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Sand

So...you're telling me I can pay people to read books to me whilst I do other things?

Tampa, FL, United States | Member Since 2014

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  • The Wife, the Maid, and the Mistress: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (12 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Ariel Lawhon
    • Narrated By Ann Marie Lee
    Overall
    (46)
    Performance
    (43)
    Story
    (44)

    They say behind every great man, there's a woman. In this case, there are three. Stella Crater, the judge's wife, is the picture of propriety draped in long pearls and the latest Chanel. Ritzi, a leggy showgirl with Broadway aspirations, thinks moonlighting in the judge's bed is the quickest way off the chorus line. Maria Simon, the dutiful maid, has the judge to thank for her husband's recent promotion to detective in the NYPD. Meanwhile, Crater is equally indebted to Tammany Hall leaders and the city's most notorious gangster, Owney "The Killer" Madden.

    Sand says: "Entertaining Listen for NYC History Fans"
    "Entertaining Listen for NYC History Fans"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Two caveats for anyone considering this audio book:

    1) If you don't have a particular interest in New York City history and/or the Jazz Age/Prohibition era, the story alone might not be enough to keep your interest. For me, much of the pleasure from this book was derived from the setting and the notorious cast of real-life characters.

    2) The story is told out of chronological sequence, so you'll need to pay attention to the month and day at the beginning of each chapter. (I wish I'd realized this from the start--it's easy to miss at first when listening instead of seeing the chapter headings in print.)

    Overall, Ariel Lawhon weaves a nice narrative and Ann Marie Lee does a masterful job of bringing the characters to life, especially Stella Crater and Sally Lou Ritz. (The transition from the cut-glass elegance of Stella to the street-smart showgirl of Sally is truly impressive!)
    The time-shifting narrative is a little hokey and clunky at times but on the whole I think it was effective in making the progression of the story more interesting.
    And Lawhon's final reveal, while highly improbable, is still satisfying enough for me to hope it's actually true!



    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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