I wasn't sure what to expect based on the reviews, but I enjoyed this book. I didn't enjoy the circumstances that led to the writing of this book as they were incredibly sad, but I appreciate the author's openness and ability to write so honestly about her feelings during this difficult time of her life.
I saw many reviews that rated this book low because they didn't like the author, felt she was a snob, etc. I am not sure what led to this, because many people who are well off have written memoirs and I didn't see these types of reviews. In her case, does she have more money than me? Yes. Does she live a different lifestyle than I do? Yes. (I don't have a "kitchen notebook" to track dinners I served, but then again, maybe I should start one to document the times I actually cook something edible!). Anyway, my point is that her life is completely different than mine, but that is why I want to read about it. I don't want to read about someone who has my life, as I am experiencing that myself. I didn't get the feeling she was snobbish or had the I-am-so-great attitude that I have encountered in some people I have met.
As far as the book content, I could empathize with much of what she went through. While I have not lost a spouse, I have experienced other losses of loved ones and can relate to many of her observations. I completely agree with her statement that when you mourn, you not only mourn the loved one but also the person you were at various stages of your relationship. I have experienced this many times, but this was the first time I heard someone else articulate this experience. I, too, have looked back and thought what changes had occurred in my life that I went through with a particular person who is no longer here. When she describes how she measured time that year after her husband died by comparing to what they were doing on that same day last year, I got it; it was especially moving when she came to December 31, the day that when she looked back one year she realized it was the first day that her husband was not there one year ago.
The author frequently references events that happened shortly before his death and ended with "and he had 48 hours to live" or however many days, months, etc. That is something I think about a lot when someone suddenly dies; I think of how they expected to do something that weekend, or go into work the next day and then suddenly were not there to follow through with those plans. When I saw my mother's glasses sitting on her bedside table after her death, no longer to be used, that really saddened me. It is things like this that really seem to get to me when someone passes away.
For me, the most poignant part of the book was when the author talks about her daughter's belief as a child that the broken man ["death"] was going to come and that she realized that she alone had to do something to stop him from coming for her. That became more important when she was in a hospital fighting for her life years later, at the time her father had died. As a child, Quintana told her mother that if the "broken man" came for her, she would hold onto the fence so that he could not take her away. As the author is going through the experience of losing her husband and seeing her daughter fight for her life, she observes that Quintana "held onto the fence" while her husband did not. I found that particular line particularly moving.
Overall, while the book dealt with sadness and death, I found the book to be enjoyable and moving at times. I listened to this on audio and I didn't have any issues with the narration. I felt that the narrator's voice perfectly suited how I pictured this author to be and I could easily imagine it was the author speaking
I thought that the first half of the book was a bit tedious; however I'm glad that I stuck with it, as I found the second half much more entertaining. The narration was quite good as well. I don't think I would have stuck with the story in printed form, so audio was a better format choice for me.
I liked this short story. The characters were definitely unique and the "story within a story" concept worked in this case. I also liked how the two stories converged at the end.
The narration was very good. I recommend this in audio format; the narrator did a good job conveying the eerie appearance of the doctor in the middle of the story telling scene.
This was one of those stories where you don't realize how good it is until you are near the end. I was completely surprised by the twist at the end. This was very well written and entertaining; the story worked well on audio.
This was my first listening experience with Poe's stories and it was quite enjoyable. I enjoyed revisiting these tales and the narration added to the eerie quality!
This was just okay for me. I wasn't thrilled with the narration; the change between chapters was too raps and while I get the child's voice was supposed to be annoying, it grated on me. The mystery was average. On the positive side, the author gives a plug to rescue dogs, which is always a good thing!!!
This was a free holiday gift from Audible. I am probably the only person who never saw Frozen, which I hear is based on this story. I enjoyed this short fable and the characters. Listening to it in the coldest winter on record here and hearing about the warmth after being in the Snow Queen's palace made me feel hopeful that our spring is right around the corner as well!!
I must be missing what everyone else sees in these stories. They are just ok for me; it's not the dark aspect of human nature that is bothering me, but rather, the characters all seem to me to be spineless whiners. Maybe its because I'm reading the entire collection of stories at once, but it seems redundant and tiresome to me. I liked four stories more than the others: Everything That Rises Must Converge, Greenleaf, The Lame Shall Enter First and Revelation. The narration was very good; I liked having four different narrators, which was a nice change of pace between stories.
This was a Valentine's Day freebie from Audible, although I listened to it well past the day of love! Poetry, much less love poems, is not my genre (hence the reason I don't have a shelf for it), but I figured it was free and it was less than 25 minutes, so why not? I'm glad I listened to it; the length was perfect for my commute home and Richard Armitage was much more pleasant to listen to than the crappy radio stations in our area. I particularly liked "Annabelle Lee" by Poe.
I'm ashamed to admit that I had never read anything by Salinger before so I thought these short stories would be a good introduction to his work. I definitely enjoyed all three and was pleased that all three were completely different. The narration was very good and easy to listen to.
This was a holiday freebie from Audible that I am just getting around to in March! There is still plenty of snow on the ground where I live so it wasn't hard to get in the spirit of the stories! I had never read any of these before and I enjoyed them all. The third one about Mr. Berman's masterpiece was my favorite by far! Thanks for the gift Audible!!!
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