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Gayle

ratings
191
REVIEWS
47
FOLLOWING
6
FOLLOWERS
2
HELPFUL VOTES
67

  • The Invention of Wings: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 46 mins)
    • By Sue Monk Kidd
    • Narrated By Jenna Lamia, Adepero Oduye, Sue Monk Kidd
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (5914)
    Performance
    (5373)
    Story
    (5365)

    From the celebrated author of The Secret Life of Bees, a magnificent novel about two unforgettable American women. Writing at the height of her narrative and imaginative gifts, Sue Monk Kidd presents a masterpiece of hope, daring, the quest for freedom, and the desire to have a voice in the world - and it is now the newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection. Hetty “Handful” Grimke, an urban slave in early nineteenth century Charleston, yearns for life beyond the suffocating walls that enclose her within the wealthy Grimke household. The Grimke’s daughter, Sarah, has known from an early age she is meant to do something large in the world, but she is hemmed in by the limits imposed on women.

    Jan says: "Historical Fiction - beautifully quilted!"
    "Liked it; did not love it"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Perhaps I expected too much after seeing the many five-star reviews. I liked this book but did not love it.

    Somehow I wanted more. More depth, more from Sarah, more of the relationship between Sarah and Handful. Perhaps because this is based on the lives of two real life sisters, the author did not want to presume or invent too much. For whatever reason, I was a little disappointed.

    I did love the narration of Adepero Oduye. I felt she portrayed "Handful" with just the right touch.

    21 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • In the Company of Cheerful Ladies: The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 25 mins)
    • By Alexander McCall Smith
    • Narrated By Lisette Lecat
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1665)
    Performance
    (902)
    Story
    (891)

    Readers everywhere have become entranced by the New York Times best-selling No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, from acclaimed author and award-winning wit Alexander McCall Smith. Each charming book in the series is a masterpiece of comic subtlety and a window for viewing the distinctive culture and landscape of Botswana.

    Nancy says: "Great Listen"
    "Pleasant"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I would best describe this book as "pleasant." The characters are pleasant; the narrator is pleasant.

    If you're looking for any sort of crime thriller, this is not it. The "mysteries" are pretty minor and easily solved by our ladies.

    The narrator had a very pleasant voice and represented each character well and captured the book's nuances very well also.

    I should say that this was my first book in the series (even though it's no. 6). I didn't feel that I'd missed a lot of background, but when I'm in the mood for a light listen, I will probably go back and start the series from the beginning. All in all, a lighthearted, pleasant listening experience.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • A Higher Call: An Incredible True Story of Combat and Chivalry in the War-Torn Skies of World War II

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 21 mins)
    • By Adam Makos
    • Narrated By Robertson Dean
    Overall
    (988)
    Performance
    (905)
    Story
    (914)

    Four days before Christmas in 1943, a badly damaged American bomber struggled to fly over wartime Germany. At its controls was a 21-year-old pilot. Half his crew lay wounded or dead. It was their first mission. Suddenly a sleek, dark shape pulled up on the bomber’s tail - a German Messerschmitt fighter. Worse, the German pilot was an ace, a man able to destroy the American bomber with the squeeze of a trigger.

    JerryL says: "An Absolutely Incredcredible Audiobook!"
    "Implausible fiction"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If this were fiction, I'd have to say it was a little implausible. Being a true story, It's amazing. I think it's amazing that the incident occurred in the first place, and secondly that they were able to resolve it so many years later as they did.

    It was interesting to see two opposing sides but not necessarily two opposing conclusions.
    I think the story of these men shows there are good, noble people all over the world and that there are more than two sides to every story.

    A worthwhile listen.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Cutting for Stone: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Abraham Verghese
    • Narrated By Sunil Malhotra
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (4862)
    Performance
    (2258)
    Story
    (2270)

    Marion and Shiva Stone are twin brothers born of a secret union between a beautiful Indian nun and a brash British surgeon at a mission hospital in Addis Ababa. Orphaned by their mother's death in childbirth and their father's disappearance, bound together by a preternatural connection and a shared fascination with medicine, the twins come of age as Ethiopia hovers on the brink of revolution. Yet it will be love, not politics - their passion for the same woman - that will tear them apart.

    Mary Lynn says: "Brilliant story, pitch perfect narration"
    "One Word - Wonderful"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Wonderful story, wonderful characters, wonderful narrator. All interwove to create a memorable and fulfilling listening experience.

    With an audio book in particular, it is sometimes difficult for me to keep track of person, time, and place. I think both the narrator and author skillfully eliminated any such confusion for me.

    Oddly enough, as much as I enjoyed the book and loved the characters, this is not one of those books I hated to have end. I felt there were no loose ends, so to speak. Each character’s story and the overall story came satisfyingly full circle.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • A Town Like Alice

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 22 mins)
    • By Nevil Shute
    • Narrated By Robin Bailey
    Overall
    (1447)
    Performance
    (910)
    Story
    (912)

    Wanting to repay a wartime debt to the Malays, Jean Paget returns. There she hears a story which leads her to Australia.

    Barbara says: "Better still in Audio form"
    "Liked this a lot"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I liked this audio book a lot, although I can't say exactly why. It's not action-packed, not compellingly dramatic, not hilariously funny. The characters are not flamboyantly magnetic. All the same, I was drawn to the main character, Jean, and and her story and wanted to keep listening.

    The narrator is delightful. He brings the voices of each character to life and sets just the right tone for the story.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Watching You

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 13 mins)
    • By Michael Robotham
    • Narrated By Sean Barrett
    Overall
    (387)
    Performance
    (350)
    Story
    (350)

    Marnie Logan often feels like she's being watched: A warm breath on the back of her neck, or a shadow in the corner of her eye that vanishes when she turns her head. She has reason to be frightened. Her husband Daniel has inexplicably vanished, and the police have no leads in the case. Without proof of death or evidence of foul play, she can't access his bank accounts or his life insurance. Depressed and increasingly desperate, she seeks the help of clinical psychologist Joe O'Loughlin.

    bernadette says: "Wow!"
    "Maybe A Little Too Creepy"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thought the story was very well done. It had me trying to figure it out from the beginning. I like that all the details are laid out; we just need to put them together.

    I like that the characters are smart. No "oh-don't-be-stupid” scenarios. Professor Joe is particularly likeable. Very glad to realize this book is one of a series.

    I thought the narrator portrayed the gender, age, and emotions of the characters very well. He also captured “creepy” in the narration very effectively. Maybe a little too effectively for me.

    I think that the creepiness factor may be the reason for my less-than-four-star overall rating. I liked the story, the characters, the narration. Yet overall rating, I would have to go with a 3.8.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Rose and the Thorn: The Riyria Chronicles, Book 2

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 58 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1885)
    Performance
    (1750)
    Story
    (1754)

    For more than a year, Royce Melborn has tried to forget Gwen DeLancy, the woman who saved him and his partner, Hadrian Blackwater, from certain death. Unable to get her out of his mind, the two thieves return to Medford but receive a very different reception - Gwen refuses to see them. The victim of abuse by a powerful noble, she suspects that Royce will ignore any danger in his desire for revenge. By turning the thieves away, Gwen hopes to once more protect them. What she doesn't realize is what the two are capable of - but she's about to find out.

    Cecil says: "Great Series but don't start here"
    "Insider info"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed the entire Riyria series. I usually like everything to be chronologically in order, but I'm glad I read the books in the order that I did - Revelations first, then Chronicles.

    As I was listening to The Rose and the Thorn, I enjoyed feeling like I was receiving insider info and making connections with what comes later. I liked learning more about Royce and Hadrian, the connections they made, and how Riyria came to be. I also liked the glimpse of Hadrian's future that was revealed through Gwen's eyes.

    Having now listened to the entire series, I think the narrator has done a remarkably good job. Royce and Hadrian's voices have remained consistent throughout. He imbues each voice with just the right touch of whatever is intended - sarcasm, humor, etc.

    I would highly recommend this series to anyone. Oh, I guess I should mention there is sometimes a bit of gore. But I definitely would not let that deter me from sharing in the adventures of these wonderful characters.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Pines

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Blake Crouch
    • Narrated By Paul Michael Garcia
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2067)
    Performance
    (1882)
    Story
    (1877)

    Wayward Pines, Idaho, is quintessential small-town America — or so it seems. Secret Service agent Ethan Burke arrives in search of two missing federal agents, yet soon is facing much more than he bargained for. After a violent accident lands him in the hospital, Ethan comes to with no ID and no cell phone. The medical staff seems friendly enough, but something feels…off. As the days pass, Ethan’s investigation into his colleagues’ disappearance turns up more questions than answers. Why can’t he make contact with his family in the outside world? Why doesn’t anyone believe he is who he says he is? And what’s the purpose of the electrified fences encircling the town? Are they keeping the residents in? Or something else out? Each step toward the truth takes Ethan further from the world he knows, until he must face the horrifying possibility that he may never leave Wayward Pines alive…

    Linda B says: "Well done story"
    "Mystery vs Sci-Fi"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I generally like a good mystery, and this did keep me trying to figure out what was going on. The ending, though, was a little disappointing. Although it did provide food for thought, it leaned too much in the sci-fi (as opposed to mystery) direction for me.

    I thought the narrator did a good job. He resisted any temptation to go melodramatic or spooky. He handled both male and female voices realistically.

    Glad I took advantage of the Daily Deal on this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Little Bee: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Chris Cleave
    • Narrated By Anne Flosnik
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1526)
    Performance
    (805)
    Story
    (806)

    British couple Andrew and Sarah O'Rourke, vacationing on a Nigerian beach in a last-ditch effort to save their faltering marriage, come across Little Bee and her sister, Nigerian refugees fleeing from machete-wielding soldiers intent on clearing the beach. The horrific confrontation that follows changes the lives of everyone involved in unimaginable ways.

    Katerina says: "Good book, well told"
    "Upsetting but also humorous and charming"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I had this title in my Wish List for a very long time, and when it came around as a Daily Deal I finally downloaded it. Even though the topic of the novel was very serious and upsetting, I found many parts of the book to be humorous and charming.

    The scene that lingers in my mind is the beach scene (not humorous or charming). I would have found it very difficult to judge as Sarah did or to do what she did.

    It was a very worthwhile listen, and I'm glad I finally downloaded it. Thank you, Audible, for the Daily Deals. Definitely showed me one I might have missed out on.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • It Happened at the Fair

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 48 mins)
    • By Deeanne Gist
    • Narrated By Amy Rubinate
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (32)
    Performance
    (27)
    Story
    (28)

    Gambling everything, including the family farm, Cullen McNamara travels to the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with his most recent invention. But the noise in the Fair's Machinery Palace makes it impossible to communicate with potential buyers. In an act of desperation, he hires Della Wentworth, a teacher of the deaf, to tutor him in the art of lip-reading. The young teacher is reluctant to participate, and Cullen has trouble keeping his mind on his lessons while intently watching her lips.

    Carrie Fancett Pagels says: "Loved my trip to the fair with Deeanne Gist!"
    "Ambivalent"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I'm not sure how to rate or review this book. I admit to being a sucker for a good love story, but I felt the circumstances here were too contrived and the naivete of Della was unbelievable. I was thinking that the book was getting a bit tedious when the situation arose where Cullen had to "prove he was who he said he was." With that, I almost stopped listening to the book because it was beginning to feel like a not-well-done romance novel. Nevertheless, I kept listening, just for the sake of resolution, I guess.

    Having been to Chicago a couple of times and having read Devil in the White City, I was initially hoping to learn a little more about Chicago or the world's fair. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to glean much information about either from this book. The author readily admits to taking historical license (and I do appreciate her telling us where she took liberties), but I felt "gypped."

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Crown Tower: The Riyria Chronicles, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 49 mins)
    • By Michael J. Sullivan
    • Narrated By Tim Gerard Reynolds
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2507)
    Performance
    (2331)
    Story
    (2341)

    Michael J. Sullivan garnered critical raves and a massive readership for his Riyria Revelations series. The first book in his highly anticipated Riyria Chronicles series of prequels, The Crown Tower brings together warrior Hadrian Blackwater with thieving assassin Royce Melborn. The two form a less-than-friendly pairing, but the quest before them has a rare prize indeed, and if they can breach the supposedly impregnable walls of the Crown Tower, their names will be legend.

    Tango says: "Delicious Icing on a Terrific Cake"
    "Hurrah!"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Hurrah for Michael J. Sullivan! He has taken so much care with his characters. He has maintained their essences while allowing them to evolve into the men they are in the Revelations. The author also has taken great care not to reveal anything prematurely in the Chronicles while at the same time providing us with greater insight into both the characters and the plot.

    I was very hesitant about listening to the prequels, but I enjoyed this almost as much as the Revelations. As always, I was engaged from the very start. I was amazed that I liked Hadrian and especially Royce as much here as I did in Revelations. I'm giving an overall four stars instead of five, and I'm not sure why. Maybe because it ended way before I was ready (it is shorter). I do know, though, that I'm very glad I decided to give the Chronicles a try. Thank you, Michael J. Sullivan, for your wonderful craftsmanship and care you have taken with Royce and Hadrian and their lives (and thank you to your wife for loving Hadrian, too!).

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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