This is an amazing story of an incredibly bright girl caught in the grip of severe mental illness and her family's efforts to deal with heartbreaking choices. The story moves quickly and kept me interested...in fact, I was starting to wish my commute was a little longer so that I could kep listening! The narrator does a great job capturing the emotional trauma of the book's author.
If you found yourself fascinated by "I Never Promised You A Rose Garden", you will love this book. If you love stories of how families persist in the face of challenges, you will love this book. If mental illness and its description makes you uncomfortable; if you want everything to turn out rosy for everybody no matter what...you may want to skip this one.
There are interesting moments in this book, and the speculated comparison between two royal marriages keeps it interesting. The narrator gives some real life to the story with a rather good reading and accurate (though nasal) voice of Queen Elizabeth. Aficionados will appreciate the opportunity to compare the pro-Charles view against similar pro-Diana writings from other sources. Seward attempts to demonstrate a neutral attitude through occasional expressions of sympathy toward Diana, but ends up with the recognizably patronizing tone adapted by many of Prince Charles' biographical apologists. Her empathy for the Queen is more heartfelt and easier to understand, except for the tired assumptions about Prince Philip's supposed infidelities. She is far harder on the Duke of Edinburgh than on the Prince of Wales, offering justifications for confessed infidelity on the part of the Prince versus cold contempt for unproven behavior of the Duke. Still a pleasant listen, though if you indulge in only reading one book on the late Princess, this one is not sufficiently neutral to recommend.
I would give a five-star review but there are chapters out of order and part of one chapter missing entirely. Narrator does a good job except for a few overdone accents (Esther the French maid of Aunt March is nearly impossible to understand). When the narrator relaxes, she has a very pleasant voice reminiscent of Susan Sarandon. This is one of my favorite books, so I hope the glitches are fixed so many more people can enjoy the story.
Well read by the author. Rambles a bit at the end, still a great story.
It isn't often that you get the perfect meeting of a great performance and a gripping story: this is one of those times. The title "Beyond Belief" is apt; it is hard to understand how seemingly mild-mannered people (Scientologists) can allow their children to be treated so poorly. Jenna Miscavige Hill describes her extremely unusual childhood in Scientology and her gradual desire to leave the only life that she ever knew. Because she is the niece of the current leader of Scientology, there is even more credibility to her story. Before this book, I thought of Scientologists as being a bit odd, but basically harmless. This author's story underlines the need for more careful scrutiny of this organization, particular in the way that they utilize small children for forced labor and break apart families. Suddenly they don't seem harmless any more. Kudos to the author for what must have been a painful journey in writing this memoir.
The narration deserves special recognition...it is one of the most superb readings I have encountered on Audible. The book is a journey from the author's experience as a young girl to a grown woman, and the narrator is able to make the transition easy and smooth and believable without being over the top. I don't often buy the book after purchasing the Audible version, but I bought the book in this case because the story is so riveting. As I read the book, I hear the narrator's voice in my head, which is not a bad thing! It makes the story that much more real.
If you enjoy true life stories, you cannot go wrong with Beyond Belief.
I was disappointed like other listeners at the poor narration by the author. However, her incredible story is worth getting used to the voice. After listening for a while the narration is not so bothersome and you really do get caught up in the drama that Dr. Nielsen experienced at the South Pole. If you are a fan of stories like "Into Thin Air" you will enjoy this very much.
I would definitely listen to the book again..it is a great story of how humans can be at their best when times are at their worst.
It was hard to have a favorite character, because the true characters of the men were never completely fleshed out.
The accents were a bit cheesy, but not unbearable. The drama of the story was well portrayed.
This was a good book to listen to all at once, it moves fast and doesn't drag.
I wish there had been more of the story of the various drillers trying to get to the trapped miners. I did appreciate that it was quite clear when they were talking about events inside the mine versus events "up top." I wish there was more about what happened to the miners after the rescue and how the book itself came together.
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