We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
 >   > 
A Desperate Fortune Audiobook

A Desperate Fortune

Regular Price:$29.95
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Audible Editor Reviews

Editors Select, April 2015 - I would never describe myself as a Romance listener, so I was a little hesitant to begin Susanna Kearsley's new book. However, after reading the summary, I was intrigued - mystery, history, and adventure? What more could I want? A Desperate Fortune shifts between the past and the present and Kearsley's expert writing allows for a seamless transition between storylines. You can't help but adore the modern-day protagonist, Sara Thomas, a socially awkward code breaker who is hired to decrypt the 18th century journal of Jacobite exile, Mary Dundas. Each woman's story unfolds amidst vivid imagery – and the brilliant narration of Katherine Kellgren helps bring the characters to life. After zipping through this book, one thing is for certain – Susanna Kearsley has a new fan. –Laura, Audible Editor

Publisher's Summary

Beloved New York Times best-selling author Susanna Kearsley delivers a riveting novel that deftly intertwines the tales of two women, divided by centuries and forever changed by a clash of love and fate.

For nearly 300 years, the cryptic journal of Mary Dundas has kept its secrets. Now, amateur codebreaker Sara Thomas travels to Paris to crack the cipher.

Jacobite exile Mary Dundas is filled with longing - for freedom, for adventure, for the family she lost. When fate opens the door, Mary dares to set her foot on a path far more surprising and dangerous than she ever could have dreamed.

As Mary's gripping tale of rebellion and betrayal is revealed to her, Sara faces events in her own life that require letting go of everything she thought she knew - about herself, about loyalty, and especially about love. Though divided by centuries, these two women are united in a quest to discover the limits of trust and the unlikely coincidences of fate.

©2015 Susanna Kearsley (P)2015 Audible Inc.

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (1153 )
5 star
 (581)
4 star
 (382)
3 star
 (125)
2 star
 (37)
1 star
 (28)
Overall
4.3 (1049 )
5 star
 (546)
4 star
 (326)
3 star
 (119)
2 star
 (37)
1 star
 (21)
Story
4.3 (1045 )
5 star
 (620)
4 star
 (260)
3 star
 (96)
2 star
 (33)
1 star
 (36)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    mypenname 08-14-15
    mypenname 08-14-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Suggestion to listen with volume low & treble off"
    Any additional comments?

    As kindly as possible, I would like to suggest the listener to turn the low and the treble off. The reason being Katherine, the narrator, in all respect for her art and hard work, reflects the chance she may have a full time tour guide position when not recording audiobooks. It would be such a benefit to narrate in her normal voice for the main character and use very gentle accents for those characters not British. Perhaps she is trying to depict the main character as a high-strung person who also happens to have a touch of Asperger's Syndrome, as described in the book. Respectfully, the constant tension and effort in speaking, as if accustomed to speaking in a higher-than-normal pitch to be heard over a noisy crowd, makes listening to her a great annoyance and I will refrain from purchasing another book with her narration. It pains me to speak so, but it truly bothers me enough to have to write this in a review in an effort to help further decision-making. My apologies for any offense, which will probably occur; my advise is well-meant.

    32 of 34 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 04-10-15
    Jan 04-10-15 Member Since 2011

    Tangential, eclectic, avid listener... favorite book is the one currently in ear.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    2092
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    515
    228
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    166
    11
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Maybe better as a read, than a listen"

    I'm on a Scottish tangent right now... I read "Outlander" which was written beautifully and I enjoyed the history... but it was way too heavy on the romance for me. Then came "Winter Sea" by Kearsley, it was perfect and I loved the history in it. I snatched up "Desperate Fortune" expecting more of the same.

    Honestly, I think the story was well written, the parallel lives of two women are woven together with one in the present decoding the journal of the one in the past... both experiencing similar situations. I loved the accurate historical fiction of the past part of it, but didn't like being snatched away from my favored past story and back into the present.

    My complaint is with the narration. Katherine Kellgren is perfect in "The Royal Spyness" series where I envision the characters fitting the voices she uses. In this book I found myself flat out angry with her for ruining the story with prissy, forced and overdone voices. True the many characters, languages and accents in this book had to be challenging and she did settle down towards the end... but this is a book I would prefer to read rather than listen to again. So glad to have her out of my ear and wishing it was Davina Porter instead.

    This book doesn't leave you dangling at a precipice, although it is clear there will be another journal to decode with the rest of the story of both women. It is a romance, but like "Winter Sea" it is light... definately a "chick lit" type of book.

    52 of 57 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pat Casey 04-12-15
    Pat Casey 04-12-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story, Jarring Narration"
    What made the experience of listening to A Desperate Fortune the most enjoyable?

    I love Susanna Kearsley's work - but this title has been ruined by a very jarring narrator. I could not settle down and enjoy - had to shut it off. So disappointed.


    27 of 30 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Zzy2 06-24-15
    Zzy2 06-24-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "distracting accents"
    Would you try another book from Susanna Kearsley and/or Katherine Kellgren?

    I am halfway through - the story is engaging thus far. the narrator is clearly working hard - but there are several french characters - and her version of a french accent is so terrible that it makes it hard to focus on the story. I am giving up because I just can't listen anymore.


    Would you be willing to try another book from Susanna Kearsley? Why or why not?

    yes - i have really loved some of her books


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Katherine Kellgren?

    Not sure - and for the record I would listen to this narrator again provided that she does not take on fake french and spanish accents that ring false in addition to her lovely english and scottish ones. She is a good narrator overall - but would be a much better storyteller if she kept it simple.


    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeannie Grimes Concord, NC, USA 04-18-15
    Jeannie Grimes Concord, NC, USA 04-18-15 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    236
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Hard time getting into the story"

    I am a huge fan of historical fiction and particular love the time period written in this story. I don't know exactly what the issue was; but, I had a hard time getting into this book.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-25-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    144
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    147
    30
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    5
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A complete waste of valuable book listening time."

    The narration was horrible - melodramatic and almost comical attempts at dialogue and accent.
    I love historical fiction, but this was nothing more than a "romance" novel with no real context and setting of the historical times nor for that matter any real plot. Nor was the characterization of someone with Asperger's believable. I have read this author before but this was a real disappointment.
    The only reason I did not the story one star was that the writing was lyrical at times.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cyd 04-23-15
    Cyd 04-23-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    187
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wrong Narrator"

    The narrator for this book was just not the right one and it ruined the wonderful story. I read the book, that is the better way.

    8 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judi arlington, tx, United States 04-20-15
    Judi arlington, tx, United States 04-20-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"
    Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

    After all the endorsements and great reviews I found this less than as exciting as it was made out to be.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of A Desperate Fortune?

    not memorable at all


    Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Katherine Kellgren?

    Phil Giganti or Davina Porter.


    Could you see A Desperate Fortune being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

    No


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Think about this 04-19-15 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    814
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    419
    372
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    194
    4
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Slow start"

    I have read several of Ms Kearsley's novels and have enjoyed them very much. This story is enjoyable, and follows her usual formula with past intermingling with the present. That being said, I had a hard time getting invested with these characters. I had listened to half of the book, before I really cared about what was happening with any of them. I can't put a finger on it, other than there was quite a bit of rambling on and on at times, and Mary's adventure wasn't much of an adventure. Our modern day translator, Sarah, was also a rather dull character.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Leah A Silverman 04-18-15 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "enjoyable"

    I really liked the performance of the narrator. The story was enjoyable and easy to follow

    7 of 9 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.