Guzeman's writing was lyrical, Cassandra Campbell's narration was lovely, and the plot was interesting. But this novel was very depressing...a treatise on how one woman's evil destroyed the lives around her. There was great inconsistency and naivete in the actions of the characters which made the story seem less believable. I think a better editor could have taken this novel to the next level.
I'm not sure why there are so many complaints about Justine Eyre's reading of this book. I've listened to her many times and very much like her style. She put on a different tone for this read as I suspect she was trying to mimic the upper crust, east coast accent of the era. She does men and women equally well and her Scottish brogue is excellent. The plot of the book was definitely unique and the characters interesting. The unusual nature of the story kept me listening. The reason I only gave it 3 stars is because Sara Gruen left so many things hanging at the conclusion of the book. There were lots of innuendos, but it almost felt like story lines were begun and then just left unfinished.
Contemplating everything this book says to do to slow the aging made me exhausted. The plethora of suggestions were all very worthy, but you would literally have to devote all day, every day to accomplishing them. In some ways, it felt like a prescription for the idle rich. And, Dr. Northrup's passion for tango was mentioned so many times, I had a good mind to dance my red editor's pen straight through those sections.
Moriarty has an uncanny ability to recount conversations that you think are unique to your life. When you read her books, you find out that others really do share your experiences, word for word. In some ways it is comforting. In other ways, it is hard not to see some of your own trials and tribulations as cliche. I thought the characters in this story were immature and not the most likeable, but Moriarty's writing and plot, once again, kept my interest...not to mention catapulting Sydney to the top of my travel destination list.
Once you get used to Heather Wilds' style of reading, she grows on you. I didn't think her performance ruined the audiobook, at all. With regard to the story, not Moriarty's best, but still entertaining. The characters were will developed and the plot unique, if not far fetched. Didn't love the ending, but the book was a good vacation read. 3.5 stars.
I liked the underlying premise of the book - What happens when you love someone and you break up or that person dies? Do you ever stop loving them? Is the expectation that you should "get over it" realistic? The exploration of this question was quite good, but in other areas, the novel fell short. It was too long and rambling and the character development was not as deep as Moriarty's other books. The audio narration was excellent.
I bought this book more than 6 months ago and started and stopped multiple times. Once it won the Goodreads best historical fiction award, I forced myself to finish it. It was truly a magnum opus with a unique storyline for a WWII novel and the writing was beautiful. But, something about the character development left me wanting more and the story just dragged at times. The ending, though probably realistic, was quite depressing. Zach Appelman's narration was excellent.
I understand that this book had an underlying goal of exposing the abuse of elephants but the treatise distracted from the underlying story. The ending of the book was clever, though a bit disconcerting. Though a fan of Picoult's earlier works, I just have not loved the books she has written in the last 5 years. FYI: the narrators of this book were perfect.
I was always fascinated by how believably Alan Cumming (a Scotsman) could play an American, Jewish political consultant on the Good Wife so I had to read his memoir to see what he was all about. Turns out that he is a terrific writer who can weave a down right crazy tale. It is amazing that this brilliant actor was brought up under such terribly abusive circumstances and was still able to become a hugely talented actor. His story is a testament to survival and ultimately thriving despite the worst of circumstances.
This is my third Liane Moriarty book and I'm now a real fan. I just love her ability to take everyday life and extraordinarily real characters and delve really deeply into circumstances and emotions. And, she is able to do this through normal human interactions and humor. Clearly living on the North Shore of Sydney isn't any different than any upper middle class US suburb. Caroline Lee's performance was spot on.
My first Liane Moriarty book. What a nice surprise! Definitely a step above chic lit. Engaging, humorous and thought provoking. The only thing I didn't like was the ending. It just kept ending...3 or 4 times. I thought the conclusion would have been better if the author stopped with the first ending.
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