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Marjorie

I enjoy literary fiction with character depth and psychological exploration. I am in my 50s, work in psychology, and love the outdoors.

Santa Rosa, CA, United States | Member Since 2010

72
HELPFUL VOTES
  • 52 reviews
  • 167 ratings
  • 425 titles in library
  • 60 purchased in 2014
FOLLOWING
19
FOLLOWERS
6

  • Until You're Mine: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (11 hrs and 7 mins)
    • By Samantha Hayes
    • Narrated By Clare Corbett
    Overall
    (44)
    Performance
    (42)
    Story
    (42)

    You're alone. You're vulnerable. And you have something that someone else wants. At any cost. Claudia Morgan-Brown finally has it all. Pregnant with a much-wanted first baby of her own, she has a happily established family of two small step-sons and a loving husband with a great career. But she is also committed to her full-time job as a social worker, and her husband travels often. So when Claudia hires Zoe to help her around the house in anticipation of the baby’s arrival, it seems like the answer to her prayers.

    tammy says: "Creepy"
    "Not Up to Par"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First of all, the same reader plays all parts and throughout the entire book, I could not tell which character's voice was talking which was quite confusing. This lack of clarity continued through much of the book. Secondly, the story was slow getting started and then gradually built to an interesting premise only to lose all credibility as it began to move towards the end. The storyline does keep moving, however, and keeps the reader guessing enough to encourage continued listening. This book had promise with its interesting and mysterious storyline, but it did not deliver overall. I need a storyline to have more credibiity than this one offered.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Big Little Lies

    • UNABRIDGED (16 hrs)
    • By Liane Moriarty
    • Narrated By Caroline Lee
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2531)
    Performance
    (2316)
    Story
    (2312)

    Pirriwee Public's annual school Trivia Night has ended in a shocking riot. One parent is dead. The school principal is horrified. As police investigate what appears to have been a tragic accident, signs begin to indicate that this devastating death might have been cold-blooded murder. In this thought-provoking novel, number-one New York Times best-selling author Liane Moriarty deftly explores the reality of parenting and playground politics, ex-husbands and ex-wives, and fractured families.

    Joanne M. McGowan says: "I didn't want to press the stop button!"
    "A Fun, Kind of Silly, Mystery; Enjoyable Enough"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    If you don't mind the heavy Australian accent, the narration of this novel is well done. I found that the longer I listened, the more I could overlook the heavy accent and enjoy the sing-song quality of the voices presented. The story is kind-of a fun suburban mystery involving several Australian families. This book could be in the "chick-lit" category because so many of the main characters are suburban, middle-aged women who are coping with children, husbands, jealousies and, then, a murder. The story held my interest and I do recommend it as a light, fun, and different kind of mystery novel.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Fingersmith

    • UNABRIDGED (23 hrs and 40 mins)
    • By Sarah Waters
    • Narrated By Juanita McMahon
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (459)
    Performance
    (386)
    Story
    (392)

    Orphaned as an infant, Susan Trinder was raised by Mrs. Sucksby, “mother” to a host of pickpockets and con artists. To pay her debt, she joins legendary thief Gentleman in swindling an innocent woman out of her inheritence. But the two women form an unanticipated bond and the events that follow will surprise every listener. Fingersmith was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and the Booker Prize, and was chosen as book of the year 2002 by more organizations than any other novel. Sarah Waters was named Author of the Year at the 2003 British Book Awards.

    shopper from Playa del Rey says: "The BEST BOOK I"ve read this year!"
    "Difficult To Enjoy for a Variety of Reasons"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    "Fingersmith" was the second book that I listened to by this author; the first book I listened to, I thoroughly enjoyed. This book was much to the contrary; in fact, it was one long disappointment. The narrator's voices were grating and uneven, almost unbearable. The story line did have a few surprises and was historically of some interest but it was too incredible and too long. I did finish the book partially because I kept waiting for it all to come together but the ending was not worth the wait. The characters were un savory people; none of whom had any redeeming qualities. Rather than growing to respect and understand the characters, I found myself disliking them more and more. I do not recommend this listen. This may be a book better to actually read on the page to spare yourself the terrible narration.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • The Paying Guests

    • UNABRIDGED (21 hrs and 28 mins)
    • By Sarah Waters
    • Narrated By Juliet Stevenson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (344)
    Performance
    (319)
    Story
    (316)

    It is 1922, and London is tense. Ex-servicemen are disillusioned; the out-of-work and the hungry are demanding change. And in South London, in a genteel Camberwell villa, a large silent house now bereft of brothers, husband, and even servants, life is about to be transformed, as impoverished widow Mrs. Wray and her spinster daughter, Frances, are obliged to take in lodgers.

    Cainaan says: "Stunning"
    "Stands Out Among Historical Novels"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    The Paying Guests was a thoroughly enjoyable listen/read on so many levels. The narration by Juliet Stevenson provides clarity, perfect intonation, even tones and precise pronunciation. The story was beautifully developed, drawing the reader in towards understanding the main characters and the choices they are faced with given the confines of the times in regard to culture, religion, and family expectations. Many issues were explored throughout the development of the story providing the reader with historical perspectives while at the same time moving through surprising twists and turns of plot lines. This was my first book written by Sarah Waters and I enjoyed it so much that I went on to read another novel by Ms. Waters, "Fingersmith"; a book which was in no way as enjoyable or interesting.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Edward Adrift

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Craig Lancaster
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (407)
    Performance
    (369)
    Story
    (369)

    That’s the flummoxed state of Edward Stanton, a 42-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome. His job, his therapist, and his best friends are all gone. Even his nightly ritual of watching Dragnet reruns has short-circuited. But a call from his friend Donna in Idaho, telling him that her son Kyle is in trouble, launches Edward from his rigidly scheduled existence in Billings, Montana, to the open road. He and Kyle, a sweet little boy turned sullen adolescent, debate football, music, and bodily functions (“Why do you pee so much?” Kyle asks).

    Madora says: "At first I was flummoxed...."
    "Edward Stretches Himself"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Edward Adrift is the second great book about the character, Edward. This book is best appreciated after reading the first Edward book (600 Hours of Edward). The two books could have been combined into Part I and then Part II, but having two books worked also. I just loved Edward's well-intentioned, honest, and rigid life. The reader is taken gently into the inner workings of Edward's thinking and routines; its fun and interesting to see life through his eyes. By the time that I had finished this book, I wished that I could have him over for coffee. He is quite hilarious and lovable while at the same time his character is absolutely believable. It's like he could live next door. In this book, he stretches past the boundaries of comfort and rigidity as he begins to make connections and feel a part of a circle of friendships. He also explores his parental relationships and begins to establish a stronger sense of self as he moves past his diagnoses and into a more complex life. Of course with more people in his life, all of his routines become compromised causing him much consternation and consideration. The considerations and conversations that he has with himself and others are genuinely human and are quite touching while at the same time are humorous and, sometimes, side-splitting hilarious. I laughed out loud several times while listening. I highly recommend this book if you are looking for a sweet, entertaining novel delving into the life of another quirky human...... maybe just like you or someone you know?

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  • 600 Hours of Edward

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Craig Lancaster
    • Narrated By Luke Daniels
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1021)
    Performance
    (938)
    Story
    (939)

    A 39-year-old with Asperger’s syndrome and obsessive-compulsive disorder, Edward Stanton lives alone on a rigid schedule in the Montana town where he grew up. His carefully constructed routine includes tracking his most common waking time (7:38 a.m.), refusing to start his therapy sessions even a minute before the appointed hour (10:00 a.m.), and watching one episode of the 1960s cop show Dragnet each night (10:00 p.m.). But when a single mother and her nine-year-old son move in across the street, Edward’s timetable comes undone....

    Lulu says: "A Very Good Book with a Very Difficult Hero"
    "Sweet Edward"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Finding the "Edward" books came at the perfect time for me. I needed to be entertained with an engaging story due to some recent difficult life events and this "Edward" was the perfect remedy. Edward is such a likable, straight forward, linear guy. Yes, he takes it all a bit too far but he tries so hard to do things right that it is hard not to grow fond of him and his blustering ways. I enjoyed how he learned from his therapist and was thinking about the lessons he learned from her as he went about his daily life. I enjoyed how he stretched himself just a little at a time. This book was refreshing, sweet and hopeful while at the same time interesting and entertaining. I just had to read the next "Edward" book after enjoying this one so much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • The Weight of Silence

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 41 mins)
    • By Heather Gudenkauf
    • Narrated By Jim Colby, Eliza Foss, Cassandra Morris, and others
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (708)
    Performance
    (569)
    Story
    (567)

    It happens quietly one August morning. As dawn's shimmering light drenches the humid Iowa air, two families awaken to find their little girls have gone missing in the night. Now these families are tied by the question of what happened to their children. And the answer is trapped in the silence of unspoken family secrets.

    Sara says: "A jewel"
    "If Only I Could, I Would Give it 3.8"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book comes ever so close to being four stars but just barely misses the mark. I did enjoy the listen all the way through except that Griff, the father of Calli, is an unlikeable, ignorant, mean man with zero redeeming qualities presented in his character. Thus, I could not stop feeling angst about why the wife and mother of his children (Antonia) could not break out of the cycle of violence. She was presented as a good mother who was intelligent, thoughtful and beautiful but she tolerated his abuse and failed to protect and understand her children. The story's credibility was compromised because of this but, then again, that is the oppression of silence. I found the premise of Calli's selective mutism to be credible. The disappearance of the girls was well developed and exciting. The author also created an interesting twist as she had the two families coping together with the disappearance of their daughters. The narration of this book was well done but, again, Griff is such a creep and sounds like such a creep, I couldn't get past it. If the author's intention is to make the reader hate Griff, she did a great job. Maybe you better read this book yourself and see what you think.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Presumed Innocent

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 33 mins)
    • By Scott Turow
    • Narrated By Edward Herrmann
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1188)
    Performance
    (634)
    Story
    (641)

    Presumed Innocent brings to life our worst nightmare: that of an ordinary citizen facing conviction for the most terrible of crimes. Prosecutor Rusty Sabich is transformed from accuser to accused when he is handed an explosive case - that of the brutal murder of a woman who happens to be his former lover.

    Glen says: "Excellent Book, Gripping Entertainment!"
    "It Does Keep You Wondering..."
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    First of all, I have to admit that I am not a big fan of a courtroom drama but I read many reviews of this book and do enjoy a mystery, so I gave it a listen. There were parts of this story that were exciting but overall it was frustrating, bogged down in minutia and disappointing. I found myself daydreaming while waiting for anything pertinent to take place. Maybe I just prefer a murder mystery where the focus is on solving the crime. This book overlooks solving the crime and, then, suddenly at the end, the murderer is revealed. I read one review that suggests that listening to Chapter 40 first (where the murderer is revealed) and then listening to the book helps the reader understand what is happening and I don't doubt that to be true. Also, I understand there is a movie of this book, so perhaps watching the movie first would help. Yet, I was left wondering why the author had the characters working on prosecuting a crime while no one was interested in solving the crime. The narrator is perfect. I enjoy the cadence and tone of his reading very much.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Girl in Translation

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Jean Kwok
    • Narrated By Grayce Wey
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (472)
    Performance
    (194)
    Story
    (192)

    When Kimberly Chang and her mother emigrate from Hong Kong to Brooklyn squalor, she quickly begins a secret double life: exceptional schoolgirl during the day, Chinatown sweatshop worker in the evenings. Disguising the more difficult truths of her life-like the staggering degree of her poverty, the weight of her family's future resting on her shoulders, or her secret love for a factory boy who shares none of her talent or ambition-Kimberly learns to constantly translate not just her language but herself back and forth between the worlds she straddles.

    Susan B. Johnson says: "This is a keeper"
    "Inspiring Story of Two Courageous Women"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    When I listened to the preview of this book, I worried that I would not enjoy the strong Chinese dialect of the reader as she portrays dialect of a Chinese American young woman but, as I listenened, I grew to love the sound and thoroughly enjoyed the Chinese dialect along with the interesting interpretations of American slang and Chinese slang. This was an inspiring story of the love between a mother and her daughter and the courage of these two Chinese immigrants to succeed. Through the experience of the young girl, Kim, the reader learns of the poverty and the hardships that face these immigrants. It was a fantastic story of courage, love, dedication, and the difficult challenges that face young women.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Bodies of Water

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 30 mins)
    • By T. Greenwood
    • Narrated By Coleen Marlo
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (35)
    Performance
    (35)
    Story
    (34)

    In 1960, Billie Valentine is a young housewife living in a sleepy Massachusetts suburb, treading water in a dull marriage and caring for two adopted daughters. Summers spent with the girls at their lakeside camp in Vermont are her one escape - from her husband's demands, from days consumed by household drudgery, and from the nagging suspicion that life was supposed to hold something different. Then a new family moves in across the street. Ted and Eva Wilson have three children and a fourth on the way, and their arrival reignites long-buried feelings in Billie.

    glamazon says: "Beautiful, tender, layered story"
    "Women's Issues of the 50s Explored"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I don't want to spoil this book for anyone so will write an oblique review without a spoiler. As a female reader interested in issues of psychology, society and storyline, I found it interesting in its exploration of the tragedy of the White middle-class "housewife" of the 50's in the United States; especially as it pertains to the many secrets and facades required in those times of strict role requirements for men and women. Many issues were explored and the characters were well developed. The book felt anti-climactic as it moved towards the end but, overall, this book was well written and engaging. The reader did a beautiful job with the voices and, in that sense, it was a pleasure to listen to.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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