My first review for audible.com. I'm compelled to write in defense of this title, which some other readers haven't liked much.
It is all we love about Steven King. Masterful use of language to paint a vivid scene, often so recognizable from our own experience that it brings a smile. Characters so real they nearly leap from the page (or headphones, as the case may be...) A story so enthralling it's hard to forget.
Expertly read by Mare Winningham. No fancy studio effects, just simply and convincingly read aloud with appropriate emphasis in all the right places. She executes local dialects easily and consistently, without distracting from the power of the words of dialog. I would love to hear more from this reader.
Yes, a good deal of the story is told in flashbacks and internal dialog. You do have to pay attention to hold your place and time in the story. But that's a bargain that King often makes with his readers, and Oh! it's well worth meeting the challenge.
I'm currently about 1/2 way through my second read, and I rarely read a book twice. The story is told by turns from a missionary wife and her four young daughters, set in the Belgian Congo in the 50's. While it's an "historical novel" set against the backdrop of political unrest in that country, the focus is very much on the story of this missionary family's experience in a poor Congolese village. Kingsolver's characters are beautifully drawn, as always, and the reader captures each one's unique perspective through a careful reading of Kingsolver's wonderfully written prose. I only wish the reader would slow down a little to let us savor some of Kingsolver's gorgeous use of language. One of my favorite books of all time, and that's saying a lot.
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