©1958 Rumer Godden; (P)2007 BBC Audiobooks Ltd
There are very few books that I just can't bring myself to finihs, but this was one of them. I had heard good things about Rumer Godden's work, but I was bored stiff by these snooty, self-absorbed kids summering with their family in a French hotel. I just learned that it's supposed to be a YA novel; maybe that's why it bored me so. I just didn't care about any of the characters or anything that happened to them. The reader was OK but seemed rushed; maybe she was told to fit it all into six hours or less.
Beautifully narrated, this is a half-idyllic, half-ominous first-person account of a group of British children staying in a seaside hotel in Southern France while their mother recovers from a sudden illness. The narrator is the second-youngest daughter, and she watches as her blooming older sister casts a spell on the hotel's male residents, including a dashing Englishman who is not what he seems. This is the perfect thing to listen to on summer vacation. It very much captures the sense of the place, and the writing is unfussy but very vivid. It's the kind of audiobook you find yourself lingering with in the car when you really should get out and get on with life!
This was one of those risky downloads that paid off! Very interesting charcters, a likeable downtrodden but sassy group of siblings, some intrique and danger, not trite or Harleqinn-y. Will look forward to listening to more by this author.
love to read and love audio books!Favorite authors: Marcia Willett,Nevil Shute,Mary Stewart,and Jacqueline Winspear. I could go on and on but wont bore you! I belong to a book group and we often" Listen" to the books we have selected for the month while using a paper copy for the discussion notes. It really enhances the quality of the story.
It was mostly the story that made the Listening kind of boring.
The story was disjointed It did not flow. This is the first by Godden that I have listened to.Really did not like his style.
It seemed to.
I did not finish the book.It really did not keep me interested.
Would not get another Godden. I usually like the old authors. I love Hilton, Shute, Keyes.,Helen MacInnes and Mary Stewart. Can you offer any of these authors? ( I have All the Nevil Shute got them form "Chivers "years ago.)
Can you get more Marcia Willett? Hers are wonderful Especially "The Children's Hour"
In the inspirational line could you get MORE of Jamie L.Turner and Lisa Samson?
Thank you for offering D.E.Stevenson I have purchased several. I have read all her books over the years. I work in a Library and I really seem to know the preferences/tastes of the older women who come in. I could give you a few pointers on the 50+ crowd.!!!!
Thank you ! Sharon
Not my usual choice which is why I was so pleasantly surprised - I have not read much to compare it to
A really interesting period piece
I really enjoyed listening to this "coming of age" type story. It's for adults, not for children. The writing draws you into the story from the very beginning. The narration truly makes this story. There is a fair amount of French in the story and the narrator's excellent pronunciation of the French, along with her talent at creating different voices, transported me to the scene of this story, a hotel in France. I enjoyed every minute.
I listened to this on vacation and, for me, it captured the lazy light of summer. The narrator is excellent. If you know a little French, it adds to the fun. I loved the characterization of the children, especially the storyteller Cecil, who is hovering that summer between being a child and an adult.
I've become an avid "reader" since I discovered audiobooks a few years ago. Also a cat lover - at left is Prince Harold
Based on the glowing reviews that I'd read about this wonderful "coming of age" tale, I was rather disappointed. Nothing happened fast. I waded through the whole thing without ever developing any empathy for the characters. I found it odd that the children's concern for their mother seemed to be almost absent. The plot developed with the various characters getting involved in twists and turns, but I found that I just didn't care. The liberal use of French in the narrative made it difficult to follow, and I do understand some French. Maybe that part doesn't lend itself to the audio format - can't spend time looking at the word or easily take a few minutes to digest the phrase.
Wonderful story!!! I loved the descriptiveness; I could "see" it all! Made me want to be there with the children~ I wish there was more to the story; I could have listened forever!!!
An enchanting book beautifully read. The characterisation is superb. You are drawn into the bewilderment of the children and can almost feel and smell the heat of the French summer . . . and taste those greengages!
This is an excellent reading of a wonderful book. I had remembered the film, seen as a child, and had loved Rumer Godden's children's books -'The Dolls House' a particular favourite. But this is the first time I had 'read' a grown up novel. I loved it, and also replayed it the moment it finished. It really does repay listening twice, especially if listened to in the car! I was sad to finish it and am tempted by a third listen!
This is so good I immediately listened right through again to relish the language and Nicola Pagett's faultless reading.
"A French education"
A compelling tale of a young family effectively stranded at a small hotel in France for the summer when their Mother falls ill. The children each find their place with the staff and guests, observe the politics of developing relationships and attitudes towards them. They are absorbed into the flow of each day and the hotel routines whilst observing the family rules instilled in them. A story of how children see and hear everything, not necessarily in their own tongue, and how perceptive they can be. The children receive an education, of sorts in this intriguing and at times mysterious tale.
Good reading for an older child.
Nicola Pagett is excellent.
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