I was unprepared for the magical experience of listening to this author's debut novel. The story is told from the view of a 14 year old girl who tragically lost her mother and is left with a neglectful abusive abusive father. She leaves her childhood home with her african american nanny after an encounter with the worst sort of racists lands the nanny hospitalized and in jail. They find sanctuary in the "pink house" with three eccentric african american sisters. This magical tale follows the lives of these women for the few months following the passage of the Civil Rights Act in 1964. The story of Lillie's "coming of age" and her coming to terms with her own actions and those of her mother is set against the ugly racism and violence of much of the country, but most especially the south, of that era. The whole package is tied together by the recurrent theme of bees, beekeeping, and the redemptive power of "honey".
I say I was unprepared because once I started listening, I couldn't stop. The narrator sounds young enough to be a convincing Lillie, but is able to portray the other characters as well, including the men. Her soft southern accent adds realism to the tale. This is a story I am glad to have heard rather than read.
I highly recommend this title.
If you don't like wacky British humor, you will not like this book. If you do, then read on...
When I started listening to this book, I felt a bit off balance until I realized history, as well as everything else, is different in this world. Also, I was intimidated by all the literary references, wondering if I could enjoy the book without having read all of the works referred to. I kept going though, and I'm glad I did. The book kept my interest all the way through, the characters are great, the plot is highly imaginative and intelligent and the narrator did a great job. I'm looking forward to the rest of the books in the series!
I had a little trouble getting started with this book - I started it, found it too slow and put it away for quite a while. I was convinced to try again and was entranced. I became so engrossed with the style and easy pace of the novel and Precious, I was disappointed when the book ended. This is not an action packed adventure novel but rather a poetic and magical tale. I just discovered to my joy that this is only the first in a series! I had never given Botswana much thought before listening to this book and now wish I could visit... Highly recommended.
I love epic fantasy and listen to a lot of it, but this book shines. The hero, Caz, is remarkable in his strange journey among people and Gods. A really different sort of hero, he is most likeable. The author's language throughout the book is beautiful and the narrator is fantastic. I highly recommend this book.
I don't take the time to review too many books, but I just finished listening to this and highly recommend it. It was mesmerizing - I couldn't turn it off. The characters are so well developed, so real I keep thinking this must have been a true story. It isn't, but the author was inspired by her own sister's serious illness. The characters are all so human - flawed yet shining and immensely loveable, each in their own way. Set around sister Maddie's aggressive luekemia and sister Olivia's struggle to produce her first movie, Don Quioxte, during her sister's illnes, the tale unfolds as a series of letters, emails, and faxes from Olivia to the people in her life - family, associates, and ex(?) boyfriend Michael. As Maddie battles her illness with courage and dignity, Olivia battles movie studios, directors, and ex-bosses to get her movie made. I would not have thought I would enjoy a tale consisting entirely of letters and other correspondence from Olivia, but I found it immensely interesting and engrossing.
This book is not sugar coated and the ending is devastatingly real but amazingly satisfying at the same time. Olivia's wickedly humorous observations balance the sadness and keep this book somehow upbeat despite Maddie's tragic illness. There is no fairy book ending, but there is most certainly salvation - the real life kind as Olivia discovers so much about herself and the people she loves.
I highly recommend this poignant, entertaining, truly outstanding listen!
First, I need to say this is not an "action" story. It's about ordinary people living in a small, depressed town in NY State. The author has created such wonderful characters, quirky and loveable and frustrating in their humanity. And totally believable. It's a long listen, and I found it took a couple of hours to get to know the characters enough to care. But I was richly rewarded for sticking in there and found myself unable to stop listening later in the tale. The interactions of the characters is frequently entertaining, the story poignant, sad, and uplifting at the same time - an amazing glimpse of human foibles, love, forgiveness, and redemption. I highly recommend it and will certainly try another of this authors titles.
This is the first Patterson novel I've listened to or read and I enjoyed it a lot. There was a lot of very graphic violence but it seemed tempered by the gentle nature of the hero Hugh. The language didn't bother me much given the context (soldiers). The sex scenes (2) were graphic, but respectful. I don't know whether the story is historically accurate or not, but much about life for 11th century serfs surely is. Hugh's fighting ability does border on hard to believe, but then again, this is a novel, not non fiction. There is plenty of reference to the possible mystical power of the religious relic so sought after in the story - clearly the plot was not intended to pass muster with physicists. I read and listen to plenty of novels that are a whole lot more difficult to believe than this (Koontz, Stephen King, J. K. Rowling, and so on) and I found the mystical implications of the story appealing. After all, if I want pure realism, I can read the newspaper...
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