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Karen M. Downes

karen downes

4
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 5 reviews
  • 31 ratings
  • 80 titles in library
  • 12 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
39
FOLLOWERS
0

  • The Woman Upstairs

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Claire Messud
    • Narrated By Cassandra Campbell
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (348)
    Performance
    (302)
    Story
    (307)

    Nora Eldridge, a 37-year-old elementary school teacher in Cambridge, Massachusetts, who long ago abandoned her ambition to be a successful artist, has become the "woman upstairs", a reliable friend and tidy neighbor always on the fringe of others' achievements. Then into her classroom walks Reza Shahid, a child who enchants as if from a fairy tale. He and his parents - dashing Skandar, a Lebanese scholar and professor at the École Normale Supérleure; and Sirena, an effortlessly glamorous Italian artist - have come to Boston for Skandar to take up a fellowship at Harvard.

    Beth Anne says: "Disturbing, Frustrating, Messed Up and AWESOME!"
    "BOOORING"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I read and listen to a lot of books but I rarely write reviews because taste is so subjective. I like narrater Cassandra Campbell but not for this novel. I picture a harder charactor with a harsher attitude. It comes off as a Hallmark movie of the week and I think it was meant to be deeper. More like Sundance Channel after hours.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Heft

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Liz Moore
    • Narrated By Kirby Heyborne, Keith Szarabajka
    Overall
    (1786)
    Performance
    (1616)
    Story
    (1621)

    Forrmer academic Arthur Opp weighs 550 pounds and hasn’t left his rambling Brooklyn home in a decade. Twenty miles away in Yonkers, seventeen-year-old Kel Keller navigates life as the poor kid in a rich school and pins his hopes on what seems like a promising baseball career - if he can untangle himself from his family drama.

    Kathy says: "I couldn't stop listening"
    "Awesome narration of a great story"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I do not like to write reviews because taste is so subjective. I do love this story being read to me because of the awesome narrators. If I had read this novel in print I wouldn't have liked it as much. I usually don't like anything I read but this is one of my faves!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Chaperone

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 18 mins)
    • By Laura Moriarty
    • Narrated By Elizabeth McGovern
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2341)
    Performance
    (2061)
    Story
    (2048)

    >The Chaperone is a captivating novel about the woman who chaperoned an irreverent Louise Brooks to New York City in 1922, and the summer that would change them both. Only a few years before becoming a famous actress and an icon for her generation, a 15-year-old Louise Brooks leaves Wichita to make it big in New York. Much to her annoyance, she is accompanied by a thirty-six-year-old chaperone who is neither mother nor friend. Cora Carlisle is a complicated but traditional woman with her own reasons for making the trip.

    Amanda says: "Perfection."
    "I like listening to this book"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I HATE writing reviews of books. I usually do not like anything I read or listen to. So I usually only give my subjective opinion if I really love or hate something. l love Elizabeth McGovern's narration of this great story. I like audible books because I tend to skip ahead a lot when I read.(I do it with movies too). I would have skipped ahead in the beginnig if I was reading this but I would have missed important parts. So stay with it. It gets amazing!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Beautiful Ruins

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 53 mins)
    • By Jess Walter
    • Narrated By Edoardo Ballerini
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (6209)
    Performance
    (5376)
    Story
    (5370)

    The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.

    Ella says: "My mind wandered"
    "I hardly ever love novels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to start every review by sayning I hate to write reviews because: 1- taste is subjective, and 2- I hate most of what I read or listen to. That being said- I love the audio version of this book. I don't think I would have liked it so much if I read it. The narration is terrific. The story is compelling and I wanted it to go on forever. It's one of those "now what am I gonna read" stories because you know whatever book you read next will not be as good.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Good House: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 12 mins)
    • By Ann Leary
    • Narrated By Mary Beth Hurt
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1521)
    Performance
    (1372)
    Story
    (1366)

    The Good House tells the story of Hildy Good, who lives in a small town on Boston's North Shore. Hildy is a successful real-estate broker, good neighbor, mother, and grandmother. She's also a raging alcoholic. Hildy's family held an intervention for her about a year before this story takes place - "if they invite you over for dinner, and it’s not a major holiday," she advises "run for your life" - and now she feels lonely and unjustly persecuted. She has also fooled herself into thinking that moderation is the key.

    Rhonda Morrison says: "What a great book, Hildy is a great character!"
    "waited for something"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

    No. This book is like dangling a carrot in front of a horse. The story just keeps going on and on and nothing happens. It is not boring but it is not exciting either. I did like the narrator. She is probably why I finished the entire book, otherwise I would have turned it off half way through.


    Would you ever listen to anything by Ann Leary again?

    Yes. I would give this author another shot. She develops characters very well and, like I said, it wasn't boring.


    What does Mary Beth Hurt bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    She gives the main character likability. I loved how she sounded just like the voice I thought Hildy would have.


    Do you think The Good House needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    If there was a follow-up I wouldn't read it.


    3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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