The story line was just too slow and jumped around too much. I kept waiting for the book to get interesting, and finally found my self fast forwarding through several chapters. By the end of the first download, I knew I didn't want to bother with the second download.
This story was insightful, unexpected, and very touching. It gave me new insights into an ancient, yet current culture.
I kept hoping something about this story would engage me through this 22+ hour book.. but nothing ever clicked. It came across as 22 hours of whining. Thank goodness Audible's iPhone app allowed me to listen in double time!
I wish the author had acknowledged that this book was based on the life of Mary Hallock Foote - even admitting that entire sections of the book were lifted word-for-word from her letters. I am more willing to tolerate BORING from a non-fiction book that a book 'claiming' to be fiction. I will probably never read another book written by Stegner.
Humphrey Bower is such a great narrator, I'm searching for his other books - he makes each voice different and believable and I loved his singing voice. I appreciated Bryce Courtenay's obvious respect for cultural diversity and the research he invested so many different locations -- an island off Australia, the Korean War, then Shanghai and Hong Kong, just to mention a few very interesting settings.
While the story was fairly engaging, the abruptness of the ending left me cold. I have no objection to an author writing trilogies - I often seek out multiple volume stories. But I appreciate series in which each book could, if necessary, stand on its own. This book stopped so suddenly, I could envision Christian Jacq simply reaching the magic number of words required by the publisher and barely bothered to insert a period on the last sentence before hitting the submit button. I intend to wait 6 months to see if I even still care about these characters before buying the next installment.
I loved the unconventional image of the nuns and the great variety of story lines introduced by the varied patients.
Davina Porter's narration was excellent as always, and probably the only reason I was able to trudge through this book. There were interesting twists near the end, but hardly enough to justify the hours invested in the first 60% of the book. Save your credits for something more engaging.
60 Minutes' exposure of the exaggerations in this book saddened me, but didn’t surprise me. While Three Cups of Tea was quite interesting, this story was just a bit too wild to believe, even before 60 Minutes' revelations.
I bought this book because cancer has recently touched my family. This historical and scientific overview had just the right 'tone' to answer my many questions while giving me a realistic yet hopeful outlook.
The surprising plot twists kept coming in this unlikely retelling of Sleeping Beauty -- totally suitable for adult audiences. This is a really superb story. But what pleased me most was the humor, especially from Ivan's mother with her Yiddish advice. I loved the time travel to America and the many fun plot twists. It’s also good to see strong, well-developed characters. I’ve heard the abridged version was a bit confusing, but this unabridged version is worth every minute I spent listening.
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