I have never before written a review of a book. What compels me to do so now? Simply put, this book is so glorious that I can’t help myself.
Because my work requires so much reading, I no longer read for pleasure. Instead, I listen for pleasure. And I have found no greater pleasure than listening to Ralph Cosham’s delightfully cadenced and evocative narration of “How the Light Gets In,” the ninth (and final?) book in Louise Penny’s expertly-crafted Inspector Gamache series.
A few years ago, I stumbled upon Ms. Penny’s first book, “Still Life,” and I was instantly hooked. With a wonderful economy of words, Ms. Penny consistently manages to construct a compelling murder mystery while creating sharply-defined characters and developing an ominous subtext that builds to a terrifying crescendo in her ninth book.
And yet, Ms. Penny is much more than a brilliant craftsman; she is a champion of the noblest aspects of the human spirit. Her books are permeated with a deep appreciation of art, poetry, music, and history. Her characters reflect our finest aspirations for friendship, kindness, love, and, most importantly, courage. Ms. Penny unabashedly believes in goodness, but she is not naive – monstrous evil lurks in the hidden recesses of the human soul, feeding in the darkness . . . until the light gets in.
Ordinarily, I thoroughly enjoy Harlan Coben's books, but listening to this is pure torture. Angela Dawe's narration is just as bad as other reviewers have said (God, I wish I'd read those reviews instead of buying this book blind!). Here's the problem: Ms. Dawe's feels compelled to end almost every declarative sentence with a two-syllable lift-drop in her inflection . . . even when the sentence ends in a monosyllabic word. Thus, "Jack" becomes "Jaa-ack" and "home" becomes "hoo-ome." It is absolutely maddening. (Strangely, Ms. Dawe's speaks normally when she is reading quotations.) I'm curious to know how the book turns out -- the portions read by Luke Daniels are intriguing -- but I just don't know if I can stand to continue.
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