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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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