©1985 Barbara Michaels; (P)1992 Recorded Books,LLC
Down the rabbit hole into a ring a fire- the magic of words lifts me higher and higher.
I have all of the Mertz/Michaels/Peters books. I read them and listen to them frequently like visiting old friends. This one, and in no small part thanks to Barbara Rosenblatt, is the best of all of the stories.
Julie Newcomb is called to the family seat to care for her ailing grandmother, Martha Carr. Bedridden by a stroke, Martha has returned home to die or recover as the Fates decree. Julie is not looking forward to returning to Maidenwood. The 4 years she lived in Martha's care there as a child is a shadowed and frightening memory. Spending time in the house and talks with her cousin awaken memories long buried.
The thing I liked the best was in the end we find out that Martha was really evil. It wasn't just a childhood misinterpretation of events that an adult perspective made ok. No excuses for Martha and no mourners either. The author could have turned everything around to make Martha a victim of upbringing and circumstance. I prefer the straightforward punch of honesty this ending provides.
Very atmospheric and well written book. One of my all time favorites. I wish Audible would obtain all of her books. Barbara Rosenblat does a great job with the narration as usual.
W. Denis says 'Unfortunately she is not Elizabeth Peters or Nevada Barr -- speaking of the author of this audio book. Barbara Mertz writes both the Elizabeth Peters AND the Barbara Michaels books.
This is one of my favorites -- along with 'Someone in the House' and 'The Crying Child'. Barabara Michaels's best, in my opinion is 'Ammie, Come Home' which Audible does not have -- yet. On the Elizabeth Peters side -- 'Legend in Green Velvet'.
Never listened to Barbara Michaels stories before usually use books at night to keep from hearing my husband snore. This was too good for that didn't want to sleep. I saved it for day time listening.
Loved hearing about the old house and wondered what was going to happen next.
An enjoyable old-family-ties-that-bind-just-might-end-up-killing-you storyline that was fun to both read and listen to, but then as a kid, I also had a scary old grandmother afflicted by a stroke who lived in a cool scary old house so it was a bit nostalgic. The characters were brought to life by the talents of both author and narrator though at times the narrator seemed to be recalling a story very slowly.
I can't really peg this story as there was a touch of mystery, a touch of romance, a touch of humor, but I guess it mostly dealt with overcoming the past. The ending was a bit jumbled, but still overall a good listen. (The Audible photo suggests the story might be a bit gruesome, but it wasn't at all.)
On her worst day, I still think Barbara Mertz/Barbara Michaels/Elizabeth Peters was a better author than most, but this book isn't one of her best. Amelia Peabody and Vicky Bliss are much more interesting than this heroine--probably because they're both a bit larger than life, and Julie seems like a normal person you might actually meet. Still, the story is fairly interesting, and it's still a cleverer book than you'd find from most other authors. I haven't found anyone who compares.
I'm homebound at times so I listen to a wide variety of genres.
This particular genre is not my favorite but Barbara Michaels is much preferable too me than other writers.
An easy listen with no big surprises, but no huge objections either.
There were so many minute details that you could get caught up in the minutia and lose the overall story. Barbara Michael's made up for it at the end with a good twist but I can only give the story three stars.
The characters here aren't that likable (apart from the nurse and the dog) and the ending's a bit too predictable. Very little of the humor I appreciate from Barbara Michaels. Overall, just meh.
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