We Southerners love our eccentric family members, friends, and local characters. Grisham has packed this work with plenty. There is a legal case to get the ball rolling (and it becomes central to the plot again at the end) but in-between is the real meat of the book...the protagonist's relationship with the citizens of his small Mississippi town and observations of both everyday life and unusual events. The narrator does several fine styles of Southern accents. The book keeps you engaged and looking forward to the next time you get in your car.
Back when you could actually buy books that were Kindle "text to speech" enabled, I listened to them all the time. "Doesn't the computer voice bother you?" everyone asked. It didn't, not a bit. I say this to offer proof that I have a very high tolerance for a range of narration styles.
That said, this narrator is driving me crazy. His voice is so monotonous that I have trouble telling where his sentences end and another begins. Look through his other work, you will see that he tends to narrate history books. Enough said.
I will struggle through this book based solely on my interest in the topic.
This is the kind of audiobook that will have you carrying your iPod from car to workout to house (getting ready in the morning, cooking, etc.) because you want to listen to it constantly. It's a very long book and a great value, but more importantly, its length allows you get to know the interconnected characters, learn a lot about life in medieval England, and even learn about the building of a great cathedral.
I love "longitudional" novels where you get to know characters from the present time and flashbacks from the past. This novel gives a wonderful flavor for what life was like for a very strong woman of privilege who comes of age during World War II. In present time, she finds herself puzzled by single parenthood, casual language and the trappings of modern life...until a tiny baby teaches her again about love. The book is simply fascinating and the characters are rich and believable. I walked around with my iPod around my neck for days...a lovely boook, beautifully narrated.
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