This story rolls along with sprinklings of philosophy and human interactions sprinkled so unobtrusively and inoffensively sprinkled in. AND it is expertly performed! What a pleasure!
I know people who traveled to Sarajevo during the siege on humanitarian missions. They described the stress and fear suffered by the people who were determined to continue daily lives right through horrendous conditions. There is much history presented here that explains how that particular conflict came about. It is not unlike so many other conflicts in history and in present day wherein two or more factions living in peace are torn apart when inspired by those who want war and dominance. It was good to listen and learn more of the history of what happened in the early nineties and hearing it along with a story spoken through the characters increased the interest. The story is left open which could leave one unsatisfied and perhaps there will be a second novel to complete the story of the character's lives and of the history to the current time.
According to Wikipedia, this book was written in 1867 and thus is more true to the picture of that time than a story written in modern times. Amazingly, the dialogue is often reminiscent of that in early movies three quarters of a century later.
Elsie very much takes refuge in a thorough rooting in Christian teachings and turns the other cheek as she is obviously wronged often. Her young, inexperienced father returns after years away and treats her sternly since he has been meanly informed she is a "bad" child by his step-mother. It takes long for him to observe more correctly, yet the strictness continues. This is a long series of books and I find it interesting enough to continue.
Anna Fields is an excellent narrator and performer. She made the characters live.
It was difficult to get into this book because I kept expecting an overall, clearly evident story. Then I relaxed and just started enjoying the wonderful language and descriptions and observations of people and events as a collection of vignettes of Joshua Bland's life. It made all the difference.
For me personally, this is more a 3.5 star book simply because I like deeper characters, conversation, and meaning in 4-5 star books. That being said, the fantasy is enjoyable and the mystery intriguing.
The story presents a very different world with imaginative creatures and customs of its own seeped in mystery. Entwined are current familiar figures of speech with occasionally inserted less used vocabulary words attributed to the main character of very simplistic thinking. I like the words. They just seem out of place. I only smile at such anomalies in a story and don't let it ruin the enjoyment. And it is an enjoyable story that exercises the imagination. Some of the "fight or flight" encounters went on a bit long for me and listening at 1.25 to 1.5 speed did wonders. I liked it better than just O.K. but not quite to the 4 star range.. Ah for those partial stars. I wasn't thinking of going to the next episode…..until the end..and now I just may want to know what happened next. There is an ongoing mystery here.
Books with rich language and images.. I like them. The Glassblower has much of this and yet it is a sprinkling in amongst more simple language that seems to have some too modern phraseology . This may be a result of translation and narration. I suspect this book would be even better read. Still, it is a very enjoyable listen and I do believe I will continue with the series. There is some interesting historical interweaving into the story that has opened my mind to the early world of commerce across oceans.
I suspected this would be a light weight teen love story and was still drawn to give it a listen. So Glad I did. The story turned out to be a mystery with depth that explores our human coping mechanisms and the fascinating way simplicity of caring and taking action can help us heal.
The reviews warned of dislike of narration and I understood upon listening. This just isn't a story that plays well with a slow paced, dreamy sort of narration. Using the audible playback speed control in the app to speed up the narration to 1.25X really made a difference for me. The voice was a bit bubbly yet not to distraction. The story is certainly worth the listen.
Self-centered, often unkind Helen we learn has inherited some of her least nice traits. Her summer caretaker, cousin Flora, contrasts those traits. The story flows so believably and easily through the eyes of the child and enhanced by the reminiscence of the adult remembering the child of that summer. Suzanne Toren has so well captured the petulance of Helen as well as the gentleness of Flora.
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