I wasn't expecting too much from this book considering the genre & price. I have to say that the story was surprisingly insightful, while at the same time providing some very hot scenes!!!
Perhaps because I could relate to the main character (married to the same man for many years, looking to "spice things up" between the sheets, etc) the story sounded pretty authentic to me.
The protagonist finds herself looking to push some new sexual boundaries, but she's afraid that her husband my react negatively and might reject her. As you might expect, he's more willing to be convinced to try new things than she realizes...
Just a quick, short, hot story that provides some insight into what seems to be a pretty common situation for couples these days: what happens when we come to have different expectations and the consequences of not being able to properly communicate them to our partner...Cheers & Happy reading!!!
I should start by saying that this is my first Sara Waters novel even thought I have some of her books in my to-be-read list for years now. I admit that I enjoy The Paying Guests so much that I at times I forced myself to slow down and curbed my impulse to read it fast.
It's the kind of book that has everything I look for in a historical novel, well developed characters, fascinating time/period and a original story, almost painstakingly thorough in its details.
Because I listened and read the novel at the same time, it was quite a absorbing experience. The audiobook was narrated by Juliet Stevenson, who did an amazing job at delivering the voices of so many characters but more than that allowed me to be transported to London in the early 1920's with the clouds of the First Word War still hanging on everybody's memories, casting a big shadow on its citizens who are still unable to move on after living through this most horrific event. I have listened to many audiobooks by many different narrators and I can say that this is one of the best performances I have listened to in a long time.
Sarah Waters is a wonderful storyteller and I love how with her detail descriptions of ordinary lives, you experienced first hand how this war has changed the very fabric of society and how it must have felt to live in London during this time. There's a working class (the so-called "clerk class"), that is emerging as well as women that are pushing their boundaries, demanding ever more rights, feeling more entitled to do so, after being left behind by a whole generation of men that was sent to fight a war that to many, was unnecessary and unjustified.
I enjoy the main characters, Frances and Lily, their relationship felt authentic in the slow way it developed, with all the intensity and passion of romance a its outset, followed by the angst, guilt and shame that comes as the consequence of being unfaithful.
As many has described before me, the novel is divided in 3 parts:
1st part- Introduces us to Frances and her Mon, the downfall of their family social status forcing them to take "paying guests", The Barbers, Leonard and Lillian.
2nd part- Develops the friendship (and later on the romantic relationship) between Frances and Lilly.
3rd part- Don't want to give too much here, but basically the books become more of a Legal thriller following a big development.
I really liked all 3 parts of the book, although at times it felt repetitive and it dragged a little too much for me.
But in general, I really recommend this excellent historical novel. I can see why Sarah Waters is a favorite author to so many, her gift is in using words as devices to develop interesting characters and create the atmosphere that takes you to that place and time.
Ultimately, Lillian and Frances are forced to confront moral and ethical questions and made decisions that would have permanent implications in the direction their lives would take, and we are right there with them feeling all the anxiety that comes with weighing those decisions and we can't help but wondered what we would do in a similar situation.
I look forward to enjoying more books by this author!
This books has pretty much all the elements that I enjoy in fiction: wonderful characters, interesting history background, romance, friendship and some twists and turns that should keep you listening through the end.
I agree with others reviewers that it is perhaps the correspondence exchange format that makes this book perfect as an audiobook.
To top it all, the narrators are all great and their performances allow you to be transported to London & the island of Guernsey during and after World War 2.
The letters that are exchanged between the different characters, served as the perfect vehicle to help you experience the German occupation of the little island of Guernsey (located in the English channel out of the coast of Normandy) and how it impacted their lives.
A little nugget of information, as you can see the book has two authors listed, Mary Ann Shaffer and Ann Barrows. Mrs. Shaffer finished the original manuscript of the book but by the time the editor requested some rewriting, she passed away. Ann Barrows, Mrs. Shaffer's niece, was already an established author of children's books, so she was asked to finish the editing and rewrite the parts requested by the editor.
If you enjoy historical fiction with a little bit of romance, you will probably enjoy this wonderful book!!
By now I am sure you know what this story is about so I won't spend too much time discussing it.
Our main character, Louisa Clark is thrown into Will's life and is forced to confront the moral dilemma of whether a person has the right, under extreme circumstances, to take his or her own life.
I must confess that until I read Me Before You, euthanasia and suicide in general, were issues that I never put too much though into.
Like most people raised in the west, I grew up with a pretty typical religious understanding that just like abortion, suicide was immoral, and that by committing it you were spitting in God's face.
After reading this book I have a more open mind, and although I don't necessarily agree with suicide (assisted or otherwise), as the best way to solve our problems, I have much more empathy towards those that might decide that is this an option for them.
At this end, this is why I love reading and getting exposed to new points of view.
There's plenty of reviews on this books out there, but I wanted to put my two cents. i would advise anybody with an interest in social and moral issues to give this book a try.
I realize that my review might give you the idea that this is book is boring and sad, but it is in fact a wonderful, charming love story, it has great characters, witty dialogue and a few unexpected twists that will held your attention.
On a final note, with very few exceptions I usually don't enjoy audiobooks with multiple narrators, but the full cast of narrators both male and female on this book were superb.
I think most audiobooks listeners will enjoy it!
Love the story line from the beginning. If you are a supporter of the Death Penalty, this book might make you reconsider your position. The main character, Dani Trumball, is an attorney that works with the Help Innocent Prisoners Project, she is confronted with the decision of taking on a new case to defend George Calhoun, a man that is on death row and only a few weeks away from his execution. He and his wife were convicted of murdering their your daughter 17 years earlier, but claims that they did not commit this crime. What follows is an intense chase for the truth and evidence, filled with lots of interesting twits and turns. I stayed hours awake last night because I needed to hear the conclusion to the story.
The book it's at moments very intense, with many of the characters involved on a crazy chase for evidence in order to save a man's life, at the same time it has moments moments of introspection that make you think and consider (or perhaps even reconsider) your position on the death penalty.
I have enjoyed Tanya Eby's performances before, specifically narrating the Rizzoli & Isles series, but I absolutely love her voices on this audiobook, both males and females. She is the rare narrator that can incorporate many different characters of both sexes, without annoying you (at least not me!)
There's a moment where Dani is in the prison cell with George, just a few hours from execution, awaiting a decision on their request for a stay and it surprised me how emotional I became, it's a very powerful moment in the book...
If you like Legal Thrillers, you will probably enjoy this one, very much worth the credit!!. I look forward to more books by this author.
Probably within the next few months. Likable characters, romantic story line and not too many cliches..
Probably 96 hours by Georgia Beers, the author has a similar style of writing likable characters that are not perfect but are decent human beings looking for love.
No I have not, but I am sure to look for other titles narrated by her. She's was wonderful to listen to.
The travelling adventures of two amazing girls that fall in love in the process!
This book is a wonderful romantic escape, give it a try!
I've a few of Linda Howard's books in my audio library (After the Night, Kill & Tell) and for the most part, I have really enjoyed her writing style. She brings a good balance between, action, mystery & romance to her novels. The romance aspect of the book is typically well done with a level of sensuality but in good taste.
I have to say thought, that I found Shades of Twilight's description of incestuous relationships very disturbing to say the least. The author didn't do a good at describing those relationships in a more critical light, but rather they are presented to the reader as almost normal and acceptable.
Ms. Howard is a great writer and she always does a good job at transporting you to the time & place where her characters are located but this one is by far my least favorite of her books.
Natalie Ross has become one of my favorites narrators, she brings the right level of emotion to the story without overacting. She also is one of the few female narrators that has a perfect pitch to handle both male & female voices (Let's face it; some female narrators sound very creepy when doing male voices!!)
If you are a fan of Linda Howard, you'll probably enjoy this book. If this if your Linda Howard book, I suggest you start with something a little lighter than this...Cheers and happy reading!!!
I actually adored this book. I enjoy audiobooks but it's not frequent that I found myself inmerse and lost in a story line, loving characters as well as a great narrator. Ms, Kearsley has that ability of transporting you to a different time and place that feels simply magical. The paralel romances feel authentic and porwerful without crossing a line into the tasteless.
I look forward so much to reading Ms. Kearsley new novel next(already downloaded it) If you enjoy romance as well as historical fiction, I am sure you'll love this wonderful book!
This is my 1st review in Audible even thought I've been a member for a few years now.
I found this book surpringly refreshing, candid and insightful. Ms. Gilbert writes openly about her experiences after a difficult divorce and her journey to rediscover herself and her true identity by traveling to three countries in search of Pleasure, Spirituality and Love. Eat, Pray,Love is the quintessential mid-life search for meaning and purpose that so many people faced at some point in their lives. I downloaded the 1st chapter to Committed (Ms. Gilbert's 2nd Memoir) and found it so interesting that I decided to start with the 1st book in order to understand her story better. I also liked her voice and thought that her narration was excellent. Highly recommended!!!
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