderfully satisfying resolution.
There are some books which you are driven to read to find out what's going to happen and then there's the other kind, those that you read for the sake of the enjoyment of every word on the page or every utterance by the narrator. This is definitely the latter. There weren't huge highs and lows or major plot events….though there are a few given the length of the book. I was never worried for the characters even though I was invested in them & cried with and for them. I don't like sad or tragic reads and I would never classify this as such…it's just a beautiful read about the life of a family & what makes family. It's also about Ethiopia, medicine, poverty, culture, politics. I hope Mr. Verghese continues writing as I will read anything he writes. I've already downloaded additional books narrated by Sunil Malhotra…a perfect match up.
What a fun read ! It epitomizes one of my Mother's favorite quotes. I hate insipid romances but this one is just sweet, with quirky characters and many laugh out loud moments. I also liked the voice of the novel being a character on the asperger's scale. It was a fun exercise to see the world through his eyes. Dan O'Grady's narration is flawless which is key to any audio listen as it always makes or breaks the tale. This was spot on. Will be listening to this one again (spoiler) just for the drinks orders at the Drs' reunion, the dance at the faculty ball, and the "dead fish" incident.
I discovered the Outlander novels on audible 2 yrs. ago, so was able to listen to 6 in a row....and didn't have too awfully long to wait for the 7th. Thankfully due to audible's sale of extra credits, I didn't have to wait for my monthly credits to roll around. have read 100s if not 1000s of books in my lifetime. I listen to about 3-4 a week via audible and read more
on my e-reader. And this novel, and the subsequent ones in the series, are my favorite EVER. Davina Porter is a master narrator. She inhabits each and every character giving them each a distinct voice. I've "liked" Diana Gabaldan on facebook and most days, she gives a few paragraphs from the next book which will come out in 3/14. STARZ is also going to do 16 episodes from the books to air in the spring of 2014. To that end, Diana is encouraging fans to re-read the books. I am almost at the end of Outlander for the 2nd time and will finish tonight or tomorrow. I am amazed how much I'm getting out of this re-read. I'm getting a better picture of the minor characters and am committing little details to memory which I'm sure will come in handy as I advance through the rest of the novels. Am planning on re-reading 1 a month until MOBY is published. And last but not least, I'm enjoying the second "listen" every bit as much as the first. Diana is great at writing dialogue. There are too many wonderful quotes to mention...laugh out loud lines as well as moving, melt your heart moments. These novels have it all - romance, history, fantasy &
memorable seemingly real characters. Well, they are to me anyway...they've been a huge part of my life since I learned of the books. I expect that before I exit this life, I'll re-read them many times & that's saying something when the books are almost 1000 pages long.
I LOVE this book. I've read all of Kearsley's novels and have enjoyed them all but this is my favorite to date. I love historic fiction and romance genres and this was the best of both. Although one needn't have read The Shadowy Horses and Winter Sea, having done so, the reprised characters felt like old friends. And now with this read, I've fallen in love with Rob and Nicola and hope they will start a series of books.....am thinking there could be lots of areas to explore with their gifts.
At first was unsure of Katherine Kellgren but only because I thought her voice was too old for Nicola. That is my only constructive criticism as she was fantastic overall. All voices were distinct and beautifully accented.
I now think I'm off to re-read (rather, re-listen to) Winter Sea as I think I'll have a different experience of it after this.....
The senselessness of war devastates me and none more completely than WWII. So, once I became an adult, I avoided the subject completely. I purchased this book for my library months ago but kept passing it over for lighter, more mundane (happy happy happy) novels. Then some of my more intellectual family visited and I didn't want to be caught out with my sappy escapist listens. However these stars aligned, I'll be forever grateful. This book will stay with me forever. The performance could not have been better and I do believe the life given to the characters by the voice of Allan Corduner made each come alive for me in ways not possible if I would've read it. I fell in love with all the main characters. I'm now in mourning for them...and for we humans who keep creating events that underwrite like sorrows. All that said, it shows that beauty, love & resilience somehow survive.
I hate over the top angst in my romances but I do like both these characters. And as much as I hated Gideon on occasion, I wanted to trust him. Maybe I'm a sucker (or incredibly distracted with my new puppy), I enjoyed all most all of this listen and look forward to the next. I read all the Fifty Shades novels but can't seem to relate to the bdsm thing. Maybe Sylvia Day's novels wouldn't exist save for the idea/success of the others, but I do think she improved on the premise. It will be interesting to see where she goes with the last novel in this trilogy....we still need to unravel Gideon's story in its entirety. Overall, I think this was a good listen. I sometimes had trouble distinguishing the voices of the characters, but the performance was a pleasant one.
Although melancholy seemingly permeates in many of the characters and plot lines, I didn't feel that emotion at all when listening. Even in the conclusion, though you wish life would've been happier for Eliza, there's hope that sadness and regret will be forever put aside in the lives of Casandra and Christian....and new life given to the secret garden.
The fairy tales were a wonderful touch to a beautifully written novel & the beauty of Eliza's spirit lives on in them. The performance gave just the right tone.
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