The Carolinas, 1699: The citizens of Fount Royal believe a witch has cursed their town with inexplicable tragedies -- and they demand that beautiful widow Rachel Howarth be tried and executed for witchcraft. Presiding over the trial is traveling magistrate Issac Woodward, aided by his astute young clerk, Matthew Corbett. Believing in Rachel's innocence, Matthew will soon confront the true evil at work in Fount Royal....
What a great story. Well-written characters, good plotting, intriguing view of life in 17th century America. I chose this because I had just finished "Beautiful Ruins" (which I loved) and I liked the narrator so much I wanted to hear him read again. I was not disappointed -- Edoardo Ballerini is the best narrator I've heard! I did not want to stop listening...now I can't wait to hear the next book in the series. Matthew Corbett is a great protagonist.
Patty and Walter Berglund were the new pioneers of old St. Paul - the gentrifiers, the hands-on parents, the Whole Foods generation. Patty was the ideal sort of neighbor, who could tell you where to recycle your batteries and how to get the local cops to do their job. She was an enviably perfect mother and the wife of Walter's dreams. Together with Walter - environmental lawyer, commuter cyclist, total family man - she was doing her small part to build a better world.
This was the first Jonathan Franzen book I read and I can see what all the hoopla was about. Such an interesting, original story with characters that stay with you long after the story is over. In fact, I hated to see it come to an end. Great narration, really added to the enjoyment of the book. Highly recommend.
Performance artists Caleb and Camille Fang dedicated themselves to making great art. But when an artist's work lies in subverting normality, it can be difficult to raise well-adjusted children. Just ask Buster and Annie Fang. For as long as they can remember, they starred (unwillingly) in their parents' madcap pieces. But now that they are grown up, the chaos of their childhood has made it difficult to cope with life outside the fishbowl of their parents' strange world.
This is definitely an odd little book, but completely enjoyable! Loved the Fangs in all their hilarious, complicated, messy glory. Great story, great narration. A fun departure from the usual.
On May 18, 1860, William H. Seward, Salmon P. Chase, Edward Bates, and Abraham Lincoln waited in their hometowns for the results from the Republican National Convention in Chicago. When Lincoln emerged as the victor, his rivals were dismayed and angry. Throughout the turbulent 1850s, each had energetically sought the presidency as the conflict over slavery was leading inexorably to secession and civil war.
...but it's been a slog. I'm only now half-way through (after several hours of listening) and I've just reached the point where Lincoln's been elected President! The level of detail is sometimes excruciating and it feels like a strong editor would have really helped it. Also, I think the narrator is less than ideal. Her voice is too monotone to hold my interest. Very disappointing.
8 of 20 people found this review helpful
Nora Ephron returns with her first book since the astounding success of I Feel Bad About My Neck, taking a cold, hard, hilarious look at the past, the present, and the future, bemoaning the vicissitudes of modern life, and recalling with her signature clarity and wisdom everything she hasn’t (yet) forgotten. Filled with insights and observations that instantly ring true - and could have come only from Nora Ephron - I Remember Nothing is a pure delight.
I went straight from "I Feel Bad About my Neck" to "I Remember Nothing". How delightful to get to spend several hours in Nora Ephron's company! What a fascinating life she had...and how sad I am that she's no longer here. But how lucky we are to hear her words in her own voice. We'll remember her, with laughter and love.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful
With her disarming, intimate, completely accessible voice, and dry sense of humor, Nora Ephron shares with us her ups and downs in I Feel Bad About My Neck, a candid, hilarious look at women who are getting older and dealing with the tribulations of maintenance, menopause, empty nests, and life itself.
I love, love, love Nora Ephron. So warm, so witty. The only thing better than the wonderful collection of essays in this book is that they're delivered by Nora herself. I felt like I was in the company of a friend, and a very funny friend at that!
The story begins in 1962. On a rocky patch of the sun-drenched Italian coastline, a young innkeeper, chest-deep in daydreams, looks out over the incandescent waters of the Ligurian Sea and spies an apparition: a tall, thin woman, a vision in white, approaching him on a boat. She is an actress, he soon learns, an American starlet, and she is dying. And the story begins again today, half a world away, when an elderly Italian man shows up on a movie studio's back lot - searching for the mysterious woman he last saw at his hotel decades earlier.
I enjoyed this book immensely. It defies easy description but I couldn't wait to find out what would happen next. Such an intriguing cast of characters. And the narration was flawless. I'm so glad I had the audio version of this book instead of the print version -- the narrator really added to the experience. I highly recommend this book!
2 of 4 people found this review helpful
Based on true events, Elizabeth Street is a multigenerational saga that opens in an Italian village in the 1900s, and crosses the ocean to New York's Lower East Side. At the heart of the novel is Giovanna, whose family is targeted by the notorious Black Hand - the precursor to the Mafia. Elizabeth Street brings to light a period in history when Italian immigrant neighborhoods lived in fear of Black Hand extortion and violence - a reality that defies the romanticized depiction of the Mafia.
I really wanted to like this book because the subject matter was interesting, but even though it was unabridged it felt kind of choppy. Parts of it really dragged. And the narrator didn't bring anything to the story. I felt the reading was very pedestrian.
7 of 9 people found this review helpful
Author of many novels and short stories, best-selling writer Lee Smith has received numerous awards for her works, including two O. Henry Awards. Fair and Tender Ladies is an epistolary novel that traces the life of Ivy Rowe, born in the isolated Virginia mountain community of Sugar Fork.
I loved this book, a fictional account of a woman's life in rural Virginia. The performer narrating the book did such a wonderful job -- she brought Ivy Rowe to life and I loved how her voice changed as the years passed and the character grew older. Very nuanced. I also really enjoyed that the entire book was told in letter form and I think that format is served especially well by being narrated.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful