After losing her husband and daughter in an auto accident, 42-year-old Emma flies to Paris, discovers she has a twin brother whose existence she had not known about, and learns that her birth parents weren't the Americans who raised her, but a White Russian film star of the 1920s and a French Stalinist.
A story about identity and the shaping function of art, My Life as a Silent Movie presents a vividly rendered world and poses provocative questions on the relationship of art to life.
©2013 Jesse Lee Kercheval (P)2014 Redwood Audiobooks
"Kercheval delves deeply into the rawest of emotions and the most wrenching of choices, richly detailing each twist and turn with grace.” (Kirkus Reviews)
Avid reader (listener) and Audible Fan!
Have listened to 100's of audiobooks and would say this ranks somewhere in the middle.
Definitely Emma~so much loss and sadness. She seemed to be just a shell of her former self. I loved the way she described Paris, her interpretations of the silent movies, and was able to recover from the tragedies she had experienced.
Enjoyed her performance very much~especially as Emma's brother.
No, because I found so much sorrow in the story.
The ending was just perfect.Audiobook provided for an honest review.
Yes. Rosemary's narration brought me to Paris and Moscow. Her ability to make each character their own voice and inflection was amazing. This was the first fiction book I've listened to and if I find other book's that Rosemary narrated it will not be my last.
Family centric theme and our need to belong.
The hospital scene.
I cried several times. I was moved by the raw pain that Emma/Vera was experiencing, I've suffered some of the same loses. The hospital scene and how life and death are so closely connected.
Highly recommended this book. The writing came alive with Rosemary's terrific narration. I was cuddled up sick and it was like having a good friend come over and read to me, soothe me, entertain me.
My Life As A Silent Movie By Jesse Lee Kercheval and Narrated By Rosemary Benson.
Our story begins with Emma, a Liberal Arts Creative Writing Instructor, who receives a knock on her family's front door. A neighbor who has news that will change Emma's life forever.
The Neighbor had seen Emma's car in the intersection, and was informing her that Emma's husband was driving and their daughter was in the back, and that they had been hit by an SUV and both had died at the scene.
Emma's distress was understandable and so consuming that she couldn't even look at the bodies. Emma shut down and checked out sleeping in a sleeping bag down stairs; not able to sleep in her now empty bed.
This sets the theme and emotional condition of the central character of "My Life As A Silent Movie". Emma's journey is only now beginning as in her total loss she finds out she was adopted and goes to France to find her unknown family. She learns more than she could have ever imagined. The title is explained in such a touching way that you keep feeling for each character as the come into the story.
Never be Afraid... Your life has time to change again and again.
Rosemary Benson is a great narrator, her Accents are great to listen too.
By Perry Martin
Say something about yourself!
It is hard to know where to start with this review. I don't like to give too much away, but then again, with this story and its telling, I could tell you everything and you'd still enjoy this audio. The plot itself is simple and straightforwardly told. Emma's inner dialogue, read flawlessly by Rosemary Benson, flows like a river - sometimes still and sometimes crashing down the falls - and is never repetitive or frustrating.
I tend toward light escapist comedies and yet I loved this book. It drew me right in, much as Jodi Picoult can draw me in.
It is a wonderful work, beautifully read.
Good storyline. Not one boring moment. Excellent narration.
Yes, but I don't want to post a spoiler.
Rosemary Benson brought the characters to life. One of my favorite audiobooks.
European history professor specializing in English history 1870-1939.
Despite some maddeningly slow passages (on a pair of expensive boots; a canal-boat trip; waiting in line), this book is an odd but interesting find. The story is far-fetched with its Deus-ex-Machina wrap-up, but the author seems to have leaned hard on the happy-ending genre intentionally. Nothing here is logical, but that might be a significant part of the story's uneven appeal. And the exasperation I felt at the final chapter vanished when I read the book's last sentence, which sort of explained everything.
Up high. Probably in the first 10.
Emma without a doubt. Because she is so calm despite all the lemons that life keeps throwing at her. She just keeps going on and on.
The seriousness that the book needed was delivered very well by Rosemary Benson. The accents were well done. The opposite gender conversational role play was done to perfection.
Yes, when Emma discovers that she has a twin brother and especially when she meets him.
When I saw this audiobook up for review, there was something that appealed to me about this book (if you know me well, you know I don’t read book blurbs, so all my good books are usually either by fluke or recommendations). Well, it certainly could have been that Eiffel Tower on the cover (Side note: I love travelling and I am in love with the idea of Paris, still to visit though).
Okay, let me warn you upfront, this audiobook is almost 10 hours long. I know some are like 40 hours long but since I prefer short audios, this was huge for me. But wait, did I feel all 10 hours of it? Nope, not at all. And why would that be? Perhaps because the book pulled me in from the very first word and did not let go. The narration is good enough. But the major meat is the book! Just wow!
First, the author draws a background and you are interested in what’s going on. Mmm hmm… And then there comes the twists and the turns. And Paris! And the walks around Paris. Surprise upon surprise. I was totally overwhelmed (happily!) by the plot, the unraveling of it, the characters who I found myself rooting for. Giggling at times, wanting him to be @%^&$ alive! Woah, a gamut of emotions, all in one book.
There’s some history in there. Something I don’t really like but when you dish it out in a book, I’m all for it. A woman taking a trip across the world to unravel her past – now there’s some magic in that, right? History, art, travel, mystery, a solid plot, a good narration and there you have it, a brilliant book.
A must listen I would say.
4.5/5 stars – I really, really, really liked it! Highly Recommended.
It makes me happy to wake up everyday and look forward to listening. Many times I listen while doing artwork. I find it very relaxing.
A beautifully written story of a woman Emma and her search for her family in Paris after the tragic loss of her husband and only child. Vividly descriptive and at times poetic, her journey to Paris in search of her twin brother leads her to other discoveries that she never knew. Her father had been an early 1920's Russian film star and French Stalinist. After thinking he was dead, they find him alive and more than 100 years old. She was fueled by all the death and chaos in her life and felt that she had lost her light therefore silencing her voice. She felt the need to be luminous; the candle in someone's night. She wondered if she had been the light of the world to her husband. Out of her initial rocky relationship with her twin brother grew a friendship and closeness that both needed. Her brothers illness and her helping him brought this story to a wonderful ending, bringing light in both lives.
Beautifully spoken snippets of French in this story made this a wonderful listen. The richness and versatility of Rosemary Benson's voice was outstanding. I look forward to listening to more books narrated by her. Even though I received this audiobook free of charge in exchange for an unbiased review, I am so glad I listened to this book.
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