I purchased this book based on other reader reviews which compared it to Rebecca. Rebecca it was not!!! The flimsy storyline took forever to get started and it was just too easy to see where it was going. The ending was unsatisfactory. For my Aussie ears, the accents were just downright irritating and the bitchiness of some of the characters almost too hard to take. I persevered to the end due to the reviews given by other readers, hoping for some final twist that would give the book some WOW factor. It didn't come! For me, it was not an enjoyable experience and a waste of money. I wish I had bought my second choice!!
Let me first state that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. the storyline held my interest, I empathised with the characters and loved the SE Qld setting - no complaints!! However, and I write this with tongue in cheek, the pronunciation of the word cicada drove me nuts, to the point where I looked up the official pronunciation. This is what I found - apparently in NSW in is pronounced "sicarda" whilst the Victorian pronunciation is "sicayda". From what I can gather Eloise Oxer, the narrator is from Victoria and to my NSW ears "sicayda" sounded so wrong!! So if you are not from Vic, be warned. No other info on how the other states pronounce the word. That said .... it was a good story and I definitely recommend it.
I have mixed feelings about this book. At times I felt so sorry for Brooke Shields in dealing with her alcoholic mother but at other times I just thought "Oh for goodness sake .... you are such a drama queen!! Get over yourself!!" I think the real story of how she felt about her mother only comes out towards the end of the book - it's a love/hate/love relationship and at times Brooke comes across as very self involved. I don't know .... I liked it, I didn't like it; I felt a sorry for her, she annoyed me. Like I said, mixed feelings. Much of what she wrote might have been better spoken of with a psychiatrist rather than the world.
I read on Diana Gabaldon's blog that she doesn't always know where a story will take her. This book if proof of that, I feel. For a long while it just didn't seem to be going anywhere. Too many story lines going at once which made piecing it all together and keeping track of who all the characters were in relation to each other a bit more difficult. Having said that, Claire and Jamie's story ... and that of their immediate family .... continues along a very satisfactory path and I was as easily caught up in their lives as with all the other books. Davina Porter's characterisations are as brilliant as always and a pleasure to listen to. I look forward to book number 9 and to seeing how much further the story of Claire and Jamie will go.
It's hard to review this book as the concept was one that I thought very good. I guess my issue is with the repetitiveness of some parts .... to a point where I wished someone would shoot her .... and with the melodramatic narration at times. However, I persevered and listened right to the end to see how it all turned out.
I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline of this book. Having just listened to Sapphire Skies, it was interesting to go back to what was the prequel, in a way. I did find, however, the narration a trifle melodramatic at times, although the accents were believable. I enjoyed the historical aspects of the novel. The musical underscoring of the author's notes and acknowledgements was, for me, too loud and distracting. An unnecessary addition. Still, all in all, a great "read".
In Sapphire Skies, Belinda Alexandra took me to world I knew almost nothing about - women aviators in Russia. The twists and turns of the story combined with the factual account of much of WWII made this an audio book I just could not stop listening to. I was so sad when it finished. I felt bereft .... like I had lost a friend .... so much did I care for the main characters in the book. Add to that modern day Moscow, the plight of unwanted animals and the brave people who try to save them and the book became two stories woven into one amazing tale. The absolute brilliance of Caroline Lee's performance in reading the book made the whole experience so real .... I really felt I was there with the characters. This is a book not to be missed. Loved It, loved it!!!!
So many books; so many theories about the assassination of President Kennedy but this one really makes sense. A blatant cover-up by the Secret Service to protect, not only one of their own but the country from the tragic results of that November day in 1963. This one was very convincing.
I read a review of this book which mentioned "verbal infelicities" - unsuitable expressions - and I could say that this term also applies to the narration by Gayle Hendrix. There were some very odd pronunciations of names and places. That said, the book itself provides a great insight into the life of Rose Kennedy and I found it incredibly interesting, especially her attitude towards her eldest daughter, Rosemary. She was a woman before her time who came into her own as the mother of three politicians. I thoroughly enjoyed this bio and have listened to it a couple of times. I definitely recommend it.
I really enjoyed this audio book. I always thought I had read the book years ago but realise that my knowledge of Rebecca comes simply from the movie - which I love. To hear the whole story as Daphne du Maurier wrote it was long overdue. The narration by Anna Massey was perfect - this classic story came to life.
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