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Fran H.

  • 26
  • reviews
  • 24
  • helpful votes
  • 109
  • ratings
  • The Peacock Emporium

  • A Novel
  • By: Jojo Moyes
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Sastre, Christine Rendel, Fabio Tassone
  • Length: 14 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 233
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 214
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 210

From the number one New York Times best-selling author Jojo Moyes, comes the story of a young woman who finds new meaning in life after opening an eclectic shop and comes to terms with the secrets of her past.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • predictable

  • By justme on 04-26-19

Good but not great

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

Reviewed: 04-22-19

I know and love most all Joni Moyes books. Parts of The Peacock Emporium were good but, overall, I would not recommend. Frustrating reading/listening to the first chapters and not knowing timeframe or reference point.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Far from the Tree

  • By: Robin Benway
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,489
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,365
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,360

Being the middle child has its ups and downs. But for Grace, an only child who was adopted at birth, discovering that she is a middle child is a different ride altogether. After putting her own baby up for adoption, she goes looking for her biological family, including: Maya, her loudmouthed younger bio sister, who has a lot to say about their newfound family ties. And Joaquin, their stoic older bio brother, who has no interest in bonding over their shared biological mother.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • SO MOVED BY THIS STORY! GREAT FICTION!

  • By Ann on 02-28-18

A Read for All Ages

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

Reviewed: 04-12-19

Though this is a young adult genre, this 70 year old Reader loved it, sans the dialog between the teenagers. I not only liked but related to each character (parents and teenagers). The narrator could have done a better job on the male voices (not all of us have the gift).

This book especially touched me since I was adopted infant in 1948 who recently met my siblings and biological father at age 70.

I highly recommend. Thank you, Robin Benway, for this gift!

  • Like Family

  • Growing Up in Other People's Houses, a Memoir
  • By: Paula McLain
  • Narrated by: Wendy Tremont King
  • Length: 9 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 38
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 38

This powerful and haunting memoir details the years Paula McLain and her two sisters spent as foster children after being abandoned by both parents in California in the early 1970s. As wards of the State, the sisters spent the next 14 years moving from foster home to foster home. The dislocations, confusions, and odd pleasures of an unrooted life form the basis of one of the most compelling memoirs in recent years - a book in the tradition of Jo Ann Beard's The Boys of My Youth and Mary Karr's The Liars' Club.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A must read

  • By Amazon Customer on 03-29-19

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 04-08-19

I loved Paula-McLain ‘s novels and was hoping to learn more about how and why she wrote them. i found this memoir bleak, depressing and poorly written. I am thankful it is behind me.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Only Woman in the Room

  • By: Marie Benedict
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
  • Length: 8 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,431
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,336
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,326

Her beauty almost certainly saved her from the rising Nazi party and led to marriage with an Austrian arms dealer. Underestimated in everything else, she overheard the Third Reich's plans while at her husband's side, understanding more than anyone would guess. She devised a plan to flee in disguise from their castle, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • incredible true story about heddy Lamar

  • By S. Loew on 01-26-19

Fantastic True Story

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

Reviewed: 03-19-19

Very well written and narrated. Few WWII stories go to Hollywood. Loved every minute of this. Just passed it onto my husband. Recommend for any adult who is interested in historical fiction. Excellent!

  • Not Her Daughter

  • A Novel
  • By: Rea Frey
  • Narrated by: Samantha Desz
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 332
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 309
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 307

Emma Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes. Brown hair. Missing since June. Emma is lonely. Living with her cruel mother and clueless father, Emma retreats into her own world of quiet and solitude. Sarah Walker. Successful entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Kidnapper. Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the gray-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal. When a second-chance encounter with Emma presents itself, Sarah takes her - far away from home. But if it’s to rescue a little girl from her damaging mother, is kidnapping wrong?    

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • So Freakin Good!

  • By Yikes on 08-23-18

Could not stop listening

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

Reviewed: 11-30-18

Very well written and narrated. Ending was very clever and thought provoking.

Recommend for any mom of any age.

  • Where the Crawdads Sing

  • By: Delia Owens
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 12 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 77,210
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 70,108
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 69,846

For years, rumors of the "Marsh Girl" have haunted Barkley Cove. So in late 1969, when handsome Chase Andrews is found dead, the locals immediately suspect Kya Clark, the so-called Marsh Girl. But Kya is not what they say. Sensitive and intelligent, she has survived for years alone in the marsh that she calls home, finding friends in the gulls and lessons in the sand. Then the time comes when she yearns to be touched and loved. When two young men from town become intrigued by her wild beauty, Kya opens herself to a new life - until the unthinkable happens.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not my usual style

  • By Veronica on 09-22-18

Beautifully written and narrated

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

Reviewed: 11-17-18

One of the most touching stories I’ve read in many years. Loved the character development, poetry and descriptions of the wildlife and landscapes.

Highly recommend to all ages and genders.

  • The Tea Girl of Hummingbird Lane

  • By: Lisa See
  • Narrated by: Ruthie Ann Miles, Kimiko Glenn, Alexandra Allwine, and others
  • Length: 14 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,064
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,440
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,415

The thrilling new novel from number-one New York Times best-selling author Lisa See explores the lives of a Chinese mother and her daughter who has been abandoned and adopted by an American couple.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • ***EXCELLENT*** Six stars if I could !!

  • By ROBIN on 04-10-17

Loved every moment minute on so many levels

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

Reviewed: 10-09-18

Well written and performed! Mesmerizing historical story of old and new China (and LA)!!!!! I’ve ordered the tea cakes on Amazon and found a tea house in Pasadena. I’m now obsessed with tea!!!

I also related to the adoption portion of the story since I was an adopted infant in Southern California in the 1950’s. Through Ancestry, I’ve recently uncovered my birth father! Timely reading.

  • Before I Met You

  • A Novel
  • By: Lisa Jewell
  • Narrated by: Helen Duff
  • Length: 15 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,473
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,370
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,363

After her grandmother Arlette's death, Betty is finally ready to begin her life. She had forfeited university, parties, boyfriends, summer jobs in order to care for Arlette. Now she's ready for whatever life throws at her, and, since the will included a beneficiary unknown to her who lives in the city, she heads there to find the mysterious woman. In 1920s London, Arlette is starting her new life in a time of postwar change. Beautiful and charismatic, she's drawn into a hedonistic world, but then tragedy strikes, and she flees back to her childhood home....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Not the author’s best...

  • By Phyllis on 12-23-18

Could Not Stop Listening

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

Reviewed: 09-27-18

Fabulous writing and character development.

Narrator is amazing. This is my second book by Lisa Jewel. I’m about to begin my third. I will also seek others narrated by Helen Duff.

Recommend to all ages and genders.

12 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Then She Was Gone

  • A Novel
  • By: Lisa Jewell
  • Narrated by: Helen Duff
  • Length: 10 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,247
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,377
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,307

Fifteen-year-old Ellie Mack was the perfect daughter. She was beloved by her parents, friends, and teachers. She and her boyfriend made a teenage golden couple. She was days away from an idyllic summer vacation, with her whole life ahead of her. And then she was gone. Now her mother, Laurel Mack, is trying to put her life back together.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • SO GOOD

  • By Anonymous User on 05-24-18

Could not stop listening

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

Reviewed: 08-11-18

Can’t wait to read another by Lisa Jewell. Highly recommend to all ages. Beautifully written and narrated.


  • Little Fires Everywhere

  • By: Celeste Ng
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Lim
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 30,838
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,802
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 27,773

In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned - from the layout of the winding roads to the colors of the houses to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules. Enter Mia Warren - an enigmatic artist and single mother - who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter, Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • I kept Waiting for it to get good...it never did.

  • By Amazon Customer on 06-25-18

Thought provoking

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

Reviewed: 05-19-18

I loved the heart of this story and the relationships. Mia and Pearl’s story was particularly engaging. I had trouble following the third person narrative style that kept switching back and forth referencing characters by different names. A bit frustrating but may have been less so if reading the written word.

Nevertheless, I recommend this to all ages. The ending was perfect.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful