When the beautiful and precocious sisters Sally and Gillian Owens are orphaned at a young age, they are taken to a small Massachusetts town to be raised by their eccentric aunts, who happen to dwell in the darkest, eeriest house in town. As they become more aware of their aunts' mysterious and sometimes frightening powers - and as their own powers begin to surface - the sisters grow determined to escape their strange upbringing by blending into "normal" society.
I listened to the prequel "The Rules of Magic" before listening to this book and the development of Alice Hoffman as a writer is clearly evident. Practical Magic is choppy and the characters are not as well defined as in the prequel (which I think was written 20+ years after this one). I also did not enjoy the narrator of Practical Magic, her voice was flat and it was difficult to listen to. It was good to put the stories together, but a totally different listening experience for story and performance.
Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he's been alive for centuries. Tom has lived history - performing with Shakespeare, exploring the high seas with Captain Cook, and sharing cocktails with Fitzgerald. Now, he just wants an ordinary life. So Tom moves back his to London, his old home, to become a high school history teacher - the perfect job for someone who has witnessed the city's history first hand. Better yet, a captivating French teacher at his school seems fascinated by him.
This type of book is generally one of my favorite genres, but I just didn't like this story. The main character whines his way through the book, mourning the loss of his wife who died nearly 400 years ago. He is so caught up in the past that he can't enjoy his present which,I suppose, is the whole point of the book. Nevertheless, he is whiny and depressing and it seems like this whole premise could have been more exciting and developed more interestingly. I won't be returning this book, but I can't really recommend it.
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sisters. Strangers. Survivors. More than twenty years ago, Claire and Lydia's teenaged sister Julia vanished without a trace. The two women have not spoken since, and now their lives could not be more different. Claire is the glamorous trophy wife of an Atlanta millionaire. Lydia, a single mother, dates an ex-con and struggles to make ends meet. But neither has recovered from the horror and heartbreak of their shared loss—a devastating wound that's cruelly ripped open when Claire's husband is killed.
I should have read the reviews before I purchased this book. As of the writing of this review, it is rated 4.33 stars, which is why I bought it...but I should have read further and noted the descriptions of the graphic violence in the reviews. I am a nurse and not at all squeamish, but this book turned my stomach with it's extremely graphic descriptions of violence against women and young girls. I thought maybe the violence at the beginning was just to set the story, but it got worse and, although I haven't finished it, other readers say it continues through the whole book. I have read other authors who have violence in their stories, but this is really above and beyond a normal "thriller". I can't un-listen to that description, it is extremely disturbing...I am not thrilled, just disgusted. I will be returning this book to Audible, but take my review as a warning.
In the grand storytelling style that is his signature, James Michener sweeps us back through time to the very beginnings of the Jewish faith, thousands of years ago. Through the predecessors of four modern men and women, we experience the entire colorful history of the Jews, including the life of the early Hebrews and their persecutions, the impact of Christianity, the Crusades, and the Spanish Inquisition, all the way to the founding of present-day Israel and the Middle East conflict.
This book was not "performed", it was merely read by the narrator...I was hoping that Audible would have updated this book with a different narrator, this book was originally recorded in 1993. Larry McKeever is so flat and difficult to listen to, I will be returning this book.
I am a Michener fan, but this book was so biased to his agnostic/atheist view that it was sometimes painful to listen to. It seems that he twisted the history to fit this view and that, in addition to the poor narration, leads me to give up on this book after about 30 hours.
14 of 15 people found this review helpful
In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert returns to fiction, inserting her inimitable voice into an enthralling story of love, adventure and discovery. Spanning much of the 18th and 19th centuries, the novel follows the fortunes of the extraordinary Whittaker family as led by the enterprising Henry Whittaker - a poor-born Englishman who makes a great fortune in the South American quinine trade, eventually becoming the richest man in Philadelphia.
I have to give Elizabeth Gilbert credit for taking on such a huge project. The research of the history in this story was obviously thorough and the time period she chose was an interesting one. I really wanted to love this book, but I ended up only liking it and I think the problem was the characters. I can't lay my finger on what exactly was missing from the characters in this book, but I did find myself thinking several times through the book that this was her first major work of fiction...there were just moments when that was clear. I look forward to reading more from Elizabeth as she develops her skill in fiction. I wouldn't say this is a waste of a credit, it just wasn't the best historical fiction I've listened to.
Memorial Day, 1938: New York socialite Lily Dane has just returned with her family to the idyllic oceanfront community of Seaview, Rhode Island, expecting another placid summer season among the familiar traditions and friendships that sustained her after heartbreak. That is, until Greenwalds decide to take up residence in Seaview. Nick and Budgie Greenwald are an unwelcome specter from Lily's past: her former best friend and her former fiancee, now recently married - an event that set off a wildfire of gossip.
This book was really hard to stop listening to...I recommend having a couple of hours uninterrupted to listen to the final third of the book. The story had everything I love in a light read, romance, mystery, and likeable characters and I loved learning more about pre-war America...not a time period I have read much about. I highly recommend this one...it had me thinking about it while I was away from my ipod!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
Annabelle Peyton, determined to save her family from disaster, decides to use her beauty and wit to tempt a suitable nobleman into making an offer of marriage. But Annabelle’s most intriguing — and persistent — admirer, wealthy, powerful Simon Hunt, has made it clear that while he will introduce her to irresistible pleasure he will not offer marriage. Annabelle is determined to resist his unthinkable proposition…but it is impossible in the face of such skillful seduction.
I usually love historical fiction with strong female leads, but this book was a tedious listen.I didn't even finish the last two chapters because I just couldn't take it any more. It was basically a poor romance with some historical references sprinkled throughout. None of the history was interesting and the characters kept making weak decisions. I was surprised at all of the good reviews this book got. I am returning this book.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
Edie Burchill and her mother have never been close, but when a long lost letter arrives one Sunday afternoon with the return address of Milderhurst Castle, Kent, printed on its envelope, Edie begins to suspect that her mother’s emotional distance masks an old secret.
I really enjoyed this book. It does have lots of detail, but I enjoy books that go into great detail. I loved how long and involved it was and, unlike other Kate Morton books, I was unable to guess the end, which kept me listening! I have listened to them all now and this is definitely one of my favorites! If you have enjoyed any of Kate Morton's other books, you will like this one as well.
Still reeling from the deaths of her mother and sister on the Titanic, Sibyl Allston is living a life of quiet desperation with her taciturn father and scandal-plagued brother in a town house in Boston's Back Bay. Trapped in a world over which she has no control, Sibyl flees for solace to the parlor of a table-turning medium. But when her brother is suddenly kicked out of Harvard under mysterious circumstances and falls under the sway of a strange young woman, Sibyl turns for help to psychology professor Benton Derby.
I really loved Katherine Howe's last book, but this one was a real yawner! The character development was poor and the "mystery" was not intriguing...just boring. I really wanted to like this but I was starting to dread my listening time so I gave up about 3/4 of the way in and I almost never do that. I cannot recommend this book to anyone.
History has all but forgotten.... In the spring of 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeeded in landing the exiled James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown. Now, Carrie McClelland hopes to turn that story into her next best-selling novel. Settling herself in the shadow of Slains Castle, she creates a heroine named for one of her own ancestors and starts to write. But then she discovers her novel is more fact than fiction....
I loved this book...It was interesting and soothing to listen to. I liked how the author described the writing of the book and what went into the creation of the story. I found the narration to be slightly distracting as the English accent seemed a bit contrived, but I was impressed with the narrator's ability to do different voices for the different characters. I am off to "read" Susanna's next book!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful