Oh Dear! I had waited with such baited breath and nearly had the vapors waiting for this book. (Did you pick up on the Southern vernacular there?) I wanted to slap this Southern Belle so hard! And then I wanted to shake the author as she was reading her final remarks - really hard. This story had so many fascinating threads with amazing possibilities and Monk Kidd trivialized things into a Hallmark aisle of greeting card inspirations. When I heard in the epilogue what this author's overall intent was, I knew she had missed the mark. The main character and her sister are overshadowed by the mother and daughter characters - but the former are are so lovely, strong, and memorable. Adepero Oduve's narration as Hetty is the only thing that kept me listening. The 4 star rating for performance I gave is primarily for Oduve. I'm guessing that Lamia did as best she could with the material.
I loved the story of Hetty and her mother but I kept wanting more depth to these women and the plots. I couldn't stop thinking 'there must be more to these women.' Stop throwing inspirational poster lines at me, Kidd! The historical information regarding these sisters (notice I'm not a spoiler) has caused me to stop and reexamine my thoughts and commitments on a number of fronts, and I greatly appreciate gaining that from a book. But nothing grabbed me into Sarah's being. I've heard her story so many times before - I just wanted to get rid of her! I'm wondering if I've heard too much Jenna Lamia. Her saccharine Southern voice became very very annoying and I wanted to give up on this book a number of times through the entire first half. I'm a speech therapist, so I do know her presentation of stuttering was spot on. But I was disappointed to find that it was the only way in which Kidd could give Sarah "depth." Her conflict and growth were explored via so much Southern female drawling suffering, please stop! I'm wondering if I'd like this book more if it wasn't Lamia - again.
Monk-Kidd has stated that she grew up in the South in the 60's and feels her work is a reflection of her social responsibility to readdress slavery and civil rights. I know others who grew in that place and time and have that same mission. Monk-Kidd achieved that goal with this book; she portrays so much ignorance along with the nobility of those under oppression. I did wonder though if this magnolia scented level of ignorance was truly representative of the time. I will recommend this book to a few friends. I think this will be a fine Oprah Productions movie but it isn't the fine literature I hoped for.
This is a hidden gem. Another story of a woman seeking to know her mother and being able to forgive her shortcomings, this one is told from multiple generations and perspectives - all so relevant to the plot and main characters developments. The range of characters are endearing, enraging, and so memorable. I found this book to be a perfect summer read. The author created such a vivid place and mood that I slipped into the Mississippi delta and did not want to return home. I will be thinking about this book for some time to come, returning to it at times, and most definitely passing it on to all of my friends.
This is the worst audiobook I've ever purchased. In a moment of utter folly I thought I needed a romance novel. What I got was long hours with Marge Simpson's smoking sisters. First, I thought this was a grown up Nancy Drew mystery; friend Georgie was sounding fun. But then the sexy love interest came on scene, sounding like Patty or Selma. Through 6 grueling chapters the female narrator's low pitched croaky drone portraying the central male character (supposedly too hot and sexy to resist) dragged on. I haven't finished the book and never intend to. I don't recall the main character's name, the male lead's, do not recall what crime was committed here... oh wait, yes I do , that was the choice of narrator. A voice as distracting as nails on a chalkboard. Do not put The Collector in you collection.
As World War II came to a close a variety of groups had plans and strategies for the ensuing months. While we all know how the war ended, the details of these days and story of these players gave me a greater appreciation for their commitments to country and courage. If you enjoy history of this period and haven't read much of the final months specific to the liberation of Paris, I think you will find this book fascinating. This was a fast paced story (as was the march to Paris). The book sets a tone and is so fully detailed that it does seem to place the reader in the midst of these days. Information presented about the Nazi general in Paris and his thoughts about his role were very surprising and gave me new insight. The narration is very good, much as you would expect from a good documentary. Vive le France!
If you dream of loin cloths, spears, six pack abs, campfires, glistening muscles,Scottish brogues, and find that kind of literature thrilling, I guess this book is for you. I couldn't stand it after about four chapters, haven't finished it, and don't intend to ever. This type of escape could be perfect for some. It seemed to convey some accurate historical information, but the needy confused female main character who panted after the muscles who saved her in the midst of it, turned me off. I just wanted her to leave. Of course she couldn't, so I did. Perhaps this is a lusty fantasy novel perfect for some. I haven't had a day yet that I'd want to spend with this entire book.
There are no words. Sad, horrible, despicable come to mind over and over. And then courage, honor, strength. I think this should be on a required reading list for US (white) citizens.
I just love this story. It's certainly not for everyone but it wrapped up my heart. A young girl suffers the loss of her mother to mental illness and struggles to understand something that can't be understood. She is saved by a wise aunt and the circle of women who come into her life. Ceecee and Aunt Tuttie are endearing characters. Not deep, sweet, and just a warm resilient look at how life goes sometimes.
Even though the beginning events and character exposition were told so well, I was having trouble getting through the first part of this novel. But then I decided to give it a second try... And here's another pat on my back for me. This is such a unique and multi-layered story that I will be listening to it again and again. There are many aspects of the book I absolutely love, a few minor dislikes, but it's irreverent commentary on modern life is wonderful. The main characters (primarily male) are so endearing, diverse, and representative of the spirits we can encounter on life's journey. The plot takes unexpected twists that made me stop to admire this author's talent. Pratt tells this story through the voice of a teenage boy/young man and I believe that is her stroke of genius.The Goldfinch is one of my top 10 or 5 audible purchases. This is one of those books I would never want to see as a movie; I just want to know these characters and this story as I imagine it.
I cried. And I actually found myself shouting out loud. That's how compelling this book is. All of the other reviewers have eloquently reported what an astounding book this is and the 5 star ratings are absolutely deserved. (If only we could give 6.) This author and the narrator are new revelations to me. What a gift. Do not pass up this book.
This book , which is based on authentic documents, diaries, and accounts of World War II, is the retelling of events that are not widely known. It is the story of a group of women and their survival through commitment to cause and their loyalty to one another. The historical sources used to recount the stories are dense, so this is not light reading. The women's confinement at Buckenwald Prison is recounted in excruciating detail, so much so that I skipped through a chapter or two. The ways in which their traumas affected their lives after the war were poignantly presented also. The voices of these heroic women will be with me for the rest of my life.
The narrator did a fine job with this historical material, but still sensitively conveyed the emotions found in diary entries. The story was well told.
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