Magnificent love story.
Not possible to choose between Christian and Maddy. I love them both. Even more than I loved them before.
I've "just" read the book many times, and have always loved it. But it was never my favorite, as it so many people's favorite Kinsale, partly because in print, Maddy's piety and Quaker plain talk is a little off-putting, and Christian's aphasic speech at times made me yearn for her more eloquent heroes.
Nicholas Boulton brings both these characters to life with such mastery that I can't think of words to describe his performance that don't sound gushingly hyperbolic. You can feel Christian's desperate frustration in his inability to speak, and later, as he gets better, the subtleties of meaning and emotion that he conveys with just a word or simple phrase. This was all already there in the story, of course, but to hear it performed so well when it could so easily have gone badly wrong is purely delightful.
His voice for Maddy is equally well done. Her simple goodness comes through without ever being annoying. Her Opening, the war between the faith that is at the root of her and the love that she feels for her magnificent and tortured husband - I don't have a lot of patience with that sort of conflict usually, but in this book and this performance she had my every sympathy.
I was a little worried about the "Say Stop" scene. I didn't need to be. I often have to skip forward when sex scenes are read, not out of prudishness (I hope) but because I get embarrassed when I think about an actor in a studio reading the lines aloud to the possible guffaws of the people recording him or her. I listened to every scene of this book without ever realizing the narrator was there, if that makes any sense. Her story and his voice together are magic.
No. Couldn't do it - this is a book to be savored, not gulped.
Thank you, Laura Kinsale and Nicholas Boulton, for this treasure of an audiobook. I will listen to it again and again.
I was drawn in from the first by the wonderful opening correspondence, delivered beautifully by the inimitable Mr. Boulton.
I loved the scenes in the prison barge, when Robert really starts to shine.
I think I have to give this one to Folie. Robert is great, but I loved Folie - I wanted her to be my stepmother or best friend.
Robert talking to the landlady at the High Flier over mulligatawny stew. Folie remembering how difficult her early relationship with Melinda was and realizing how to proceed with Robert. Listened to both those parts with tears in my eyes.
This is a wonderful book, with a more in-depth and complex plot than I remembered from having read it before. Well worth anyone's time.
No. Roy Dotrice's narration is sometimes brilliant, but often phlegmy and annoying. Is it really necessary to audibly suck your teeth repeatedly just because a character is described as doing that? Or to narrate lines of dialogue attribution in the voice of the character speaking? And please decide whether you're going to pronounce it "Joffrey" or "Jeffrey" and then BE CONSISTENT.
All that said, the story does take over. I've just heard so many excellent readers that it's disappointing to have one who's not.
Hmm - The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon. Epic, cast of hundreds fantasy novels.
Could be better.
Arya at (spoiler alert!)
her father's execution.
Give this a try, even with the imperfect narration. You only notice the annoying parts because in general the reader is pretty good. And the story is great.
Not better, because I've loved this book ever since it came out, but this audio performance is perfect. It does justice to this remarkable book.
Flowers From the Storm, For My Lady's Heart, Shadowheart, My Sweet Folly, Seize the Fire , The Shadow and the Star . . . nobody does historical romance like Laura Kinsale.
Everything. This was a perfect performance. Nicholas Boulton has a marvelous voice and characterizes both male and female voices perfectly, without ever resorting to falsetto. He does various accents without ever sounding false or bufoonish (except when they are meant to sound false, as in Leigh's first meeting with S.T. in France.) He moves fluidly beween different characterizations, so that you always know who is speaking. And certain scenes . . . I caution listeners to beware of listening while driving, because you could end up going miles out of your way without knowing it. The epilogue might cause you to have an accident.
Young ST and the pigeon, and all of Chapter 27. "When will I ever be Sunshine again."
This evening I sat parked in front of my house for two hours, listening to the end of this marvelous book, becaue I didn't want to pause it long enough to go inside and greet my family. This even though I've read it half a dozen times and already knew what was going to happen.
I'm so excited that all of Laura Kinsale's books are going to become available in audio versions, and I'm thrilled that she has found such a prodigious talent to narrate them.
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