This is a beautifully written story about 4 Chinese mother/daughter relationships. It slowly reveals the stories of each of these women, switching back and forth between current lives of the 4 daughters, and back a generation to China, to reveal the lives of the mothers when they were young. The story conveys how difficult it can sometimes be for families to communicate and truly understand each other from generation to generation.
A note about the audiobook - This version, narrated by Gwendoline Yeo should be avoidedt. It's probably the worst narration I have ever heard. The narrator has a very pleasant voice, but she decided to use weird, cartoonish, completely unrealistic voices for many of the male and a couple of the female characters. They are laughable and extremely distracting. I previewed 5 minutes of the book and this preview conveniently didn't have any examples of this, so I downloaded it despite the negative reviews regarding the narration. If you want to enjoy this book, do not get this audio version.
This is a beautifully written and moving book about two young British women involved in the war effort during World War II. The story unfolds such a unique and clever way and I was immediately drawn into it. It is about deep and enduring friendships, the sacrifices people make during war, the extraordinary things that ordinary people accomplished during WWII, and how the lives of so many people were affected by this conflict.
It is one of those books that will stick with me for a long time. I will definitely go back and re-read this one. Now that I know the full story, I think elements throughout the book will have more meaning for me the second time around. Even though this book is categorized under Young Adult, and has won numerous well-deserved awards for that age group, it is one that would just as easily fit into the historical fiction category for adults. Excellent, excellent book!!!
The narration was wonderful. Both narrators have wonderful voices and did an outstanding job of conveying the emotions of the story.
I was looking forward to reading the book that is frequently in the top 10 mystery books of the 20th century. It seems to be so highly regarded by so many people. I think, due to this, my expectations were set too high.
There were a couple of aspects to the book that I thought were done quite well. The beautiful and vivid descriptions of Manderly made the story come alive. Also, the constant underlying tension kept the story mysterious throughout.
However, aside from the skillful writing, the overall plot was weak. There were some very annoying details related to the plot that lowered my overall enjoyment. The way some key pieces of the story unfolded was unrealistic and I don’t think wouldn't happen this way in real life.
The first half of this book was a 5 star rating, but about halfway through, the storyline started shifting its focus and it wasn't quite as interesting anymore. Even so, it's still a sweet story with a cast of loveable characters. And I enjoyed learning a little bit about Guernsey and the German occupation of the island during WWII.
The narration was excellent. The entire cast of readers did an outstanding job.
I usually love epic fantasy novels, but this uneventful and bloated story was a huge disappointment. A couple of times, it seemed like the gist of the story would be revealed and that the pace would pick up, but sadly, I was mistaken and the story just dragged on as before. In addition to the boring and rambling plotline, there didn't seem to be any depth to any of the characters and I didn't find the main character very likable. For the most part, he was an arrogant know-it-all with frequent lapses in judgment. There was absolutely nothing in this story to keep my interest or make me want to read the next installment.
It seems as though Rothfuss couldn't make up his mind as to what kind of main character he wanted to create. Should he be kind-hearted or mean-spirited, brilliant or a complete fool, wise beyond his years or an immature little brat. Well, it seems Kvothe manages to be all of these randomly throughout the story. He doesn't mature in any way as time progresses which didn't make for a very plausible (or likeable) main character.
One of my pet peeves is when characters don't behave in accordance with the situation that they are in. For example, if someone is put into a horrifying situation and then jokes or flirts with another person immediately after, it doesn’t make for a plausible story. Instances of this occurred several times throughout the book. This type of incongruence is quite distracting and makes for a story that doesn't ring true.
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