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Women's History Woman

Iowa
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  • Daughters of the Witching Hill

  • By: Mary Sharratt
  • Narrated by: Terry Donnelly
  • Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 112
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 93
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 95

Bess Southerns, an impoverished widow, lives with her children in a crumbling old tower in Pendle Forest. Drawing on Catholic ritual, medicinal herbs, and guidance from her spirit-friend Tibb, Bess heals the sick and foretells the future in exchange for food and drink. As she ages, she instructs her best friend, Anne, and her granddaughter, Alizon, in her craft. Anne ultimately turns to dark magic, while Alizon struggles to accept the power she has inherited and dreams of a simpler life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating

  • By nursebettyknitting on 11-08-13

Exceptionally good

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

Reviewed: 10-11-18

This is utterly engrossing, beautifully written and the characterization is so finely detailed I feel like I know each of these characters personally. Even the characters who may or may not "exist" in the "real world" of the narrative are completely filled out and alive. I especially appreciated that unlike many "witch trial" stories, Sharratt never fixates voyeuristically on the grisly details of torture, etc, but keeps us firmly situated in empathy with the characters' thoughts instead of their pain. This is my second read by Sharratt and I'm officially a major fan--I'll be seeking out everything she's written from now on.

The narrator of the audiobook is also wonderful, capturing the unique "voice" of the two narrators and making the text sparkle. The accent is spot-on and adds so much to the feel of the story.

All in all, I expected to really love this book since I really enjoyed Sharratt's "Ecstasy," but I ended up falling head over heels in love with these women and these words. Highly, highly recommended.

  • The Murders of Richard III

  • A Jacqueline Kirby Mystery
  • By: Elizabeth Peters
  • Narrated by: Grace Conlin
  • Length: 6 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 168
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 105
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 106

When attractive American Jacqueline Kirby is invited to an English country mansion for a weekend costume affair, she expects only one mystery. Since the hosts and guests are all fanatic devotees of King Richard III, they hope to clear his name of the 500-year-old accusation that he killed the little princes in the Tower of London. Jacqueline is amused by the group's eccentricities until history begins to repeat itself.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good for driving

  • By J. Tortorelli on 04-20-07

Great story, terrible, terrible narration.

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

Reviewed: 08-25-14

How could the performance have been better?

I adore Elizabeth Peters and always enjoy her books. While Grace Conlin is not my favorite narrator for her books (who can compare to Barbara Rosenblat?), on other Jacqueline Kirby books she's done a fairly good job. This one, being set in England, exposes a major weakness of Ms Conlin. Accents. Her British accents are terrible. Not just bad, really, laughably bad. It made it almost painful to listen to this book, and I could barely finish.

Was The Murders of Richard III worth the listening time?

On this one and with this narrator, I really have to recommend just reading the book. The narration nearly ruined the whole thing for me.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful