I just finished listening to this book – twice. I was very impressed at how I was transported to this town in ‘anywhere’ where a loved one has mysteriously disappeared for 20 years and mysteriously returned - and this family’s story of loss, regret, and love.
I don’t think John Lee was the best narrator selection for this book; it could have been so much better without his histrionic tones – I completely felt like I was listening to “Pillars of the Earth” or any other Ken Follet novel, at the beginning – eventually I was absorbed enough to get over it.
The family and ‘past’ love was at the heart of this story and so completely felt and expressed that it is difficult for me to convey. Tara Martin’s parents and brother’s horror, dismay, then acceptance of her probable death; her lover’s horrific treatment by the police and complete acceptance of responsibility and life altering despair of what may have happened to her - were the theme of their existence before Tara’s return.
I was not expecting the explanation of her disappearance for 20 years – it didn’t take long to start in the novel. Her explanation is hard to take as reality for the family and loved ones, but hard to discount – for reasons I won’t say. Her return to the family and past love is so real; the important people that need to believe just want something they CAN believe, and the one who does not matter believes her and gives her a path forward.
It is some kind of fairy tale – a very different one than I have ever understood. It was interesting - at the beginning of nearly every chapter there were quotes from famous historical authors/people about fairy tales. Some put a bit of perspective, some I will have to listen again to see. Then there were the psychologist’s point of view which I found bothering, humorous, and disturbing.
I highly recommend this book. This is a fantastic work of literary fiction. It is worth the listen on so many levels. It is not depressing, it is somewhat uplifting – if there were just one more chapter it would have made me feel better, but that is not always the goal.
Worth the credit and I will listen again.
I was so dismayed to hear the narrator for Jamie to give him a lisped high pitched voice. The background (sort of) of gay men was uncomfortable. The story was somewhat confusing. I really had a hard time getting into it, and honestly never did. The story provided a distraction from my rather raucous thoughts. I didn't like this book and plan to return it.
Dr. Siri Paiboun is an entertaining character. I hope I can be half as openly and politely cynical as he is at 72. He has a great cast of characters that are parallel to the mysteries if not in front. I have no idea what life was like in Laos in the '70s but I'm taking the accounts as somewhat accurate.
This is an entertaining tale, with good mysteries. I will be listening to other books from this collection.
The only thing I can complain about is the names of the characters. There were quite a few with unfamiliar names, but good thing there is rewind.
I purchased and listened to this years ago, and I have gone back to it several times. I scored it, but never wrote a review.
It is just one of those kinds of listens. Caroline Lee is just wonderful but even a lesser narrator could not ruin this plot. It is complex but not complicated. Emotions from this book is very memorable. I love most of Kate Morton's books, but this one and "The Secret Keeper" are my favorites. Her others and memorable and at least 4 stars each.
I don't know if this review is of any help to anyone except to say that you will not be disappointed. A worthy listen over and over again. It is nice to revisit old, well loved titles.
It's okay. It definitely isn't Her Royal Spyness series. At least I don't think so; I'm not going to listen to any more.
This installment has A LOT of characters, at times I had a hard time keeping up. The mystery was bizarre and I still am having a hard time figuring out what happened, or more likely why. The mystery aside, I enjoyed getting to know the main characters better, and the side stories were fun - birthday dinner at his sister's house was very funny, his bread and butter cases were good too. The author's style (I know who it is...) is very descriptive without being to wordy.
I'm not sure I like the narrator. I liked him more in Cuckoo than in this book. Don't hate him either.
I will read the next book if there is one. Worth listening to again.
This is a sad but triumphant story about a sad state of affairs all over the world. Little children from desperately poor families selling their daughters and sons into slavery. Maybe they were deceived, maybe they knew full well what was going to happen to their offspring. The end was hopeful but I would have liked a few paragraphs on what happened.
The author was kindly vague about the sex, but sex is the purpose of this practice so it had to be there.
Credit worthy, though the price was perfect.
I wanted very much to like/love this book. I didn't, I may return it for my credit though I cannot get my time back. I kept turning it off but after all the great reviews I thought it might ends up better - what was I missing? switching it back on. I never gave up but should have.
It has a great story idea. The opening, particularly once they got to the museum, is very well done. Most of the rest of the book I found incredible repetitive and overwritten. The author uses seven descriptive terms rather than choosing the best. The protagonist often walks around dazed, confused, blasted out of his mind, stoned out of his mind, and did I mention dazed and confused? It is hard to believe that someone this drug- and alcohol-addicted could make it to the age of 27 or 30 able to function in his job and without the people around him noticing. I wanted to send him to rehab.
There is some good in the book, certainly. Boris is a great character and David Pittu does such a good job with him.
I feel the book is at least half again as long as it should have been. How many detailed and exhaustive scenes of teenage boys getting blasted, stoned and drunk do we need to convey this part of the narrator's life? It just goes on and on. I wondered if I needed rehab after listening to this.
Some reviewers referred to the author rehashing old story lines, but I found it somewhat helpful since the series started - how many years ago? The 'soft porn' that is also frequently referred to was pretty annoying - filler I agree. I have not heard any of the Lord John books outside of this series so it was nice to hear and learn more about him and his side of the family. I liked getting to know William better - but - as another reviewer put it - he really needs to grow up - then he is just gone. The end was exciting though a good deal of that was filler too - obviously not the last book in the series. Three of the story lines just ended so I found that very frustrating.
Of course I will listen to the next book but I sure hope Diana ties it in a bow and calls it done. I can always go back and revisit my old friends.
This was more of a bio of Michael Hess than about his birth mother and her search for him. I felt deceived.
First - the narrator is horrible. Second, I don't mind some hot consensual romance and but abuse is over the top. I won't be downloading the rest of this book, nor any of the others.
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