Esme has been labeled harmless, sane enough to coexist with the rest of the world. But why has her family never mentioned her, and what is the secret or her virtually wiped-out past? If Iris takes her in, what dangerous truths might she inherit?
Weaving Esme's tragic story together with Iris's modern dilemmas, O'Farrell's intricate cross-generational tale of family secrets, lost lives, and the complex longings of women will haunt readers long past its final page.
©2006 Maggie O'Farrell; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"[A]n intricate, eloquent novel of family malice, longings, and betrayal....O'Farrell maintains a high level of tension throughout, and the conclusion is devastating." (Publishers Weekly)
"O'Farrell's fourth novel brilliantly illustrates her talent for gradually revealing her characters' inner lives....A gripping read with superbly crafted scenes that will blaze in the reader's memory long after the novel is returned to the shelf." (Booklist)
An amazing book. The many threads come together brilliantly at the end. I found the narration helpful in distinguishing the character's voices; unlike the previous reviewer, I felt that each voice was distinct. Of course, since the printed version supplies no such clues, it puts us a little ahead of the game. The language is both precise and beautiful, the characters fascinating, and the end result stunning.
This is a complex mystery told from the changing point of view of 3 different characters throughout the course of the book. Sadly the recording makes no pause, no change of voice, and no identification of the character delivering any given portion of the story. The listener can figure it out by paying very careful attention but this would have been an excellent book had it been produced in a way to make the differentiation between the characters clearer.
This story stuck with me - a cautionary tale of what can happen to the "odd" child in a family full of secrets and betrayals.
Unlike other reviewers, I had no problem at all telling which characters were telling the story at which points. Although there is no voice differentiation, the context immediately gives you clues as to whom is speaking. The story was engaging and kept me interested until the end.
The reader was excellent, but the story is framed as being revolutionary, but is came off more as a soap oprera.
Trying to anticipate what was coming next was not an option here...most resolutions were quite a surprise!
Some of Esme's antics, her different way of observing life's common acts as well as the details...was she possibly autistic?
Certainly the two main female characters...I've always enjoyed Anne Flosnik, her ability to alter the accents; following her narrations was how I found this great book.
Thank goodness I can listen to it in my car! Otherwise I might have had to play hookie from work to finish it.
Part of the conclusion you can figure out yourself fairly far into the story, but the shocking ending, while not in the least anticipated, makes you say, "You go, Girl!"
I did not like the narrator's voice. I did not enjoy the story.
It was not my style
I've never read anything quite like it
It was horrifying but with supernatural monsters. The monsters are all too human. The family dynamics are frightening but very real.
If you can stand the emotional trauma, it's a book that shouldn't be missed.
I enjoyed the storyline and the narration was quite good, but found the end very disappointing.
The end was quite abrupt
A reader who loves to sew, which makes Audible ideal. No special trends but always on the lookout for recommended titles. Appreciate good stories not the graphic details which seem to be the trend.
It took some getting into. But then I couldn't stop, and when finished I had to read again.
Recommended to me, and I have given as a gift and recommeneded to friends.
Can be as deep as you want, you think you have it, then it all changes.
To me a good book is if you think about it afterwards. I can't stop thinking about Esme.
I do have a different slant on the outcome than my friends but its how you look at it.
Wonderful will be searching for more Maggie O'Farrell.
Persevere if confused at the start. It all fits into place.
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