A deeply emotional tale about Sophie Duncan, a successful columnist whose world falls apart after her daughter's unexpected illness and her husband's shocking affair. When it seems nothing else could possibly go wrong, her car skids off an icy road and plunges into a frozen lake. There, in the cold, dark depths of the water a profound and extraordinary experience unlocks the surprising secrets from Sophie's past, and teaches her what it means to truly live...and love.
Full of surprising twists and turns and a near-death experience that will leave you breathless, this story is not to be missed.
©2011 Julianne MacLean (P)2013 Julianne MacLean
"A gripping, emotional tale you'll want to read in one sitting." (New York Times best-selling author, Julia London)
Jennifer O'Donnell's narration with her subtle inflections and emotive exposition. The dialog was nuanced and she knew how to get out of the way of the story.
The plunge into the frozen lake scene. I found myself holding my breath I was so immersed in the story and what the protagonist was going through.
Her characters are well voiced and she really captured the emotional tone. I found myself near tears several times.
I don't know where to start to explain why this is so bad. Maybe a list...
1. OMG, the narration! Ms. O'Donnell made me shout at my IPod. Seriously! She breaks into whispering at key scenes. It's maddening. I listen when I'm doing other things - driving, cooking, gardening, etc. - and her voice would get softer and softer and softer until the words would begin to run together like a low frequency vibration, rather than actual speech. So I'd stop what I was doing, wipe my hands if working, turn up the volume and go back to work. Then someone "else" would speak in a normal tone and I'm frantically reaching for the volume to back it down to avoid permanent hearing loss. It was maddening. (I've since apologized to my IPod.)
I suppose that might have been OK if she'd at least had a nice variety of voices. She didn't. Sara sounded like Cora who sounded like Jen who sounded like Sara. Michael sounded like Matt who sounded like Peter who sounded like ... well you get the idea. She could begin with slight differences, but the voices all quickly returned to her "baseline" man and her "baseline" woman.
2. The story started strong and the scenes during Megan's illness (when I could hear the whispering!) were very moving. Sara's year following Megan's death seemed correctly imagined. But when the whole frozen lake thing began, I felt thoroughly manipulated. This plot device was simply cheap. Instead of working through the challenges and mysteries her main character faced in the real world, the author did the "Poof! Magic will fix it!" miracle solution.
3. Even if you accept the "miracle" part, her story line was full of the unbelievable and I started to get a hint of what was coming when Sara's perfect, amazing, 10-year fairy-tale, he's-my-best-friend, flawless marriage to perfect Michael went completely to hell and it was ALL HIS FAULT!
4. The Cora/Peter/Matt subplot was much too long and much too contrived to be believable ... in a novel that had enough "unbelievable" to qualify as science fiction.
There's more, but this awful novel doesn't deserve any more of my time - and NONE of yours.
One of the best. Not my normal cup of tea and I did get a little frustrated at first with the storytelling monologue type of reading. But the story did pull me in and I couldn't put it down. Even though I couldn't stop crying and wanted to stop listening I had to know how it ended.
The ending. It did have a happy ending.
She did a great job. The book was mainly from the writers point of view so other voices were limited. But when there were dialogs with other characters she did good with the voices.
I cried through about 70% of this one. It absolutely broke my heart. Just the tragedy that everyone in the story goes through makes you wonder how that much could happen to so many intertwined lives.
This book was so sad. I felt so sorry for the main character. The amount of hardship she had to face and then when it switched over to her mothers story and the tragedy she went though as well.....
Yes, I was so surprised by this novel. Loved the story, loved the main character. I was worried it would be too sad, but it was quite lovely.
?? Maybe the Knitting Circle.
She seemed to tell the story as though it happened to her.
I almost did....all in one day....Saturday Chores.
I was out of audible credits and found this on sale. So pleased.
I love a good story.
The unveiling of the events was strategic and clever. At the end all of the pieces fell into place and left me feeling warm and optimistic.
At first the pace seems to be too slow. As the story continues you realize that if the reading was faster if would change the tone and mood of the novel.
The narrator spoke in a breathy whisper that was difficult to listen to. In addition, when she read male characters, she spoke in a normal tone of voice, thus causing the volume to shoot up. Since I listen to books in my car over bluetooth, I leaned forward straining to hear things then had to rear back in my seat to keep from being deafened.
My favorite character was Matt. I felt that he was authentic.
See above. She was difficult to comprehend most of the time.
No. The story is interesting, but I can't really see it as a movie.
Tell us about yourself!
May have dated myself with the Headline :) but loved the story and how it made you examine the things you take for granted.
Yes. It was a good heartwarming story that makes you feel all kinds of emotions.
When Matt comes back.
Her voice was hard from me to get used to. It almost seemed over performed and I also had to turn it up extra loud for some parts because she spoke too softly. It would all depend on how badly I wanted to hear the book.
Just a sweet, sad, happy and well rounded story.
I found this story slow.There wasn't any twists that made it satisfying.
Possibly. The main character needs some happiness.
Myst/thrillers and ✨fun fantasies✨are my favorites but always open for a good story.
I'm glad this story moved along quickly or I would have lost interest. Sophie, the main character, really goes through a great deal and while a bit sappy for me it is a good tale of survival. I liked the story within the story, it was a nice way of giving some background and depth to the characters, however, I could have done without Sophie's mother describing her private love life in detail to her own daughter. It was just not relative to the story. All in all, a good premise and a fast read.
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