Pregnant with her first child and a recent convert to Judaism, artist Kali Miller at last understands the joy of being part of a loving family. But Kali must put her cosseted life on hold to care for her 93-year-old non-Jewish grandmother who has inexplicably lit dozens of sacred Yahrzeit Memorial candles throughout her decaying Miami Beach home, almost burning it down. Kali probes her enigmatic grandmother Lillian for an explanation and information about her roots, but Lillian becomes increasingly paranoid.
She believes that someone from her past has found her and a painting she has hidden for over 70 years. A painting Lillian associates with her inadvertent role in one of the most horrendous episodes in history. Plagued with nightmares, guilt, and terrifying memories of her life in 1930s Berlin, Lillian reveals cryptic details to Kali. But only when Kali discovers her grandmother’s secrets in the old house’s hidden rooms does the full truth finally emerge. A truth that, if exposed, will have devastating consequences for Kali, her unborn child, and perhaps even the world.
©2012 Sharon Potts (P)2012 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Writer, editor, translator.
The reader reviews on Amazon were positive and I love to read novels set in WWII Berlin, but this audible book disappointed on all levels.
Initially, I thought I was just put off by the narration. I hesitate to denigrate this narrator, as I know it was a lot of work on her part and she did try to create different voices for the characters, but the men's dialog just made them all sound like they had laryngitis and the expository text was delivered with the same intonation, a kind of final emphasis, as though every. single. sentence. was the most important one in the entire book. Instead of creating energy or excitement, it had the opposite effect, creating a breathless monotone that was, frankly, enervating.
As to the storyline, it started off rather intriguingly, setting up an interesting situation and characters. I prefer more character development but was allowing for the fact that this was perhaps genre fiction and lighter than my usual fare. I did like the POV switching back and forth between the grandmother and granddaughter; it was a good way to move the story along. However, when I arrived at the crucial secret revelations, they were so ridiculous that what was a serious story became laughable. After that, characters began behaving uncharacteristically to how they had been set up to behave and the whole thing fell apart. Unfortunately, this was not where the book ended, and why I gave it 2 stars instead of 1. I did keep listening till the end; I wanted to know how she would end it, however bad it might be, so that was one tiny saving grace.
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