This epic novel, which spans six generations of mothers and daughters, begins in 1815, during Britain's war with Napoleon, and ends after World War II. These life stories, knitted together into an ongoing family saga, show the vast changes to English society. These women were witnesses, participants, and survivors through the Regency Period, the Victorian Age, the Industrial Revolution, and on into the twentieth century, with its world wars and social reforms.
The premise for this book and the story line, although not original, could have been a great tale with broad character development. Stories that span generations should be epic. This one was not. It started out well but soon some of the characters became so haphazardly and thinly sketched you had a difficult time keeping track of who begat whom. At times the story seemed so rushed I felt like the author just wanted to be done with it. People came and went so quickly, their lives barely touched upon and their story left untold. Often the dialog was vapid and juvenile and very poorly written and did little to move the story forward. It also became clear that little, if any research was done to properly address the language and social norms of the time period. I wanted to like it, because this is one of my favorite genres. Few things are more enjoyable than being totally consumed by a story and its characters and being transported to a different place and time. This one failed on all levels. I see there are some stellar reviews. Maybe the reviewers haven't read truly great epic novels so they have lowered expectations. It's not really a waste of a credit, but I also wouldn't recommend it to anyone. The narrator was excellent, but could not save the story from itself.
When four classmates from a small Massachusetts college move to New York to make their way, they're broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition. There is kind, handsome Willem, an aspiring actor; JB, a quick-witted, sometimes cruel Brooklyn-born painter seeking entry to the art world; Malcolm, a frustrated architect at a prominent firm; and withdrawn, brilliant, enigmatic Jude, who serves as their center of gravity.
Following the rave reviews I used a credit to see what the fuss was about. Unfortunately, I waited so long to begin listening (in the middle of a move) and by the time I realized what a stinker this was, I could no longer return it. I started to listen and stuck with it for about 30 minutes. I got so bored that I was almost in tears, but thought I should try again. This time I listened for almost two hours. Nope... Not only do I fail to find anything compelling in the characters; four young men on the verge of adulthood (I don't care if I know more about them) I can't even stay awake long enough to follow the story, assuming there is one. I may be odd woman out here, but it is what it is. Yes, the writing is fluid and descriptive, problem is, I keep waiting for an actual story to emerge. Life is too short and the book is too long to keep waiting. Sorry... this one was a waste.
3 of 4 people found this review helpful
Caleb is everything to her: lover, caretaker, the man who gave her life meaning when she had none. But as she seeks the truth about herself and her past, she discovers that unraveling Caleb's web of lies might very well be impossible. Logan is everything she never knew she wanted: freedom, joy, and a passion she couldn't anticipate. But is Logan's love enough to save her from herself, from Caleb, and from the tumultuous truth of her past?
If you simply must have a resolution to the first two, by all means use your credit. Be prepared for some eye rolls and a few vocal "seriously?". I don't want to give spoilers here but trust that a few scenarios are so staggeringly silly that they ruin the story. Let's just say that I know NY has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country, so a few of these "incidents" simply could not happen without legal attention. Also, every hospital in the country is required to report gun shot wounds, so the fact no police are not involved in any of these shenanigans is ridiculous.It could have been a great finish to the series, but the story line is just too farfetched. All I was left with was a guy so easy going he was fine with someone trying to kill him and a pathetically weak female who likes sex so much she just can't control herself....so meh. It wasn't worth it to me, Buy it if you must, but you have been warned. I gave 5 stars to the narrators. They aren't responsible for the story and they did an excellent job.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
After breaking off her engagement with Hollywood actor Miles Storm, Rebecca is ready for a change of scenery in her life and in her bed. So when the opportunity to work for StoneHaven Publishing, one of New York City's most respectable publishing empires, presents itself, Rebecca doesn't hesitate moving to the Big Apple. Convinced she can show the owner of StoneHaven Publishing that she has the "right stuff," Rebecca agrees to a six-month trial as the personal assistant to the owner's playboy son, Nicholas.
This reads like a raunchy adolescent daydream. The characters are vulgar and vacuous. I don't mind reading erotica, nor am I a prude... but do people really talk like this to someone they hardly know? REALLY? Do people really act out and bumble around clueless in the real world, groping and panting? In theory this story is about two intelligent, accomplished people falling in love, and I can't imagine anyone experiencing this storyline as it plays out. It was disappointing and vapid and I was very happy it ended. By the end my eyes had rolled so many times I had a headache. Had I been in a position to dump it and load something else I would have about half way through. Save your credit. If you like steamy romance novels, this won't do it for you. The narrator was fine. He did his job and was not responsible for the debacle he was given to read.
6 of 11 people found this review helpful
Faith McMann comes home to a nightmare: her husband is killed and her son and daughter are taken. Although the intruders leave her for dead, she survives. Crippling grief and fear for her children make life unbearable. Until her anguish turns to anger...and she trades victimhood for vengeance.
Great storytelling. Non stop action and well developed characters. This is one of my favorite genres and this book would easily be in my top10. If you like a fast paced, thriller don't hesitate to grab this one. I don't want to give any spoilers. but it does end with a cliffhanger. I am looking forward to the next installment. I've never been disappointed with T. R. Ragan and the narration on this one is superior.
7 of 7 people found this review helpful
College student Joe Talbert has the modest goal of completing a writing assignment for an English class. His task is to interview a stranger and write a brief biography of the person. With deadlines looming, Joe heads to a nearby nursing home to find a willing subject. There he meets Carl Iverson, and soon nothing in Joe's life is ever the same. Carl is a dying Vietnam veteran-and a convicted murderer. With only a few months to live, he has been medically paroled to a nursing home after spending thirty years in prison for the crimes of rape and murder.
Every now and again a book comes along that makes you question so many things you believe. This is one of those books. It exposes our preconceived notions of good and evil, right and wrong and lays bare our judgments we cling to so desperately. Mr. Eskens straightforward storytelling makes the unfolding plot all the more engaging. There are no wasted words or character development that rambles on. There is quite simply just "enough". Add to that the perfect, spot on narration from Zach Villa and you have a great listen. This is one of the books that leaves you emotionally exhausted. When you finish, you just have you lay the story aside and slowly return to reality.
1 of 3 people found this review helpful
Barry Laverty, M.B., can barely find the village of Ballybucklebo on a map when he first sets out to seek gainful employment there, but already he knows that there is nowhere he would rather live than in the emerald hills and dales of Northern Ireland. The proud owner of a spanking-new medical degree and little else in the way of worldly possessions, Barry jumps at the chance to secure a position as an assistant in a small rural practice.
Thoroughly enjoyable. Full of humor and folk wisdom. P. Taylor's descriptive prose and sense of humor made this one hard to put down. I would describe it as "Doc Holiday" meets " All Creatures Great and Small". I just can't imagine anyone not appreciating every minute of this delightful story. The characters unfold naturally without excessive wordiness or emotional baggage added for "drama". The narration was just perfect. I'll look for other stories from this author. A credit well spent.
In search of a legendary mare, Lord Winter enters the crucible of the red sands, forging unbreakable bonds of loyalty and trust with his young companion in the desert. But hidden beneath the ragged costume of a Bedouin boy is a remarkable young woman: Zenia Stanhope, daughter of the extraordinary Queen of the Desert. Zenia wants nothing of the danger that Lord Winter lives for. She wants only to reach England, far from the blood and sand of the desert.
One of the very, very best period romances I have yet listened to. this one has it all….. romance, drama, and the knight on a white horse. Might I say here that Nicholas Boulton has to be very best narrator for these books. His voicing and characters are always spot on. This one was so good, I may have to listen again in case I missed anything. If you just want a fun listen and a swoon worthy afternoon, don't pass this one over. Worth the credit for sure
5 of 6 people found this review helpful
Pursued by her enemies, flattered and courted for her lands, a powerful, devious princess is desperate to reach refuge. Haunted by the shadow of the young assassin set upon her, Princess Melanthe knows that an ice cold countenance is her only protection. To succumb to love is the greatest danger of all. She can trust only one man amid the lies, the mysterious Green Knight - a true knight who never wavers once he gives his heart; a man who cannot comprehend deceit.
This is a genre of book that I enjoy and Ms. Kinsale has written some good ones. This isn't one of them. Very shallow character development. Story line was a bit scattered and to be honest the best part was the narration. I didn't even bother to finish it because I was bored out of my mind. Jumped from the middle of the last chapter to the epilogue for some degree of "closure" and just couldn't bother. If you like period romances and compelling story lines, save your money and buy something else.. Sorry, Laura, I wanted so much to like this one.
0 of 2 people found this review helpful
He's a duke. He's a mathematical genius. He can't talk and he's locked in a lunatic asylum. Only a modest Quaker girl can reach him, but when she helps him to escape, she's swept into his glittering aristocratic world, her life torn apart by his desperate attempt to save himself.
I do love this particular genre and having read and listened to hundreds of "period romances" I can say beyond a doubt that this is one of my all time favorites. Lovely prose and character development and an uncanny ability to describe the inner struggle and pain of someone afflicted by stroke or mental incapacity. It also chronicles the turmoil of morality and duty and the evolving of self awareness on a level to which we all can relate I don't want to give any spoilers here so I'll leave it at that. The reader is excellent... just excellent. I can't think of a negative thing to say.