Fans of The Help and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil will delight in this comic novel of family secrets by acclaimed writer, Susan Gabriel (The Secret Sense of Wildflower, a Best Book of 2012 by Kirkus Reviews).
Every family has secrets, but the elite Temple family of Savannah has more than most. To maintain their influence, they've also been documenting the indiscretions of other prestigious southern families, dating as far back as the Civil War. When someone begins leaking these tantalizing tidbits to the newspaper, the entire city of Savannah, Georgia is rocking with secrets.
The current keeper of the secrets and matriarch of the Temple clan is Iris, a woman of unpredictable gastrointestinal illnesses and an extra streak of meanness that even the ghosts in the Temple mansion avoid. When Iris unexpectedly dies, the consequences are far flung and significant, not only to her family - who get in line to inherit the historic family mansion - but to Savannah itself.
At the heart of the story is Old Sally, an expert in Gullah folk magic, who some suspect cast a voodoo curse on Iris. At 100 years of age, Old Sally keeps a wise eye over the whole boisterous business of secrets and the settling of Iris's estate. In the Temple family, nothing is as it seems, and everyone has a secret.
©2015 Susan Gabriel (P)2015 Susan Gabriel
Plot and character devlopments through the plot were great. Kept me wanting more. Luckily I also had the ebook so I quit listening after 20 pages. Had I not had the book I would have asked Audible to take back.. Stilted narration.
Air of mystery and of the past
Lorelei King, any other southern narrator
A really interesting and funny story, but the decision to have the author read was a very bad one. To capture an audiobook well takes talent and experience. SG is a good writer, but her read of the book is a big disappointment- probably for her, too.
I really, really enjoyed the book & will look forward to more of her work. However, and I really don't want to be mean or over critical, but I would have preferred a different narrator. The story is great. Again, I would not hurt the authors feelings for anything, but next time a different narrator would be nice.
This novel had me in its grasp from the very beginning to the very end. The characters came alive and almost felt like my own family. I was not always sure where the story was heading, and that made for an exciting read - never a dull moment. Anyone who likes Southern charm, quirky relatives, and a bit of the supernatural will love this book.
I do like the story and plot - so far. What I am having such a hard time with is the reader. I realize the author is also the reader and I don't want to be rude. However, I have started several times to just "forget" it because I do not enjoy listening to her reading the story.
So yes, I recommend the book - not the audible version.
Again - the book but not read by the author.
only if read by someone else
possibly - I still haven't finished the book so I'll get back to you on that thought
Again, I do not intend to be rude or mean. However, the reader sounds both bored and tired. I have listened to many, many books being read and this is by far one of the worst reads (or listens) I have attempted. The irony is there is no "listening pleasure" - just curious how the story will unfold. I do want to know how the book ends - but it's almost a chore to get through it this way. There is no emotion, no voice, no inflection in any of the sentences or wording. It's flat and tired sounding. I have such a battle going on - listen to the rest of the story and "just get through the reading as it is" or forget it and maybe buy a copy of the book one day.............................or maybe just forget the whole thing and buy a totally different audible for my daily commute.
Unfortunately this was an author- read book. Very monotone , very hard to listen to. Story might have been better if the characters were developed, but only Queenie in the story felt like she had any depth. An interesting premise but an abrupt and tidy ending.
The characters and their quirks I really enjoyed. The ending I liked the least. I felt like the author threw the ending together at the last moment. I felt like some of the characters endings were out of character.
When Iris stops to eat fried chicken! I loved that!
It was hard to believe she wrote this book. Voice was drab, often mono tone no expression in her voice. I almost stopped listening after the first chapter but keep going. So glad I did. Great story.
I was disappointed in the ending because the way the characters were rushed to conclusion. No follow up I think.
did not read the print version.
the character development.
Not sure if I liked the author's voice.
A bookworm for over 50 years!
I love a meaty novel that gives me a great story - especially Southern Gothic! – and that is well written and teaches me a few things.This novel is narrated by four women: Queenie, Violet, Rose and Old Sally. These women, black and white, have a lot of shared family history and to varying extent, genes. Queenie is hilarious. Violet, her niece, has some psychic abilities inherited from Old Sally, her grandmother. Rose is the estranged daughter of Iris Temple, the matriarch of this entrenched, elite Savannah family. I don’t want to try to summarize the plot (hint: it has to do with secrets!). But this wonderful novel will leave you feeling satisfied.
The ghost scenes were fun and the scene around Iris' deathbed was powerful. I really enjoyed Old Sally, the wise keeper of the Gullah traditions.
I enjoyed the author's rendition. Great voice. She captured the different characters well. Although most authors aren't trained performers, ultimately I think they make the best narrators because they know the story so well.
I tend to be one of those people who laugh silently, but I burst out with a few in this book! Really fun.
Nice long story. Great for a road trip or commuting.
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