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Debbie

Retired CFO, Army wife, Mom of five, Grandma of six, two sons who served in combat, love to read books that reflect my values and faith, love mysteries, historical, military stories, and books that don't waste my time . . . if it doesn't have an ending that was worth the wait, I'm not a happy camper.

Toney, Alabama | Member Since 2009

109
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 184 reviews
  • 185 ratings
  • 468 titles in library
  • 110 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
2
FOLLOWERS
32

  • The Good Dream

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Donna VanLiere
    • Narrated By Donna VanLiere
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (107)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (98)

    Tennessee, 1950: a time and place that straddles the past and present. Ivorie Walker is considered an old maid by the town (though she’s only in her early 30s), and she takes that label with good humor and a grain of salt. Ever since her parents passed away, she has hidden her loneliness behind a fierce independence and a claim of not needing anyone. But when she realizes that someone has been stealing vegetables from her garden - a feral, dirty-faced boy who disappears into the hills - something about him haunts Ivorie.

    Linda says: "Do not give up on this book!"
    "Authentic Southern Jewel that will Surprise You"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    By far the best Donna Van Liere book I've read, and I like all her books. But this one has a maturity and depth that is miles ahead of all the others. Set in the 1950s, when all women married young and "fit the pattern" that society set for them, Ivory refused to fit the mold. The people in the story are true to their southern roots, right down to their country sayings . . . which I see that one reader found to be off putting. Well, that's the way folks talk in the hills of Tennessee. The narration is perfect, the way of life is portrayed spot on and it put me in the mind of my own grandparents, and growing up in Kentucky. Growing a garden and working in tobacco fields, all a part of rural life, and going to a little country store, where everybody knows everybody else. The courage and stick-to-it-ness of Ivory in an age when women just didn't do such things will inspire you, and make your heart break, give you hope and ultimately make you examine your own "safe" choices.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • The Weight of Silence

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Heather Gudenkauf
    • Narrated By Jim Colby, Eliza Foss, Cassandra Morris, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (652)
    Performance
    (518)
    Story
    (516)

    It happens quietly one August morning. As dawn's shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night. Now these families are tied by the question of what happened to their children. And the answer is trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets.

    Sara says: "A jewel"
    "Inside Calli's Silence . . . I get it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Dorothy Gilman
    • Narrated By Barbara Rosenblat
    Overall
    (805)
    Performance
    (691)
    Story
    (696)

    Mrs. Virgil (Emily) Pollifax of New Brunswick, New Jersey, was a widow with grown children. She was tired of attending her Garden Club meetings. She wanted to do something good for her country. This first in the series sends Emily on her first case after she successfully persuades a skeptical CIA recruitment officer that she is the best person for the job.

    Barbara says: "Barbara Rosenblatt: THE Voice!"
    "Delightful Adventure"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Ragtime

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By E. L. Doctorow
    • Narrated By E. L. Doctorow
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (394)
    Performance
    (283)
    Story
    (283)

    The story opens in 1906 in New Rochelle, New York, at the home of an affluent American family. One lazy Sunday afternoon, the famous escape artist Harry Houdini swerves his car into a telephone pole outside their house. And almost magically, the line between fantasy and historical fact, between real and imaginary characters, disappears.

    Catherine says: "Ragtime and Doctorow are compelling"
    "Way Overrated, Degrading, Unnecessary Sex Scenes"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Six Years

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 37 mins)
    • By Harlan Coben
    • Narrated By Scott Brick
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2835)
    Performance
    (2447)
    Story
    (2461)

    Six years have passed since Jake Fisher watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. But six years haven’t come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd’s obituary, he can’t keep himself away from the funeral. There he gets the glimpse of Todd’s wife he’s hoping for...but she is not Natalie....

    G. House Sr. says: "Obsession, mystery, and you're hooked!"
    "Solid Mystery, Good Story, Ending Worth the Wait"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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 . . .

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Emily and Einstein: A Novel of Second Chances

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 54 mins)
    • By Linda Francis Lee
    • Narrated By Dan John Miller, Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (476)
    Performance
    (408)
    Story
    (410)

    He was a man who didn’t deserve a second chance... but he needed one. Emily and her husband, Sandy Portman, seemed to live a gracious if busy life in an old-world, Upper West Side apartment in the famous Dakota building. But one night on the way to meet Emily, Sandy dies in a tragic accident. The funeral isn't even over before Emily learns she is on the verge of being evicted from their apartment. But worse than the possibility of losing her home, Emily is stunned when she discovers that her marriage was made up of lies.

    Allison says: "Well-written, kept my attention"
    "Delightfully Different Distraction :)"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Maisie Dobbs

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Jacqueline Winspear
    • Narrated By Rita Barrington
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1535)
    Performance
    (955)
    Story
    (953)

    Maisie Dobbs isn't just any young housemaid. Through her own natural intelligence - and the patronage of her benevolent employers - she works her way into college at Cambridge. After the War I and her service as a nurse, Maisie hangs out her shingle back at home: M. DOBBS, TRADE AND PERSONAL INVESTIGATIONS. But her very first assignment soon reveals a much deeper, darker web of secrets, which will force Maisie to revisit the horrors of the Great War and the love she left behind.

    A User says: "A delightful discovery"
    "Amazing Girl, Maisie Dobbs!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Lost Wife: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Alyson Richman
    • Narrated By George Guidall, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1444)
    Performance
    (1287)
    Story
    (1292)

    In pre-war Prague, the dreams of two young lovers are shattered when they are separated by the Nazi invasion. Then, decades later, thousands of miles away in New York, there's an inescapable glance of recognition between two strangers. Providence is giving Lenka and Josef one more chance. From the glamorous ease of life in Prague before the Occupation, to the horrors of Nazi Europe, The Lost Wife explores the power of first love, the resilience of the human spirit, and the strength of memory.

    Sara says: "Love, Strength & Survival"
    "Prague in WWII"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Sisterhood

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 39 mins)
    • By Helen Bryan
    • Narrated By Laura Roppe
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (118)
    Performance
    (105)
    Story
    (106)

    Reeling from a broken engagement, adopted 19-year-old Menina Walker flees to Spain to bury her misery by writing her overdue college thesis - and soon finds herself on an unexpected journey into the past. The subject of her study is Tristan Mendoza, an obscure 16th-century artist whose signature includes a tiny swallow - the same swallow depicted on a medal that is Menina’s only link to her birth family. Hoping her research will reveal the swallow’s significance and clue her in to her origins, Menina discovers the ancient chronicle of a Spanish convent containing the stories of five orphaned girls hidden from the Spanish Inquisition.

    Linda says: "Great way to enjoy a book!"
    "I Think Mother Teresa Would Approve"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 16 mins)
    • By Chris Ewan
    • Narrated By Simon Vance
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (587)
    Performance
    (520)
    Story
    (524)

    Charlie Howard travels the globe writing suspense novels for a living. To supplement his income - and keep his hand in - Charlie has a small side business: stealing for a very discreet clientele on commission. When a mysterious American offers Charlie 20,000 euros to steal two small monkey figurines to match the one he already has, Charlie is suspicious; the job seems too good to be true, and of course, it is. He soon finds the American beaten nearly to death, while the third figurine has disappeared.

    adrienne says: "A delightful surprise!"
    "Retro Feel . . . Entertaining Whodunit"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Place to Call Home

    • UNABRIDGED (14 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By Deborah Smith
    • Narrated By Kymberly Dakin
    Overall
    (207)
    Performance
    (179)
    Story
    (179)

    Twenty years ago, Claire Maloney was the willful, pampered, tomboyish daughter of the town's most respected family, but that didn't stop her from befriending Roan Sullivan, a fierce, motherless boy who lived in a rusted-out trailer amid junked cars. No one in Dunderry, Georgia - least of all Claire's family - could understand the bond between these two mavericks. But Roan and Claire belonged together...until the dark afternoon when violence and terror overtook them, and Roan disappeared from Claire's life.

    Kimberly says: "Great book!"
    "The Other Side of the Tracks"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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