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CF

san diego, ca
  • 4
  • reviews
  • 11
  • helpful votes
  • 5
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  • All the Breaking Waves

  • A Novel
  • By: Kerry Lonsdale
  • Narrated by: Dara Rosenberg
  • Length: 9 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 948
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 805
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 803

After a harrowing accident tore her family apart, Molly Brennan fled from the man she loved and the tragic mistake she made. Twelve years later, Molly has created a new life for herself and her eight-year-old daughter, Cassie. The art history professor crafts jewelry as unique and weathered as the surf-tumbled sea glass she collects, while raising her daughter in a safe and loving environment - something Molly never had.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A unique premise, strong characters.

  • By CF on 04-21-17

A unique premise, strong characters.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-21-17

Any additional comments?

This is not a story about a family with supernatural abilities. And yet, it is. I appreciated how the experiences of Molly and her daughter Cassie unfolded in an unexpected and creative setting. In this novel, the multi-dimensional characters take center stage, and their ‘gifts’ are more of a backdrop. Taking place over 5 days (with a short epilogue), the story maintained pace and didn’t rush at the end (although the last few chapters were exciting and surprising). Overall, it keep me entertained and I was curious to know what would happen next. The romance was predictable, unrealistic, and over-wrought, but I know some people love that. The family interactions were powerfully realistic – there were serious conflicts between 4 generations, and the dialogue was very believable (and because I’ve experienced some of the issues represented, almost scary).

Regarding the Audible narration, I thought this narrator was a very good pick for the novel. Bizarrely, there were two errors – at one point early in the story, Molly refers to her daughter as “Casey” (her name is Cassie). Later, Molly calls Nana (who is her grandmother) “Mom”. Neither of these things affected the outcome, but they were distracting.

I read this after finishing Kerry Lonsdale’s other novel, Everything We Keep. which I rated it 3 stars. Having read both, I’m impressed. For one thing, this is an altogether superior novel to Everything We Keep, which was written earlier. That says excellent things for how she will continue to progress as a writer. Secondly, in both books, she is able to create strong characters and a world where they can interact. Additionally, I loved the premise of both books – very unique and unexpected. As a reader, it’s refreshing to not be reading the ‘same old story’. I will be keeping my eye on this author.

11 of 12 people found this review helpful

  • The Whole Town's Talking

  • A Novel
  • By: Fannie Flagg
  • Narrated by: Kimberly Farr
  • Length: 12 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 806
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 724
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 725

Elmwood Springs, Missouri, is a small town like any other, but something strange is happening out at the cemetery. Still Meadows, as it's called, is anything but still. Funny and profound, this novel in the tradition of Flagg's Can't Wait to Get to Heaven and Thornton Wilder's Our Town deals with universal themes of heaven and earth and everything in between, as Flagg tells a surprising story of life, afterlife, and the mysterious goings-on of ordinary people.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Epic Novel

  • By Jean on 01-15-17

Heartwarming

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-21-17

Any additional comments?

A heartwarming read. I started it with no clue about the premise, and it turned out lovely. As my book club ladies said, this is a perfect book to pick up in between heavier/darker novels.

  • In Farleigh Field

  • A Novel
  • By: Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by: Gemma Dawson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 4,140
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,781
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,768

World War II comes to Farleigh Place, the ancestral home of Lord Westerham and his five daughters, when a soldier with a failed parachute falls to his death on the estate. After his uniform and possessions raise suspicions, MI5 operative and family friend Ben Cresswell is covertly tasked with determining if the man is a German spy. The assignment also offers Ben the chance to be near Lord Westerham's middle daughter, Pamela, whom he furtively loves. But Pamela has her own secret.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Entertaining and Engaging Storyline

  • By RavidReader on 03-05-17

A "lighter" WW2 novel

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-21-17

Any additional comments?

This novel has strong bones and weak muscles. With WWII as both a backdrop and a catalyst, the intrigue of a German spy in the midst of the British aristocracy, and life long relationships strained by the demands of war, In Farleigh Field held a lot of potential. Its execution ceased to impress me. The multiple storylines were clunky instead of exciting. I suppose I can't blame the author for having so many characters - a large cast of characters was necessary to keep the reader wondering. However, since only Ben, Pamela and Phoebe got any real development, I felt more was less.

  • Everything We Keep

  • A Novel
  • By: Kerry Lonsdale
  • Narrated by: Amy Landon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 5,177
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 4,438
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 4,443

Sous chef Aimee Tierney has the perfect recipe for the perfect life: marry her childhood sweetheart, raise a family, and buy out her parents' restaurant. But when her fiancé, James Donato, vanishes in a boating accident, her well-baked future is swept out to sea. Instead of walking down the aisle on their wedding day, Aimee is at James's funeral - a funeral that leaves her more unsettled than at peace.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Meh

  • By Colleen on 08-17-16

Some weak writing moments, unfortunate narrator

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
1 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-21-17

Would you try another book from Kerry Lonsdale and/or Amy Landon?

I have already started another Lonsdale book, with a different narrator. I believe the author has potential.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

Add more richness to the characters. Drop some of the soap-opera moments and descriptions, or develop them into more mature, literary writing.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Amy Landon?

Someone with an understanding of the Spanish language. Spanish pronunciation was very poor. Especially noticeable with the word "Oaxaca". The book comes to a climax in Mexico and there are a lot of missed opportunities with the narrator's obvious unfamiliarity with the language.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yes! Very strong plot line and premise. I was entertained and engaged by this book all the way through- it was one of those you spend your lunch break finishing.