Set at first in late 19th century Eastern Europe, Fire in My Ears by Susan Schneider is a coming-of-age tale that begins with a beautiful young woman who makes a tragic far-reaching decision and the result is three generations of pain, disappointing and bitter struggle for happiness.
We follow Mary as her adoring father loves her perhaps too much, as she is nearly jilted by the handsome Avram, and as she brazenly makes her way by train through Europe. We continue with her across the English Channel and see her settle in the east end of London and then travel steerage with three young children to America. We find ourselves finally in a mid-century American suburb amid all of Mary's damaged and miserable descendants. Mary's story is told by her grown up granddaughter Sarah who learned all her grandmother's lessons from nightly tales entrusted to her when she was a nine-year-old child in their shared bedroom. The book alternates between those stories that sometimes delight but often terrify Sarah, and the daily events of her own life. She listens intently for clues to understand the mean-spirited love she observes in the three generations of her family that gather at her house every Sunday. This is a matriarch's tale of a haunting past, dangerous choices and terrible secrets. It explores relationships seen through the eyes of both an old woman and her precious grandchild. Mary's determination to save her favorite grandchild from her own unhappy existence is perhaps her only noble gesture and it elevates her to the heroic heights her benighted beauty never could.
©2013 Susan Schneider (P)2015 Susan Schneider
I am a wee bit over the half a century mark in years. I enjoy audiobooks,cats,rats and most days my family,not necessarily in that order!lo
yes,in case i missed something
This was an exceptional story of a woman who makes a bad decision that leads her future family down a path of hatefulness and lies.There is no healing here.This is a grandmother telling her life story to a child hungry to hear it.Set in the 1950's Sara listens rapt,while the story of a village a sea away unfolds and leads Sara to understand where the angst in her family originated.This could be anyones life story and I found it a very personal revelation.
Rachel F. Hirsch does a beautiful job performing all the characters voices.
"I was provided this audiobook at no charge by the author, publisher and/or narrator in exchange for an unbiased review via AudiobookBlast dot com"
This is some beautiful storytelling, significantly enhanced by an outstanding performance from Rachel F. Hirsch. Hirsch's voicing of the characters is spot on and breathes life into the story. Unfortunately, the story is rather weak. If there's a point to it, I missed it. It left me feeling unsettled with unfinished business. The listen is great, the story is not so much so.
NOTE: I received a free copy of this audiobook in exchange for this unbiased review.
Listening to the narrator play so many different characters seamlessly.
Any time Mary, the grandmother, told her stories. I felt like I was listening alongside Sarah.
Mary. I really liked the accent the narrator used for her. It sounded authentic.
It's a long book, so of course I needed plenty of breaks, but it kept my interest and I listened through really quickly.
Loved the book and the narration! I read the print copy of this book as well and loved it so much that I wanted to try out the audiobook. Listening to it enhanced the experience for me because it helped bring a clearer picture of these characters to my mind. I hope to see more books from Susan Schneider soon.
This is a book about the stories of a lifetime. We know that the grandmother is telling her life stories to her granddaughter for a a purpose although we don't exactly know the purpose until the end. Just as Sarah, the granddaughter, looked forward to the nightly ritual of the bedtime stories, as the reader I also looked forward to hearing the next chapter
In the end when Sarah finally figured out the purpose of the stories.
The performance of the narrator did not cause me to favor one character over another but this narrator did a fantastic job. I could not believe how she easily went from an elderly lady with a heavy accent, to a sweet nine year old voice, to the voices of aunts and uncles with a New York accent. A really great performance!
Mary because of when and where she was born, where she traveled, her experiences, and her ability to provide a historical perspective of what life was like during her lifetime.
This audiobook was provided at no cost in exchange for an honest review.
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