I thought I would be drawn into this book right away but the plot seems very similar to some of Lisa Kleypas' books. I only listened to about an hour or less. If I could return this book, I would. The reader seems excellent.
Jenna Lamia, who did an absolutely brilliant job reading "The Help," here does an annoying to the point of nauseating interpretation of a Texas belle. Frede, the main character, cannot believe that her hitherto unimpeachable standing in her Junior League social circle is threatened by her husband's defection. Over and again Frede says something to the effect of 'surely my previous reputation will carry me through, it's me, Frede Ware.' Perhaps the fault is also with the writing but Lamia's reading was a deal-breaker for me.
The narrator reads in a kind of tense flatness distorting what seems like an odd, unappealing story. I did not get very far into the book. Cannot tell if a different narrator would have made the story more palatable.
The first part of the book covering Simpson's early years does give some sense of Wallis Simpson's early life experience and character. From the moment Simpson hooks up with the then king, the book goes downhill and becomes a collection of letter excerpts from Wallis herself and others witness to her life. All sense of Wallis' character and experience is lost.
I'm not familiar with the original Jane Eyre so I am basing this on the book's own merits. Jane's character is completely unbelievable - her obsession with Mr. Rochester - her overactive sexuality that comes from nowhere. Mr. Rochester is laughably one-dimensional. The ending is not credible. The book was saved by Penelope Rawlins' wonderful performance.
This book was the most like a non-Harlequin story among the Megan Hart works I've downloaded. The sex was sometimes a bit gratuitous but mostly it enhanced the plot. Filled with details of the main character's mostly ordinary life. The plot was pretty much completely unbelievable but it was nevertheless entertaining. Smoothly crafted listen with a most excellent narrator.
I don't understand all the rave reviews of this book. It is filled with pure conversation that leads nowhere, about trivial, non-plot-driving matters. Much conversation and description about antiques, furniture, buildings. The main character, Wheezie, is totally unappealing as are the other characters. The narrator does their southern accents in a way that makes them sound like African-Americans when many of them are supposed to be quintessentially wasp. Nauseating would be an appropriate adjective here.
Nice character dynamic. Mallery's books are always predictable but enjoyable. A little bit of danger occurs in this story as well.
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