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Sara

I love reading reviews. No plot spoilers please. These are not book reports!

ratings
140
REVIEWS
116
FOLLOWING
1
FOLLOWERS
25
HELPFUL VOTES
1029

  • The Lost Wife: A Novel

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 5 mins)
    • By Alyson Richman
    • Narrated By George Guidall, Suzanne Toren
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1439)
    Performance
    (1282)
    Story
    (1287)

    In pre-war Prague, the dreams of two young lovers are shattered when they are separated by the Nazi invasion. Then, decades later, thousands of miles away in New York, there's an inescapable glance of recognition between two strangers. Providence is giving Lenka and Josef one more chance. From the glamorous ease of life in Prague before the Occupation, to the horrors of Nazi Europe, The Lost Wife explores the power of first love, the resilience of the human spirit, and the strength of memory.

    Sara says: "Love, Strength & Survival"
    "Love, Strength & Survival"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    Any additional comments?

    This book is a beautifully written story of love and strength. The book spans 80 years in the lives of several families that intersect, separate and then join again over time. It is based on the lives of real people and speaks of deep familial love and struggles for survival in WWII Prague. The narrators each gave perfect voice to the characters they portrayed. At first I was concerned about the two alternating readers-- but it quickly made sense and added depth to the telling of the story. While the book speaks of desolation and destruction it also presents beauty, art, deep love and courage. A really wonderful recommended listen.

    22 of 23 people found this review helpful
  • The Corpse with the Silver Tongue: A Cait Morgan Mystery, Book 1

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 1 min)
    • By Cathy Ace
    • Narrated By Cathy Ace
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (7)
    Story
    (6)

    In the south of France, where hatred simmers in the heat, a man seemingly admired, and certainly feared, drops dead at a dinner party. All of the guests fall under suspicion, including Welsh-Canadian professor Cait Morgan. A criminologist who specializes in profiling victims, Cait sets out to solve the murder - and clear her name. Add to this the disappearance of an ancient Celtic gold collar said to be cursed and there you have the ingredients for a Nicoise salad of death, secrets, and lies.

    Sara says: "First Book in a New Mystery Series"
    "First Book in a New Mystery Series"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was read by the author. Usually I am very wary of authors reading their own books. In this case, Cathy Ace did a good job getting all the sarcasm and nuisances of her writing out there perfectly.

    To me this was a slightly shaky first book in a series. The best parts of the book are when the author is dealing with areas she knows well--Wales and Vancouver--places she is living or has lived. The trouble for me was that this is a destination mystery set in Nice, France. I know Nice very well and the "foodies" view of Nice misses the mark. The story could have been set anywhere--the place value of the setting was lost on me. I kept saying no no the character wouldn't have eaten there...they wouldn't have missed this or that. If you don't care about actualities and realities of Nice and the French Riviera then the book is entertaining.

    Be forewarned --there is a great deal of talk about eating and food in the story. The character is always hungry. She also has the attitude of "if you don't have anything good to say about anyone come sit by to me"--this can be funny but also can be very taxing after awhile. All these quibbles aside I think the series has great potential
    and I plan on listening to the next book.

    3 of 3 people found this review helpful
  • Summer World: A Season of Bounty

    • UNABRIDGED (8 hrs and 11 mins)
    • By Bernd Heinrich
    • Narrated By Mel Foster
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (21)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (13)

    As the snow melts and the spring approaches, the animal kingdom awakens. In Summer World, Bernd Heinrich, the best-selling author of Winter World, brings us an up-close and personal view of that awakening and rebirth.

    Sara says: "The Amazing World Revealed All Around You"
    "The Amazing World Revealed All Around You"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Bernd Heinrich is a fascinating and gifted writer. More than this he is a keen observer, scientist and an educator able to instill awe and wonder in others. I love all his books and find myself returning to reread Summer World often in the early spring. It reminds me to slow down and reopen my eyes to the miracle of the seasons happening right under my nose. Often without this type of reminder life hurries by unnoticed.

    Highly recommended listening for nature lovers or people interested in learning about nature and connecting with the natural world. I also recommend Heinrich's memoir, The Snoring Bird, which is fantastic and my favorite of his books. Not yet available here on Audible--but hopefully soon.



    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Call the Nurse: True Stories of a Country Nurse in Scotland's Western Isles

    • UNABRIDGED (10 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Mary J. MacLeod
    • Narrated By Gwen Hughes
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (19)
    Performance
    (16)
    Story
    (17)

    Tired of the pace and noise of life near London and longing for a better place to raise their young children, Mary J. MacLeod and her husband, George, encountered their dream while vacationing on a remote island in the Scottish Hebrides. Enthralled by its windswept beauty, they soon were the proud and startled owners of a near-derelict croft house - a farmer’s stone cottage - on “a small acre” of land. Mary assumed duties as the island’s district nurse.

    Sara says: "A 1970's Visiting Nurse on Rural Scottish Island"
    "A 1970's Visiting Nurse on Rural Scottish Island"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is a fun, engaging, and often poignant story of a family that moves to a remote Scottish island, renovates a croft and sets out to live a much simpler life. The stories center on quirky island folk and old traditions. This hardy nurse sees it all. Rising to every occasion with tremendous aplomb.

    However, the narration was an issue for me. The accents were off and varied with a great deal of inconsistency. What was worse was the slow speaking mode the narrator used. I remedied the problem by, for the first time ever, increasing my play back speed. I found that 1.25 speed was perfect and made the reader sound almost normal. I did not want to give up on the story-- so this was a quick fix that made the book tolerable.

    Narration aside it was a good story and worth the effort. If you enjoyed Call the Midwife, the Irish country Doctor series or even the James Herriot books you might enjoy this visit to the Outer Hebrides.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • All Creatures Great and Small

    • UNABRIDGED (15 hrs and 45 mins)
    • By James Herriot
    • Narrated By Christopher Timothy
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (1120)
    Performance
    (502)
    Story
    (513)

    In this first volume of his memoirs, then-newly-qualified vet James Herriot arrives in the small Yorkshire village of Darrowby, and he has no idea what to expect. How will he get on with his new boss? The local farmers? And what will the animals think? This program is filled with hilarious and touching tales of the unpredictable Siegfried Farnon, his charming student brother Tristan, and Herriot's first encounters with a beautiful girl named Helen.

    Johnnie Walker says: "Comfort Listening"
    "A Wonderful Listen--Stories That Never Get Old"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I have to be honest--I'm a biased reviewer. I love this book. I have read the whole series years ago in print and watched the TV program as well with great pleasure. I have even seen the actual vet surgery on a visit to the Yorkshire area. So I was thrilled to have the recorded book in my library too.

    These are low stress, positive stories that brim with joy and silly escapades. What I call a comfortable listen. Especially good when the stress of modern life is too much and you need to escape to another time. To me they never get tired or old hat. Always good for a laugh. Highly recommended listening!

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Outlander

    • UNABRIDGED (33 hrs and 8 mins)
    • By Diana Gabaldon
    • Narrated By Davina Porter
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (16414)
    Performance
    (10687)
    Story
    (10569)

    Why we think it’s a great listen: An all-time Audible favorite that mixes historic fiction, adventure, and romance with one of the most fascinating literary devices: time travel. Outlander introduces an exhilarating world of heroism and breathtaking thrills as one woman is torn between past and present, passion and love. In 1945, former combat nurse Claire Randall returns from World War II and joins her husband for a second honeymoon. But their blissful reunion is shattered....

    Lulu says: "The Reason for the Existence of Audio Books"
    "The Time Travel VS Romance Quandary"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I downloaded this book years and years ago and settled down to a 30+ hour listen. Based on many raving reviews I thought the book was a time travel tale of beloved fiction. There was so much about the book that I knew I would enjoy. The time travel, the Scottish highlands, medicinal herbs, life hundreds of years ago, gardening...the list goes on.

    However, I have to state up front I hate romance novels. At the half way point I had the sudden realization--I know I'm quick-- that this book was a dreaded romance novel. I was horrified and had heard enough of what Jamie wore or didn't wear under his kilt to last me forever. The heaving bodices were weighing me down as well. This was before Audible allowed returns of hated books. So I shelved the book with a shudder, gave up, and it sat there in my library untouched for years.

    Fast forward to last month when the Outlander cable program started and I watched just to see what it was like. Well--to my shock--it is wonderful. The filming, the setting, the costumes--all fantastic. So I'm listening again with renewed interest. I cringe a bit every now and then to be honest. But I am enjoying the book at long last. I can see what those positive reviewers were about. Living proof that if you don't like a book give it time. You might like it after all.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  • Don't Lick the Minivan: And Other Things I Never Thought I'd Say to My Kids

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 17 mins)
    • By Leanne Shirtliffe
    • Narrated By Trudie Kessler
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (15)
    Performance
    (15)
    Story
    (15)

    As a woman used to traveling and living the high life in Bangkok, Leanne Shirtliffe recognized the constant fodder for humor while pregnant with twins in Asia's sin city. But in spite of deep-fried bug cuisine and nurses who cover newborn bassinets with plastic wrap, Shirtliffe manages to keep her babies alive for a year with help from a Coca-Cola deliveryman, several waitresses, and a bra factory. Then she and her husband return home to the isolation of North American suburbia.

    Sara says: "I Guess You Had to Be There?"
    "I Guess You Had to Be There?"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    Humor is an odd thing. I know from the other reviews I read that many people found this to be hysterically funny. I was really looking forward to a light-hearted upbeat listen. The problem was that I just didn't think it was funny at all. It all sounded forced. To my ear the narration was halting and strained. I would seriously suggest you listen to the audio sample carefully before download. Can't recommend.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Victorian Secrets: What a Corset Taught Me about the Past, the Present, and Myself

    • UNABRIDGED (7 hrs and 52 mins)
    • By Sarah A. Chrisman
    • Narrated By Kristin Kalbli
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (12)
    Performance
    (12)
    Story
    (12)

    On Sarah A. Chrisman's 29th birthday, her husband, Gabriel, presented her with a corset. The material and the design were breathtakingly beautiful, but her mind immediately filled with unwelcome views. Although she had been in love with the Victorian era all her life, she had specifically asked her husband not to buy her a corset - ever. She'd heard how corsets affected the female body and what they represented, and she wanted none of it.

    Sara says: "Exploration of Vanity"
    "Exploration of Vanity"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    I tried this book as an interesting diversion into the world of historic dress which has become a growing phenomenon. Blogs about historic clothing construction, dress-up dances, parties and conferences are on the rise these days. These discussions and events deal with the smallest details needed to recreate historic garb. This book was well written and nicely narrated.

    The problem lies in the fact that the author may have exposed too much of the inner workings of her thoughts, marriage and life to the reader. The extremes the author was willing to take in order to wear antique garments, shoes and reproductions and appear beautiful was surprising. The quickness and harshness of her judgements of other people encountered day to day was painful. The idea that she "knew" what others were thinking about her and their motives became a window into a deeper issue all together. For me it was just too much raw information and vanity exposed and in the end felt embarrassing.

    If you like loads of intimate personal detail, and an uncensored, often unkind stream of thoughts retold you might enjoy this listen. To me, pretty is as pretty does.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • The Sky Took Him

    • UNABRIDGED (9 hrs and 24 mins)
    • By Donis Casey
    • Narrated By Pam Ward
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (8)
    Performance
    (4)
    Story
    (4)

    It's a sad duty that brings Alafair Tucker and her two daughters to Enid, Oklahoma, in the fall of 1915. Her sister Ruth Anne's husband, Lester, is not long for this world, and the family is gathering to send him to his reward. But her niece's irresponsible husband, Kenneth, has disappeared at a most inconvenient time.

    Sara says: "Trouble in Enid, Oklahoma September 1915"
    "Trouble in Enid, Oklahoma September 1915"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This is the fourth book in the cozy Oklahoma mystery series set in the early 1900's of prairie America. The author captures the feeling of homey, down to earth life through sensible unflappable main character Alafair Tucker. The story telling sets the stage nicely and transports the listener back to another time in American history. Life is surely slower in 1915 and this book tends to plod a bit. That said, I still enjoyed the story, Alafair's detecting, and the fun collection of recipes at the end of the book. Pam Ward's narration was as spot on as it always is bringing Alafair to life. A pleasant listening experience.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • For a Modest Fee

    • UNABRIDGED (6 hrs and 35 mins)
    • By Freda Jackson
    • Narrated By Freda Jackson
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (2)
    Performance
    (2)
    Story
    (2)

    Trained as a nurse and midwife, Elizabeth Evans never wanted to help set up the fledgling town of Aspen Coulee, Alberta, but travels there with her father when he agrees to become the town doctor. Housekeeper at the Evans house, Ann Montgomery hoped to keep all her San Francisco secrets locked in her ancient wedding chest. It is 1907, and the Canadian Pacific Railway is driving the engine of the west.

    Sara says: "Don't Let The Narration Make You Miss This Wonder"
    "Don't Let The Narration Make You Miss This Wonder"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This story of strong unwavering women in the wild prairie of 1907 Alberta, Canada is wonderful. I am so glad that I listened!

    The only flaw was the decision to have the author narrate the book. This was a mistake. Her voice is difficult listening at first--but gradually I grew use to it. Other reviewers have complained about it. But, I am so glad I didn't listen to them and stuck with the book because the story is a true winner.

    Brimming with harsh realities, unending strength and endearing hope this book allows the beauty of the prairie to shine through. It captures frontier life in Canada perfectly. The writing is completely engaging and had me hanging on every word. Definitely worth the effort. Not to be missed!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • War Brides

    • UNABRIDGED (13 hrs and 36 mins)
    • By Helen Bryan
    • Narrated By Tavia Gilbert
    • Whispersync for Voice-ready
    Overall
    (260)
    Performance
    (227)
    Story
    (230)

    As war moves ever closer, the sleepy English village of Crowmarsh Priors settles into a new sort of normal: Evacuees from London are billeted in local homes. The nightly German air raids become grimly mundane. Rationing curtails every comfort. Men leave to fight and die. And five women forge a bond of friendship that will change their lives forever in this engrossing novel of loyalty, loss, and love in the shadow of World War II.With the hardships of war intensifying every day, the women band together to defeat formidable enemies and find remarkable strength within themselves to help one another. It is a war-forged loyalty certain to endure years and distance. When four of the women return for a celebration fifty years later, their mission is not simply to commemorate or remember. They’ve returned to confront a traitor whose actions cost countless lives — and to avenge one of their own at last.

    Sara says: "Ruined by Narration"
    "Ruined by Narration"
    Overall
    Performance
    Story

    This book was something that I was eager to listen to. The story may be a good one but I'll never know with the recorded version because it was so awful. I kept listening hoping it would improve but it only got worse. The accents were just appallingly terrible. Avoid!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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