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  • 31
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  • 20
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  • The Far Country

  • By: Nevil Shute
  • Narrated by: Julie Maisey
  • Length: 11 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 145
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 148

A young English woman leaves her ageing parents to visit friends living in the Australian outback, where she quickly falls in love - both with the country and with Carl, a doctor and Czech refugee. Brought together through dramatic encounters and strange twists of fate, their relationship hangs in the balance when Jennifer is called back to England.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Oldie but goodie...

  • By A on 07-24-13

Let's all move to Australia!

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

Reviewed: 08-04-15

After "A Town Like Alice" and "Trustee from the Toolroom", I had great hopes for this book. However they were not realized. The story is thinner, yes, but Shute's gung-ho chauvinism toward Australia truly trips up the story. Surely not *everything* in England is hopeless and *only* Australia offers hope and opportunity? However, that is how this story is written -- and it's not even subtle. He keeps knocking you over the head with it; everything from cars to kitchen appliances is better down under. (And I really like Australia!) If you can get past this element the story is decent, mild and unsurprising, and has at its core two likable characters.

It should be noted that the narrator is much better than one would think from the sample clip. She handles male voices well and does a very good job with the Czech doctor. She actually improved my perception of the story; had I been reading as text it I probably wouldn't have finished it.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Gifted and Talented

  • By: Wendy Holden (Romance Author)
  • Narrated by: Suzy Aitchison
  • Length: 12 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 13
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 12

It's the new university term among the dreaming spires. The start of a whole new life. Meet Isabel, beautiful, clever, shy - and leaving home for the first time. Meet Olly, recently graduated, idealistic and a little hopeless, a man whose heart leads his brain and for whom opportunity just hasn't come knocking - yet. Meet Amber, the It girl who is soon partying with the fast set - and no-one is faster than Jasper de Borchy, glamorous leader of the notorious Bullinger club.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Loved it!

  • By Julia on 09-25-14

I wanted to like this

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

Reviewed: 06-06-15

I've really enjoyed many Wendy Holden titles over the years, but her books are definitely up and down. (eg I liked "Wives of Bath"; disliked "Marrying Up") and this story falls in the dislike pile. The satire in this outing feels tired and the story itself does not hold together very well. Something Holden usually does well is that even in an outrageous plot situation the characters motivations seem believable. In this book, Isabelle -- who is a central character -- creates very little tension in the choices she makes; she's an automaton. If she had been a more believable university student the entire book would have been more enjoyable.

  • The Heat of the Moon

  • A Rachel Goddard Mystery, Book 1
  • By: Sandra Parshall
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 8 hrs and 38 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 784
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 703
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 705

Young vet Rachel Goddard's life changes one day when a child's scream activates a long-forgotten memory from her own childhood. Fearing that nothing about her family is what it seems, Rachel begins a quest for answers.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Quite an unusual and captivating book!

  • By Kathi on 06-24-14

Slow and unsurprising

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

Reviewed: 06-06-15

The reviews gave more promise for this title, which is competently written but not truly engaging.The characters fall along predictable lines with limited character development. The writing style reminds me of Mary Higgins Clark -- if you have that expectation, and not a true mystery, you may find this more more enjoyable.

  • A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

  • By: Betty Smith
  • Narrated by: Kate Burton
  • Length: 14 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,401
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,541
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,531

A moving coming-of-age story set in the 1900s, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn follows the lives of 11-year-old Francie Nolan, her younger brother Neely, and their parents, Irish immigrants who have settled in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. Johnny Nolan is as loving and fanciful as they come, but he is also often drunk and out of work, unable to find his place in the land of opportunity.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Book: flawless. SKIP THE RECORDED INTRO!!

  • By Wild Wise Woman on 09-04-11

Loved as a teen, but even more as an adult

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

Reviewed: 03-08-15

This is of the rare books that had a big impact on me as a young person and did not diminish as I grew older. I have re-listened to this audiobook, just as I reread it as a kid, and enjoyed it each time. When I read this in eight grade I *was* Francie Nolan. Now I see the richness of the story from the adults' point of view--especially her mother, Katie.

This is a book that will stay with you. The characters are wonderfully drawn and the story lurches along in the same somewhat haphazard way real life does. This is not a great novel from the aspect of plotting, but one that is great because you care tremendously for the characters, flaws and all.

Kate Burton's measured narration is perfect for this novel. She does not overdo the accents and her voice has exactly the right amount of introspection. Although it's set in pre WWI Brooklyn -- which is a pulsing character itself-- the story is fresh and relatable, made more so by the telling.

  • The Blue Sapphire

  • By: D. E. Stevenson
  • Narrated by: Hilary Neville
  • Length: 11 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 66
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 58

On a beautiful spring day, Julia Harburn sat on a seat in Kensington Gardens enjoying the sunshine. She was wearing a white frock and a large straw hat with a sapphire-blue ribbon which exactly matched her eyes - a strange coincidence, as it turned out, for the blue sapphire was to have a far-reaching influence upon her life. So far, her life had been somewhat dull and circumscribed; but quite suddenly her horizons were enlarged. She began to make new friends.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A meandering journey

  • By L on 07-10-14

A meandering journey

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

Reviewed: 07-10-14

I only "discovered" DE Stevenson recently, but I have enjoyed many of her books several times over. This offering will not make my re-listen list. It seems as if DE collected scrap ends from different stories that just didn't make it into a more robust novel. It's not to say it's not gentle and somewhat enjoyable, but the heroine has almost no character and her foray in the hat-selling business seems dated, even as it was written.
A better DE Stevenson book about a young woman leaving a sheltered life is "Listening Valley."
If you're looking for something not terribly hard to follow with no big surprises or alarming plot turns, this could fit the bill. (And I'm not being sarcastic, sometimes a quiet book is needed.) It should be noted that this book puts forth a few more stereotypes and recycled characters than usual.
The narrator, Hilary Neville, does her usual excellent job.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Listening Valley

  • By: D. E. Stevenson
  • Narrated by: Emma D'Inverno
  • Length: 11 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 62

Antonia and her sister Louise grow up as thick as thieves, in a world apart from their detached parents. Tonia is a dreamer, slipping away into her "listening place" when life is becoming too much for her. When the more adventurous Lou elopes, Tonia is left on her own. Hope comes in the form of Mr Norman, a caring older man who teaches Tonia how to live for herself. They marry and move to London, but when tragedy strikes Tonia is left to build her own life. She returns to Scotland, in search of a new happiness - although there are some obstacles in her way....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • More Travels with D. E. Stevenson

  • By Jerri C on 08-19-13

Believe In Yourself is theme of this comfort read

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

Reviewed: 01-04-14

I am a new fan of the long-established DE Stevenson, and this offering is one of her best as far as main characters go. The development of Tonia -- from her beginnings as a shy school girl into her young adulthood -- is believable and satisfying.

The story itself is a bit choppy, and seems like two stories mushed together. It's either that the WW II aspect of the novel that is plunked into place after the middle, or the school days are glued on to the beginning -- I can't decide. Despite this bit of a disconnect, the story held my interest, overall, and Tonia is a thoroughly decent character with a pure heart.

The narration is smooth as silk and unwinds effortlessly. It's a good bedtime listen, from both content (nothing too rousing) and narration.

While characters and settings are used repeatedly in Stevenson's works, this book functions as a stand-alone novel.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Obituary Writer

  • By: Ann Hood
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 805
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 718
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 715

A sophisticated and suspenseful novel about the poignant lives of two women living in different eras.... On the day John F. Kennedy is inaugurated, Claire, a young wife and mother obsessed with the glamour of Jackie, struggles over the decision of whether to stay in a loveless but secure marriage or to follow the man she loves and whose baby she may be carrying. Decades earlier, in 1919, Vivien Lowe, an obituary writer, is searching for her lover, who disappeared in the Great San Francisco Earthquake of 1906.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Parallel stories of love and loss

  • By Kathi on 03-06-13

Listenable -- but not much else to recommend it

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

Reviewed: 12-07-13

This book is built on over reliance of period detail. The author seemingly took two events that were easy to research (San Francisco earthquake and JFK inauguration) and built stories outwardly from that, rather than upon interesting characters. Claire's story in particular is full of endless minutia about the food, the clothes, the furnishings of the early 1960s that the resulting story is very thin. Anchored by their settings, the characters fail to become interesting on their own.

As others have noted, narration is a coin toss. I didn't mind her but she is. very. precise. and. enunciates. every. word.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Charlotte Fairlie

  • By: D. E. Stevenson
  • Narrated by: Hilary Neville
  • Length: 9 hrs and 6 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 105
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 86
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 85

Charlotte Fairlie is a successful, elegant career woman. Still in her 20s, she has landed a job as headmistress of her old school. She is admired and liked by both staff and pupils - but she begins to feel there is something missing in her well-organised life. Then one summer she goes to stay with a young pupil on the remote Scottish Isle of Targ. In the romantic atmosphere of the Highlands, anything can happen - and even the cool, efficient Charlotte surprises herself.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A good "read"

  • By Susan h on 08-10-10

As a "comfort read," I just love this book

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

Reviewed: 10-19-13

I was surprised how much I loved this book. The story is old fashioned and a little choppy, but the main character is so decent and likable it's hard not become engaged with her life decisions.

When I was young, I was a big fan of boarding school stories this book is from the perspective of the head of such a school. Another plus for me.

If you're looking for a gentler type of book, but not one that's insipid, I highly recommend this.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Her Royal Spyness

  • By: Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 8 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 10,531
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,357
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 9,327

Georgie, aka Lady Victoria Georgiana Charlotte Eugenie, cousin of King George V of England, is penniless and trying to survive on her own as an ordinary person in London in 1932. So far she has managed to light a fire and boil an egg... She's gate-crashed a wedding... She's making money by secretly cleaning houses... And she's been asked to spy for Her Majesty the Queen.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I’ve Been Charmed

  • By Em on 06-11-12

Too light AND too derivative

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

Reviewed: 05-27-13

If you have ever read Nancy Mitford's wonderful "Pursuit of Love" you'll find a clumsy homage in this book -- and some elements are practically identical. Other inspirations for this book seem to be the mediocre "Maisie Dobbs" series, the "Poor Relation" series and Dorothy L. Sayers. I'm not saying that authors cannot be inspired by other works -- but these echoes distract from what could be a more singular experience.

Regarding the book itself, the mystery takes too long to get going and Georgie isn't a strong enough character to carry the novel part of the book. If I hadn't read the above books, I'd probably like this one more.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Enchanted

  • By: Alethea Kontis
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 7 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 534
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 494
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 486

It isn’t easy being Sunday’s child, not when you’re the rather overlooked and unhappy youngest sibling to sisters named for the other six days of the week. Sunday’s only comfort is writing stories, although what she writes has a terrible tendency to come true. When Sunday meets an enchanted frog who asks about her stories, the two become friends. Soon that friendship deepens into something magical. One night, Sunday kisses her frog goodbye and leaves, not realizing that her love has transformed him....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Charming... Enchanting

  • By Kindle Customer on 07-03-12

Choppy narration spoils good story

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

Reviewed: 05-13-13

I found the reader very hard to listen to. Regardless of the book's action, all the dialog and narration seems to have the same choppy, semi-intense cadence. This is the first time I've encountered this phenomenon but it made the book almost unlistenable, for me at least.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful