An isolated island off the coast of Maine.
Puppets. (Yes, puppets…)
A mysterious house looming over the sea…
He's a reclusive writer whose imagination creates chilling horror novels. She's a down-on-her-luck actress reduced to staging kids' puppet shows. He knows a dozen ways to kill his characters with his bare hands. She knows a dozen ways to kill an audience with laughs. But she's not laughing now.
Annie Hewitt has arrived on Peregrine Island in the middle of a snowstorm and at the end of her resources. She's broke, dispirited, but not quite ready to give up. Her red suitcases hold the puppets she uses to make her living: sensible Dilly, spunky Scamp, and Leo, the baddest of bad guys. Her puppets, the romantic novels she loves, and a little bit of courage are all she has left.
Annie couldn't be more ill prepared for what she finds when she reaches Moonraker Cottage or for the man who dwells in Harp House, the mysterious mansion that hovers above the cottage from a windblown cliff. When she was a teenager, he betrayed her in a way she can never forget or forgive. Now they're trapped together on a frozen island along with a lonely widow, a mute little girl, and townspeople who don't know how to mind their own business.
Is he the villain she remembers or has he changed? Her head says no. Her heart says yes.
It's going to be a long, hot winter.
©2014 Susan Elizabeth Phillips (P)2014 HarperCollinsPublishers
Find some way to down play the puppets. For the most part I really didn't like them. I understand the role they play, but I think they could have been written in without being such an integeral part of Annie's life that she constantly heard their voices in her head and she talked to them as if they were real? I found it annoying and it creeped me out a bit and made me question her sanity.
I enjoyed the flash backs to Annie's youth so that you understood the history, as she knew it, between her and Theo (her love interest). I also enjoyed slowly uncovering the truth about Theo and his life. The mystery of who was trying to get her to leave the island was interesting as well.
Yes. Very distinct voices. Would happily listen to another of her narrations.
Lack of puppets. Did I mention I really didn't like them?
This book is a little over 12 hrs long. If you can force yourself to get through the first 4 hrs or so, then it starts to change and gets better. I have to say that I really haven't enjoyed the last two books SEP has written. I found that I was forcing myself to continue on and finish them. If this trend continues I will drop her from my "must read" authors list.
The creation of multiple puppet characters to represent the heroine's thoughts and emotions was distracting, slightly creepy, and weakened the overall story.
Injected humor and more likable protagonists. Never warmed up to the heroine or hero, and thus just didn't care what happened to either.
The performance was excellent. The narrator performed unique voices for multiple characters, and had great acting ability. However, the story was too weak to be retrieved by the performance.
As a rule Susan Elizabeth Phillips writes humorous stories. This one is somewhat of a mystery with not as much humor in it. Actually I found it took me awhile to really get into the story. But was very glad I stayed with it. There were twists and turns in who the real villain was going to end up being. Along with the little mute girl and the hand puppet's. Will I listen to this book again? You bet I will. Erin Bennett did a great job narrating as well. If you are looking for another laugh out loud story? Do not buy this one. If however you would like to read a good light mystery? This Book is the one to buy.
I usually love SEP books, but this one lacked the usual appeal. Maybe it was the narrator, maybe I've read too many SEP books and recognized similar plot points, or maybe I just missed the usual splash of humor that makes a good book great.
I didn't feel like the narrator was immersed in the book. The voices of the puppets were weak and I think she was the reason it took me so long to get in to the book.
A better story and narrator.
Hoping the next SEP book is better.
It's ok for what she had to work with.
The whole book is weak. I would not have published it. I feel they would not have had it not been an established author.
This is my one of my favorite authors. I have read and listened to her books many times and had her name not been on this book I would have thought someone else wrote it. I just could not wait for it to be over. I usually read and listen to this author for the great characters and their smart back and forth. Not this time. It's like she just pumped something out to hit a deadline. So disappointing.
I'm blind & I live in Loveland, Co, I like to be with my guide dog, family & friends, I love to listen to book's music & play on my computer
Not the same
I love SEP books, but this one is not the same as her others. But I still liked the story, I have all of her books and I think they all are Great, so if this is your first book that you have tried and you didn't like it, Then you need to try another one, they are really good.
I love SEP books and have listened to all of them. This latest one was a real struggle for me to finish-- the only reason I did is because of the author's reputation. The mystery was weak, and there was little humor. I only laughed outloud once, which is rare for her books. The story was a challenge for the narrator-- lots of characters and multi-person (puppet) conversations. I felt she did a decent job, but there were some times where it was difficult to follow. If you have never read this author before, do not start with this book.
Avid reader for 45 years
As a huge Susan Elizabeth Phillips fan, I have a hard time believing that she wrote this less than interesting book. I loved her humorous & warm characters in Natural Born Charmer, Ain't She Sweet and It Had to be You. Sadly, I couldn't relate to anything about Heroes, even though it was set in my home state of Maine. My mind kept wondering as I listened, got tired of rewinding and finally gave up.
I had a little trouble getting by the puppets at the beginning but my faith in SEP kept me going and I ended up really loving this quirky tale - the narrator was perfect as well and that always helps! Thank you, Susan! 😘
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