Our pastor spoke about this book in one of his sermons, and suggested we read it, so we did. My husband and I listened to it separately, and he found it more interesting than I. I did enjoy it, but wish he had written more.
It was instructive that Alexander was pretty much a skeptic, and that his life truly changed after his experience. Of most importance to us was his incredible recovery from an illness which should have been fatal. The fact that brain function was so minimal for such a long time, 7 days, and the memories Alexander had from that week are incredible! His appeal is to the skeptic and the person needed scientific proof. For me, that is not necessary, and so I guess I wanted more details about his time and what he learned.
There is a realization Alexander has which is near the end of the book which is really awesome. If you want a book full of Scripture and specific discussions about how to better one's life here on earth, or a list of Christian only terms, it is not there. The author deepened his Christian faith as a result of his amazing week, but I think the desire was to reach many who are not of a particular belief. We are buying a copy for an agnostic brother for Christmas.
This is worth the read, and the author does an excellent job. I would have given this a 4.4 if possible.
I have read the entire series by this author. I don't know how she got her information, but the Saudi princess who was courageous enough to tell her story and the story of women in this country deserves some kind of major award! It is almost unthinkable for women in the U.S. to believe the powerlessness of women under such a restrictive government. Princess Sultana is a forward thinking woman who tells stories honestly and with no whitewash. She tries to see the positive steps that have been made in the rights of women, and reading the whole series shows that. But there is so much more to be done.
As a fortunate western woman, I have no complaint about what I am able to do or say. No society is perfect, but for women in the Middle East, life is often no more than hell. The author tells the story using the princess's words, interspersing informational data from time to time. I only wish I could meet her and the princess to say thank you and to give them my encouragement. My prayers are with the women described in this and all the books.
Catherine Byers is one of my favorite narrators. Her compassion is wonderful, and I find her voice beautiful. She makes these books even better!
I discovered this book at age 13. Being blind , I could get books in recorded form. My older sister had to read this for school but was bogged down by the dialect. So I got the book. She made it through, but I listened to it three times in a row. The reader was fantastic, but I could not find that recording again as an adult.
Either one loves the strangeness of Emily Bronte or not. Being an Anglophile, and having loved this book, I bought it. I bought another version on Audible a long time ago. I loathed the narrator's voice and never got very far. But Patricia Routledge is incredible. My husband actually found her so good that he couldn't finish listening to it. But if you have not read this and want to try a classic, I think it's a great gamble. Read something about the Bronte sisters and you will find it makes more sense. The part of Yorkshire where the book takes place is very stark even today. I love it Routledge's performance, though very different from the man who read it all those years ago is a masterpiece.!
I first read this book in the '60's at 14 and couldn't put it down. At that age some things passed me by, but I have returned to this book several times since. It was required for my four home schooled teens who all love it as well. The troubled landscape of South Africa during the changing 1940's is beautifully and compassionately told. The main character is an African Anglican minister who has a deep love for his people and a grief over his son.
I will not give much about the story, but the writing is beautiful and sees things from multiple perspectives. This was made even better by Michael York, who can read to me any day! He is so talented that he can do this book full justice, and also make Aslan awesome in The Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe. That's a gift.
This book should be required reading for high school or college or maybe both. It gives a historical perspective to what's happening many years later.
I like the gentleness of Amish books when I need to step back from a busy life. But I found these somewhat silly. There was compassion for the situations, but the stories did not ring as true as many others I have read. Many might like these, and they are worth a try. I found the push toward modern bottle feeding, and some other things did not ring true. I think the authors put too much of themselves and not quite enough of the culture in these stories.
The narrator was not bad, but I've liked others better. She has a warm voice so I think it's more apersonal choice.
I saw this book in print but decided that I wanted to hear the author's voice. She obviously imitated her mother's vocal and speech patterns, which I found delightful. Our relationships as daughters are often complex, and Kelly "Corrigan nails it.
She tells of a temporary nanny job while traveling with a friend and making a difference in the lives of her recently motherless young charges. Her desire to be both far from and yet linked to her mom is delightful. Her memories of how her own mom handled things as Kelly was growing up are interspersed with her time in Australia as the nanny.
The book shifts to later in Kelly's life, and the continuing need for and tangled relationship with her mom. Overall I'd call this a love story. No relationship is perfect, but in the end, Corrigan realizes the gift of her mom being the glue in her life, which she can be for her own children.
I will read this again and give it to my daughter who now has a growing family. If you want an honest book, written with humor and love, but not saccharine, this is a book for you.
Freedom's Stand was a book I read in just over a day. The subject of Afghanistan and the plight of women and children has long been a passion.
The Christian element also interested me, as I know there are some who have accepted the message of Christ. Yet, I did not want a preachy book. Maudlin and sentimental Christian writing leaves me gagging. There was no fear with this book.
Jamil, a health worker who had dreamed of being a doctor became a Christian, but tried to be careful in the way he spread his beliefs so as not to hurt others. He had been a suicide bomber whose mission did not succeed. Add his American friend Amy, also a Christian and a passionate but slightly naïve young woman to the mix and things get more interesting. She wants to bring education and gainful employment to the women of Afghanistan. Her efforts are continually thwarted by the way things work in a society which looks at women as property. Amy grows considerably during the story.
An American contracted to provide security to various people meets Amy and becomes embroiled in her world. All three characters grow and the book comes to an intense and sad and happy conclusion. I don't want to give any spoilers, but some of the ending is really sad, yet also fits the story.
I really enjoyed this book a lot, though I was taking a chance in my mind. I would suggest you read it if you have an interest in the middle east and its complex nature.
The narrator did quite a good job with the book and I would definitely listen to another book done by her.
This is one of Shute's very best. He is an overlooked writer, whose characters are usually unforgettable.
Jean is an ordinary girl, who goes to work in Malay as a secretary before WWII. She is a girl of simple wants, who doesn't stand out as extremely noble or heroic. Yet when she and a number of other women and children are captured by the Japanese during the war, she shines. In her quiet way, she takes charge and becomes a person she would never has expected.
The Japanese guard who ends up guarding the dwindling group as they wander through the jungles is really sort of lovable in a way, and is a great touch.
When the women meet a group of Australian prisoners, the really interesting part begins. But the war ends, and Jean goes out to Australia to say thank you to her Ausie soldier,'s family, as she thinks he died trying to help her and the other women and children. Finding him alive brings the story to a new level.
The story is told by Jean's solicitor (lawyer) who follows her story closely, and becomes like part of her family. It is told with attention to detail, but with little aggrandizement of the main characters.
I love Shute's characters, because they are ordinary people who must rise to challenges they never thought to face. He writes with a gentle humor and a great understanding of people.
Robin Bailey was a bit tough some times as the narrator. He did a lot of breathing, but the story is so wonderful that I got past it. He actually turned out to be not too bad. I'd really give him about a 3.7, but couldn't do that in the ratings. This is a book I've read twice and will likely read again. There is romance, but like all of Shute, it is understated.
One learns a lot about Australia in the late 1940's, and it is fascinating. Shute was an Englishman who grew disgusted with his country's socialism post war, and moved his family to Australia in the early 1950's. His love for his adopted country is obvious.
The selection of prayers are varied; some from Scripture and some from Crhristian prayer books.
There is no character; well, God, I guess!
Michael York reads with gentleness and warmth. You can't get that from a book. Also, the music is so peaceful; it makes the prayerful state easier.
You could not make a film.
My husband was also impressed, and asked me to put it on his device.
I've only listened to the audio, but Orla Casidy was wonderful!
I liked Maisie's search to find what she really wanted out of life, but found myself getting mad at her decisions sometimes.
She is always exceptional.
I Don't Know Where I'm Going.
I have loved this series. Winspear has made the period of the first World War through the early 1930's come alive. Her characters are wonderful. I don't always understand Maisie, but that's okay. I hope there is another book, because I don't want the series to end with this book and it's nonresolution of things. I think it was the most thought provoking of the books, but frustrating for me.
I'd listen again because I loved the story and the narrator did it way more than justice.
I loved Becky, but her husband Mike was a true prince of a guy.
The end. It was truly not what I expected, yet made complete sense.
I was not expecting the scene which caused Becky so much grief. The book began as so funny, but turned more serious.
I've often wondered how a marriage withstands and thrives in spite of a close platonic friendship/love. Having had a few of those relationships, I found this book wonderful. The balancing act Becky lives, and her unshakable love for husband and children, and her steadfast clinging to the faith which she holds so firm are refreshing. I suppose many would find this book silly. It is, if you are accustomed to gritty novels where deceit and cheating are the norm. But, if you are a fan of Austen, and other writers where character is important, you'll enjoy this book. The narrator seemed to have fun reading it, which made it come alive.
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