©1999 by Adreana Robbins; (P)1999 by Blackstone Audiobooks
This is one of those books that you hate to see end. I typically read mysteries but this book had such a high rating that I decided to read it. Am I ever glad that I did. The book has suspense, romance, history. The characters are well developed and interesting. And you enter the world of art, wine making and Paris. A great book!
It is important for all of the background information and description to feel as if it is part of the story, the environment, the emotional world of the story so that all parts of the story fit together organically. When I was first learning to draw, I had to work at making the trees look as if they were growing out of the earth rather than just stuck on the ground like statues.
This book is full of descriptions and background that are inorganic to the text. They are trees just stuck on the ground.
Robbins use of metaphor, simile, analogy suffer from a lack of introduction and transition and relationship to the body of the story. It was embarrasing.
I can't quite work out if I really liked this one or not. I ended up wanting to skip over the bits narrated by the female character - the man was much more interesting! Probably better if you know the art works referred to, or the locations visited.
Both narrators did an excellent job though!
I only give it a star because the form requires at least one. Awkward and overblown dialogue. Hamfisted attempts at lyrical description. How did this book get published, and how could the narrators bear to read it? I felt embarrassed for the writer just listening to it.
I have to agree with the other reviewer who gave this low marks. This is a book full of name dropping, and of descriptions so overblown as to become laughable. The writing really is 2nd rate and the story is quite predictable. Neither narrator can pronounce French correctly, which annoyed me no end. I forced myself to stay with it to the end, and it never got any better.
This book is poorly written and narrated. Often the author uses 20 words when 10 would do just as well, and if I were to grade her writing she would receive a C+ at best. The female narrator has a limited range and drove me to almost turn off the book several times, but the male narrator is actually very good and piqued my interest. Unfortunately I just couldn't put up with the adolescent writing style and gave up after 3 hours. If you do buy this book, immediately fast forward 5:30 minutes so you don't have to listen to a reading of the book flap and tedious, lengthy acknowledgements.
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