One of the funniest books I've ever read! But it has some real lessons as well. One that I'll listen to again and again when I need a lift in spirit!
The story is very subtle and involved many side stories . The narration made the book's story accessible. A delightful listening experience.
Sometimes you just need something to laugh about and this book provided plenty of opportunities. I couldn't stop laughing just telling my husband about the book. I'll definitely keep this book handy when I need something to lift my spirits!
The narration for the older sister and the "wise women" or third party wasn't clear and was rather pendantic. The voice of the younger sister was excellent. The story is good only if you view it as a panorama of the island and not of individuals.
The story spanned so many years and there was really no connecting theme until the last few pages. It's shining feature is that it made me want to look up more about the actual Grimke sisters.
I couldn't tell if if it was the narration that sounded like someone reading a picture book to three-year-olds or a story that was rampant with stereotypes of women that irritated me the most. She obviously tried to explain the contribution of women in WWII, but the stereotypes and one dimensional views of women, especially the Southern ones, was a disgrace. There was a real story in a woman trying to survive a narcissistic woman, but there was no real exploration of the damage and recovery and it was treated as humorous, which is disrespectful. I did appreciate the few insights that Sookie had about her mother.
Overall I thought the story was messy.
Without giving away spoiler, which you will discover in the first few pages, I liked the instrument she used to move back and forth between story lines. Yes the story is a little heavy on romance and all too predictable, with the men being something out of a yard sale romance novel. However, the story itself moved along quickly enough that this was not a serious drawback.
The narrator was absolutely a dream to listen to and I wouldn't mind hearing more of her. There were lots of different accents to handle, Scottish, Russian, Irish, British, American- and they may not have all been "strictly authentic, ( I am not an expert) but her ability to move quickly between them was amazing as well as her ability to handle both men's and women's dialog.
Perhaps I just don't like this writing style, but it was so inane I just couldn't go past one hour.
Listening to this was like hearing every frame of a long movie, in excruciating detail described along with totally irrelevant conversations. The conversations of a group of travelers in front of him getting off the plane, the menu in a coffee house, the details of an airline ticket. And on top of it the narratormakes every five words into a melodramatic, mystery thriller cadence for 32 hours. And his voice for every female character made me cringe. The basic story was interesting, but could have been written in two thirds the words.It was as though every scene was described in two or three ways because the writer couldn't choose which one to use.
Aside from that, I found the character unsympathetic, though I really wanted to care for him, given the hard luck he had.
I really struggled to finish this.
It was very hard to follow this book because it jumped from one story to another in the space of a sentence. I had to back up and listen again often. I really didn't enjoy the various stories, it was almost like a collection of short stories, sort of like a Cloud Atlas but not as epic.
I usually enjoy accented narration as a way to relate to a different culture but these were two heavy and often hard to comprehend.
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