Toney, Alabama | Member Since 2009
I fell in love with the story and the characters right away, and so will you. You will root for them, get mad at them, not understand them and eventually forgive them. The one thing that got on my nerves, until I learned to ignore it, is that the narration is supposed to be in a southern (Georgia) accent. I'm a southerner to the core, and the narrator is not from the south. If you aren't a born and bred southerner, this will probably not be an issue. It was distracting to me at first. That said, the writing is magnificent. The kindness in a little boy's heart that led to a lifetime of learning, sacrifice and a love so deep, weaves a wonderful tale. Enjoy.
This book was chillingly familiar to me . . . I'm the child of an alcoholic . . . the woods and the river were my refuge, my peace, my place. I totally get it. I never had an older brother to protect me and I was never mute. I was the oldest child, and I was my own parent, just like Ben, Calli's older brother had to be. I listened with terror as Griff, Calli's dad took her off into the woods the morning he should have gone fishing. And then my terror escalated as Petra, looking out her window and seeing familiar faces followed. Heather Gudenkauf is an excellent writer, giving us the back story of Petra's parents, and of Antonia's childhood with her best friend, Lou who she fell in love with. Not all alcoholics have a mean and abusive heart, but Griff did, and unfortunately it does seem that most wives choose to placate them as Antonia did, at the detriment of herself and her children. There are many, many layers to this story, and a lot to think about. I, for one, am glad that Heather Gudenkauf wrote it, and I feel sure that beyond being an excellent book, it will be a healing balm to lots of children and families of alcoholics.
Absolutely ADORE this story of widowed Mrs. Pollifax who volunteers to work for the CIA. Is it plausible? No . . . Is it entirely serious? No . . . Does it take you on an adventure you won't forget???? YES, YES, YES!!! You will be rooting for the quirky Mrs. Pollifax the entire journey and wondering about all the strange folks she meets along the way . . . This is better than "Murder She Wrote" . . . can't wait for the next installment!
Historical fiction is usually at the top of my list, but this one is just "out there". The story is all over the place, the author obviously has an awfully high opinion of himself and is overly fixated on writing about sexual scenes, which detract greatly from the book. The book begins in 1906, an American era that I'm greatly interested in. I find it interesting, however, that Doctorow wrote the book in 1975 at the height of the "sexual" revolution in our country, and it's a sad commentary that he had to interject that into a novel written about the turn of the century America. I had to stop listening.
I can see from the reviews that some have taken the narrator, Scott Brick to the woodshed on this one, and I must admit at the beginning of the book some of the drama was really not called for. But all in all, I do love Scott Brick, and as the story progressed, so did the urgency. I really liked the actual story, and so what if it's a love story? It was that, but so much more. And it was anything but predictable. Excellent writing and kept me listening until the wee hours . . .
Giving my mind a break from weightier historical fiction and crime novels, I gave Emily and Einstein a listen. Still meaty enough, yet light enough not require every brain cell, the book was just right. A little far-fetched fantasy (pardon the pun) where an almost dead husband is turned into a pooch never hurt anyone. Also, as a woman having tried to balance being a wife, mother and full time career during the 1970's, I found it quite refreshing to hear that Emily and Jordan's mother, a pioneer in the women's lib movement came to the startling realization that she COULDN'T do it all . . . just like we all did. I'm a lover of children's books, too . . . just as Emily is . . . so I found the book a very enjoyable detour.
Set before, during and after the Great War, this is a wonderful historical mystery series that will keep you listening. It's clean, yet the depth of emotion and understanding of the horrors of war that the author displays will stay with me for a long time. I appreciate the sensitivity with which the childhood of young Maisie is written, and the seldom touched on mixing of social status. This first book in the series was absolutely necessary to learn exactly what Maisie Dobbs is made of, and I must say, she's made of some very fine stuff. Can't wait to listen to the next in the series!
This is one of the most harrowing, beautiful stories of survival during the holocaust that I have come across. Before listening to The Lost Wife, I knew very little of the history of Czechoslavakia during WWII. But I have visited the beautiful old city of Prague, and can imagine the life of Lenka and Josef before the communist invasion. I found myself researching the Terezin concentration where unexpectedly many Jewish artists and musicians were held during the war. Because of these artists, many of whom were later sent to Auchwitz and killed, we have learned, through their paintings and drawings what really happened during their internment. These well-hidden artworks were recovered following the war. These brave, starving Jewish people managed to conceal and carry small scraps of paper and paint from their workshops back to the children of the camp so they, too, could be creative. The Lost Wife is a historically correct fictional story that is unique. It gives the listener a rare glimpse into the lives of two young people and their families at a time in history that none of us would choose to live in. Some reviewers have found the writing to be far fetched. It isn't. WWII happened, as did the atrocities against the Jewish people by the German government. Evil exists. And by the mighty grace of God, people survive. The human spirit is strengthened. Love prevails.
Well, here goes . . . I am not Catholic . . . I'm protestant . . . but more importantly, I'm a Christian. I very much disagree with all the negative reviews on The Sisterhood. But then again, I tend to look at the heart of things, the deeper story. I like the narration, particularly the southern accent, as I'm a southerner, didn't find it to be fake at all. And the Spanish accents seemed true to the ones I have heard all my life. I've always been interested in the Spanish Inquisition, and learned a lot from this book. It is heartbreaking that in the name of religion, Christians have done exactly what many religions today are doing. Yet in God's mercy and wisdom, He has set in motion pockets of protection, such as the convent in Spain, that welcomed and protected His children regardless of their backgrounds. That is what LOVE does. That is what Christ did. I loved the personality and spunky ways of the nuns, and it put me in mind right away of Mother Teresa who sacrificed selflessly her entire life for others. Being a servant crosses all denominations . . . Catholic, Baptist, Methodist . . . we are all His. The doctrine which has divided us is not of consequence. Let us ask the Lord when we get to Heaven. For now, let us serve Him. I listened to this audio book for two days, being blessed by it. I have to laugh at the people who find it contrived and far fetched. So are the real stories of Columbus' voyage to America, the creation of the United States as one nation under God, and a baby being formed in it's mother's womb.
This audio book was a "detour" for me, and a fun one. I usually stick to historical fiction or heavier crime dramas, but sometimes I like to lighten it up. And this one is just the book for a fun listen that will keep you guessing, a likable writer and thief goes to Amsterdam and solves a murder.
Just finished "A Place to Call Home" . . . I wish I could give it TEN STARS . . . It's billed as a romance novel, but I beg to differ. I don't buy romance novels. But I bought this audio book. It IS a story of love, one that began in childhood, with a depth of compassion, bravery and loyalty that many adults could learn from. Deborah Smith is an excellent writer, capturing the essence of small town life in the south perfectly, the love of family, the "charity" for the "less fortunate", the turning of a "blind eye", the scenic back roads, and the "other side of the tracks". She puts a face on those that the "nice" people often choose to overlook. I find this most refreshing, having grown up as the daughter of an alcoholic and having Sunday School teachers who never spoke of it or acknowledged it. There is a reason that Jesus says we must come to Him as little children. I think that's the most striking thing throughout this book. Roan and Claire, damaged and hurt, kept the untarnished, unquestioned love for one another that began in childhood. When family failed, community failed, and even when they failed themselves, faith did not fail. This is by no means a religious book. But it's a clean book, it's a redemptive story. It brings people and their failings full circle.
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