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Kristin

Derry, NH, USA

19
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 3 reviews
  • 40 ratings
  • 104 titles in library
  • 0 purchased in 2015
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  • The Sugar Camp Quilt

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Jennifer Chiaverini
    • Narrated By Christina Moore
    Overall
    (163)
    Performance
    (84)
    Story
    (85)

    Jennifer Chiaverini's New York Times best-selling Elm Creek Quilt novels, with their irresistible blend of storytelling magic and quilting lore, have captured the hearts of countless fans. In this moving novel about morality, freedom, and the power of human courage, Chiaverini whisks listeners back to antebellum America.

    Kristin says: "A Story with Too Much"
    "A Story with Too Much"
    Overall

    I enjoyed this story very much. This was the first Jennifer Chiaverini Quilt book that I've ever listened to or read, and probably will not be my last. The characters were well formed, the plot moved along nicely, and I learned a lot about life as an abolitionist. The only problem I have with this fine tale is that the author blatantly copys or borrows the entire love story directly from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, my favorite novel of all time. I understand all about allusion, and this was not an example of that at all. In The Bridget Jones Diaries, Helen Fielding playfully references Pride and Prejudice several times, but always in an obvious and tongue in cheek way. Alluding to a great work of literature in this manner is great. Jennifer Chiaverini, however, has her characters, Dorothea Granger and Thomas Nielson speaking lines practically verbatim that Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth Bennett said years ago. I didn't like this at all. Surely a capable author such as this could have created a more clever and less cliched romantic element to this otherwise enjoyable story.

    10 of 12 people found this review helpful
  • Falling Angels

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 44 mins)
    • By Tracy Chevalier
    • Narrated By Anne Twomey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (108)
    Performance
    (21)
    Story
    (21)

    An elegant, original, and compelling novel, set against a gaslit backdrop of social and political turbulence in early 20th-century London, Falling Angels draws a picture of family life that exposes the prejudices and flaws of a changing time. Chevalier (Girl with a Pearl Earring) "shows imaginative skill in two neatly accomplished surprises, and the denouement packs an emotional wallop," says Publishers Weekly.

    KathieB says: "Haunting Historical"
    "Not her best effort..."
    Overall

    The main word that kept coming to mind while listening to this book was "weak". The characters are flat and one dimensional, and Chevalier cannot seem to decide which topics to focus on. The end of the oppressive Victorian Era, class distinctions at the turn of the century, The suffragette Movement, A girl's coming of age, infidelity - and sexual depravity were all included here. Sadly by attempting to tackle so much she ends up covering none of them well.
    This story just ends up shallow, dull and with a plot that disolves rather than concludes.
    Bottom line, this is simply not Tracy Chevalier's best work.
    Audible side note: why the narrator chosen for this story opted to read it with an American accent is a mystery to me. The entire story and its characters takes place in England, but it may as well have been Columbus. I found this to be very disappointing.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Topper

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 23 mins)
    • By Thorne Smith
    • Narrated By Barrett Whitener
    Overall
    (125)
    Performance
    (99)
    Story
    (100)

    Topper is a hilarious, ribald comedy about a mild-mannered bank manager and two capricious ghosts, George and Marion Kerby, who make it their mission to rescue Topper from the drab "summer of suburban Sundays" that is his life.

    Gary says: "Delighful ride in a haunted car"
    "S-L-O-W Ride with Mr.Topper"
    Overall

    I really wish I'd read the book description more thoroughly...I didn't notice this was written in the twenties, and that may account for its being a slower-paced story. But then, The Great Gatsby wasn't slow at all, so who knows. I realize the author may have been demonstrating the dull pace of life by which Topper lived, but even when things got "rolling" with THe Kurby's this book continued to bore me to tears. The plot was silly, ridiculous and absurd...but not in a way that was funny, more in a way that was tedious and dull (did I mention DULL yet?) Sorry if this seems harsh, but it's the way I heard it.

    6 of 12 people found this review helpful

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