Do you love Downton Abbey but find yourself wishing it were more…Canadian? Try Jalna, the first in Canadian author Mazo de la Roche’s 16-book series about the endless dramas of the Whiteoak family. The first in de la Roche’s hugely popular literary soap opera, Jalna spans 100 years of stormy Whiteoak family history on Jalna, the Ontario estate named after the town in India where the Whiteoak paterfamilias was once stationed as a British officer. Narrator Steven Cooper brings vigor and playfulness to portrayals of the Whiteoak family, inhabiting young cads and 99-year-old grandmothers alike.
First published in 1944, The Building of Jalna is one of sixteen books in the Jalna series written by Canada's Mazo de la Roche. In The Building of Jalna, Adeline, an impulsive bride with an Irish temper, and her husband, Captain Whiteoak, select Lake Ontario as the site of their new home. De la Roche chronicles their trials and tribulations during the building of the house, the swimming and skating parties, and the jealousies and humourous events that arise.
This is book 1 of 16 in The Whiteoak Chronicles. It is followed by Morning at Jalna.
©2006 The Estate of Mazo de la Roche and XYZ Publishing (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
I found some of the characters to be unbelievable, one-dimensional and frankly boring. The narrator was OK but not the greatest--at least for this book. The plot was fairly well thought out...I just think the bones weren't well-fleshed out.
"A great book spoiled!!"
I have loved the Jalna books since my early teens for the fascinating and different characters that are portrayed
I have always found it impossible to choose one character over the others as my favourite
However I would not listen to another Jalnabook that was narrated by Stephen Cooper. His narration is stilted and monotone and does nothing to bring out the characters from the book. The turmoil,passion, fear and love that is inherent in the characters are all dealt with by the narrator in his monotone and unappealing voice and had I not read the Jalnabooks before I would not have been able to relate to any of the cardboard characters that he portrays. I don't think I have ever listened to an audiobook massacred by the narrator as badly as Stephen Coooper does this book; as I listened to the words in his monotone voice I mentally replayed them in my mind with some feeling in order to be able to get through this recording
There were no emotional or moving moments in this book only becasue of the way the narrator treated every emotion in the same monotone way. If I were to answer the question as to what moment particularly moved me after reading the book myself rather than listening to this narration, my answer would have been very different.
If you love the Jalna books save yourself some agony and don't purchase this audiobook read by Stephen Cooper because he truly ruins an amazing book
"Great story trashed"
The dreadfull way the narrator read the story. I gave only one star for performance because this procudure wouldn't allow me to proceed without it. That stinks too.
The characters whether charming or less so leave an impression with the reader. Mazo de la Roche's descriptions of the natural world and environment are captivating. I really relate to her writing.
The narrators accent is grating on the ear, (Canadian?) he read the story like an elephant crashing through the jungle, who ever commissioned him to do the job should be sacked. The narrator totally trashed a great story and destroyed the spirit of the writing.
The story itself evokes pathos, tenderness.... wistfullness....and warmth.... when one can get over the narrator throwing it inder the bus.
The whole thing is a demolition job and spoiled the book for me.
"an awful narrator"
I bought this audiobook in good faith not realising how awful the reader/narrator is. It is impossible to listen to, money wasted. I read all Jalna books and was looking forward to listen but ....
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