It took me a little while to get into this story, but once I did, I found it fun and interesting. Really rather a delightful listen. The narrator was good too - brought the fun out in the book! If you want something fun, a little odd, and imaginative, give this a go.
It's difficult to find a perspective on the Civil War and Lincoln that hasn't already been exposed. However, Kearns Goodwin manages to do just that. It's the backstory that hasn't been told in one complete narrative. She stays remarkably on track by focusing on the players in the cabinet and Lincoln. There are also sub-characters she provides with remarkable interest - like Chase's daughter and the two secretary's to Lincoln. There are other small players who add to the story but Kearns Goodwin never strays from from the main thread. This book is a phenomenal listen.
My only criticism is for the reader. Toren, while fitting the narrative with a fine, strong, persuasive voice, at times is too precious with her pronunciation. The read is sometimes stilted and stiff seeming to try to give gravity to the story where her natural voice already accomplished the task. I don't think Lincoln would have tried to be so reverent.
I know LA and it was great to picture it as it developed through the life and times of the Chateau. This is a beautiful blend of architecture and how it is meaningful to the lives of people and shapes and makes a contribution a place. I found the reading wonderful - a lovely voice, and the author paints a clear picture of the interior as well as the surrounding grounds as they play a part in the history of Hollywood's industry as a company town. I loved it and listened to it over and over. Great.
I'm not sure why I didn't expect this book to be as good as it was, but I was totally sucked into this book and unable to stop listening. I took it in the car, walked around with it on my ipod as I did my chores in the house and yard, and listened to it falling asleep at night. It sounds absolutely pathetic of me - that I have no life - but this was a great listen! Loved it. Also, the short interview with the author at the end was a really nice touch. Thanks Audible. Now I'm looking for another book by the same author. ps: the narrator did a fabulous job, too. She hit just the right tone, good rate of speech, and her characters were distinct and easily identifiable. Well done. :)
I wanted to find out more about Abigail Adams and in the process found out so much more about the times in which she lived, her character, her contribution to the founding of our country, and of course, her relationship to her husband. This book has inspired me to listen to more about our founding fathers and their lives that I am now searching for other books of the people mentioned in the book such as Franklin, Hamilton, Jay, Washington, et al. The best part of the book however, was that it showed all these people as humans and the struggles, risks, loves, foibles, and especially politics - that surprisingly, were no different from our political traumas of today. To think that Franklin's home in Paris had a spy on his staff was astounding. It's a GREAT listen with wonderful narration. It's now one of my favorites and have listened to it over and over to pick up more and more.
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