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Mona-Alisa

Charleston, SC, United States
  • 22
  • reviews
  • 64
  • helpful votes
  • 68
  • ratings
  • The Parisians

  • By: Marius Gabriel
  • Narrated by: Karissa Vacker
  • Length: 13 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 114
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 113

Paris, 1940. The Nazis have occupied the city - and the Ritz. The opulent old hotel, so loved by Parisians, is now full of swaggering officers, their minions and their mistresses. For American Olivia Olsen, working as a chambermaid at the hotel means denying her nationality and living a lie, every day bringing the danger of discovery closer. When Hitler’s right-hand man moves in and makes her his pet, she sees an opportunity to help the Resistance - and draw closer to Jack, her contact, whose brusque instructions may be a shield for something more…

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Not another WWII Book

  • By CaliReader on 02-03-19

The Parisians

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

Reviewed: 03-22-19

The Ritz, Coco Channel, and the high ranking Nazis intertwine with the world of collaborators and the hotel staff resistance during the German occupation of Paris.

For a WWII story it focuses less on the horrors of concentration camps and more on the relationships between Nazi officials and upper society collaboration while the resistance takes place right under their noses.

This is a good departure from the usual focus of the battlefield and the holocaust. I read many books about WWII and I find different angles to be interesting.

  • The Au Pair

  • By: Emma Rous
  • Narrated by: Elizabeth Sastre, Nicola Barber
  • Length: 11 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 541
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 506
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 508

Seraphine Mayes and her twin brother, Danny, were born in the middle of summer at their family's estate on the Norfolk coast. Within hours of their birth, their mother threw herself from the cliffs and the au pair fled. Now an adult, Seraphine mourns the recent death of her father. While going through his belongings, she uncovers a family photograph that raises dangerous questions. It was taken on the day the twins were born, and in the photo, their mother, surrounded by her husband and her young son, is smiling serenely and holding just one baby. 

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Just ridiculous

  • By ROBIN on 02-06-19

The Unfolding is Just Right

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

Reviewed: 02-22-19

Rarely do I listen to mystery. I use audible books to help with insomnia. If it is too fast and has violent sequences, it won’t help me to sleep. The Au Pair is paced well. I really enjoyed the story and the narrator was excellent. The suspense is compelling while not being overwhelming. I look forward to more books by the author.

  • A Motherland's Daughter, a Fatherland's Son

  • A WWII Novel
  • By: Ellie Midwood
  • Narrated by: Kylie Stewart, Eric Rolon
  • Length: 9 hrs and 41 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14

On the border of this newly divided territory, a young Wehrmacht Unteroffizier, Werner, and a Soviet military interpreter, Kira, meet and fall in love against all odds. Both forced into the military against their will, they wish for one thing only - a peaceful life together. Everything is set for Kira to defect and marry Werner...but the German army invades the Soviet Union, and now the two lovers are forced to fight against each other on the opposite sides of the frontline. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Such a Soul-Gripping Book!

  • By Kindle Customer49 on 01-29-19

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 01-30-19

I am a great fan of WWII historical fiction. I have read almost all of the well-rated ones. I like the genre because it almost always shows the incredible strength humans possess and the danger they are willing to risk for fellow humans. This one gave very little attention to these human stories. This book is quite confronting from the soldiers point of view on the battlefield. It does help one understand the roll of the USSR versus the Nazis. Overall I found it disturbing in a profound way without redemption. The gruesome scenes where continuous and anyone who has studied WWII knows plenty about the grotesqueness of war.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Ragged Edge of Night

  • By: Olivia Hawker
  • Narrated by: Nick Sandys, Olivia Hawker
  • Length: 11 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,200
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,058
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,052

Germany, 1942. Franciscan friar Anton Starzmann is stripped of his place in the world when his school is seized by the Nazis. He relocates to a small German hamlet to wed Elisabeth Herter, a widow who seeks a marriage - in name only - to a man who can help raise her three children. Anton seeks something too - atonement for failing to protect his young students from the wrath of the Nazis. But neither he nor Elisabeth expects their lives to be shaken once again by the inescapable rumble of war. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Ragged Edge of Night must be made into a movie

  • By M. King on 10-04-18

Too bad it is compared to two of the best WWII historical fiction books.

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

Reviewed: 12-26-18

If it wasn’t compared to All the Light We Could not See and The Nightingale, possibly I would have liked it a bit more. I read a lot of WWII historical fiction. I brace myself for the horror because of the redemption of the human condition that most often follows.

The writing is good this being her first publication. But given the weighty topic of WWII, one would expect some scenes to remind us of the real danger the characters are putting themselves in. It is based on a true story, and there is an opportunity to provide a deeper understanding of the struggles of the main character.

I hope the writer will continue to write. I’m looking forward to her development.

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Lost Vintage

  • A Novel
  • By: Ann Mah
  • Narrated by: Saskia Maarleveld
  • Length: 11 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 856
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 799
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 802

Sweetbitter meets The Nightingale in this pause-resisting novel about a woman who returns to her family’s ancestral vineyard in Burgundy and unexpectedly uncovers a lost diary, an unknown relative, and a secret her family has been keeping since World War II. To become one of only a few hundred certified wine experts in the world, Kate must pass the notoriously difficult Master of Wine examination. She’s failed twice before; her third attempt will be her last chance.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Splendid

  • By Rachel Maritz on 08-08-18

WWll Historical Fiction

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

Reviewed: 11-07-18

This is my genre. I needed a break from the very graphic stories of Nazi’s and the horrendous concentration camps. Yet I wanted to stick to the genre. My last book was too fairytalish. The Lost Vintage was just right. Mostly set in modern day France with a discovery of ancestral things hidden in the cellar the protagonist must learn what happened to her ancestors during the Nazi occupation of France.

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl from Berlin

  • A Novel
  • By: Ronald H. Balson
  • Narrated by: Fred Berman
  • Length: 13 hrs and 23 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 461
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 439
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 438

An old friend calls Catherine Lockhart and Liam Taggart to his famous Italian restaurant to enlist their help. His aunt is being evicted from her home in the Tuscan hills by a powerful corporation claiming they own the deeds, even though she can produce her own set of deeds to her land. Catherine and Liam’s only clue is a bound, handwritten manuscript, entirely in German, and hidden in its pages is a story long-forgotten....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • WWII in Berlin and Italy

  • By Mona-Alisa on 10-23-18

WWII in Berlin and Italy

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

Reviewed: 10-23-18

Historical fiction is my genre. The human spirit as portrayed in this book is inspiring. The book only touches on the atrocities of the Nazi concentration camps compared to other WWII books. If you are knowledgeable about the evil of the camps then this book says enough for you to imagine what happens to those who perish there. I find the story strikes a great balance between the harshness of the regime and the way the central characters fall in love with their new country. The ending is both beautiful and sad with redemption.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Next Year in Havana

  • By: Chanel Cleeton
  • Narrated by: Kyla Garcia, Frankie Maria Corzo
  • Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,971
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,537
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 4,526

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, 19-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba's high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country's growing political unrest - until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary...Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee during the revolution. Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba's tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing story line but the performance...

  • By Grace F on 07-10-18

Next Year in Havana

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

Reviewed: 07-19-18

A historical fiction fan who has not read much about Cuba. Truly fascinating. The central characters are varied and interesting. The fated love affairs are woven in a nice way. It’s relatively light in comparison to most WWII historical fiction. However, it is timely to understand how fascism takes root and effects all aspects of life. No one is safe. I would have given it a total of 5 stars, but the ending was predictable and not as worthy as the rest of the story.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dreams of Falling

  • By: Karen White
  • Narrated by: Shannon McManus, Cassandra Campbell, Susan Larkin
  • Length: 16 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 689
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 653
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 646

On the banks of the North Santee River stands a moss-draped oak that was once entrusted with the dreams of three young girls. Into the tree's trunk they placed their greatest hopes, written on ribbons, for safekeeping - including the most important one: friends forever, come what may. But life can waylay the best of intentions....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My favorite Karen White-friends, family, secrets and love

  • By Haveenoughstuff on 06-07-18

Dreams of Falling

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

Reviewed: 06-17-18

I have read or listened to most of Karen White’s books. The book takes place in Georgetown, SC. I’ve lived in Charleston and grew up going to Myrtle Beach for my summers. Georgetown is between the two and I can tell you she knows the places she writes about.

I enjoyed this book after being a rather slow start. The last quarter of the book, when the mystery began unwinding, I thought about the story during the day and looked forward to getting back to it.

The narrators do a great job. I’m familiar with them from her other books.

My only wish is that Karen White return to her supernatural bent. There are many good authors who write about low country female characters but only Ms White can entangle ghost and goblins in this genre.

1 of 3 people found this review helpful

The English German Girl
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Jake Wallis Simons
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Julie Teal
    
    


    
    Length: 15 hrs and 33 mins
    582 ratings
    Overall 4.4
  • The English German Girl

  • By: Jake Wallis Simons
  • Narrated by: Julie Teal
  • Length: 15 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 582
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 538
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 538

In 1930s Berlin, choked by the tightening of Hitler's fist, the Klein family are gradually losing everything that is precious to them. Their 15-year-old daughter, Rosa, slips out of Germany on a Kindertransport train to begin a new life in England. Charged with the task of securing a safe passage for her family, she vows that she will not rest until they are safe. But as war breaks out and she loses contact with her parents, Rosa finds herself wondering if there are some vows that can't be kept....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • must read

  • By Donna on 01-31-12

The English German Girl

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

Reviewed: 04-08-18

As a WWll historical fiction buff I had yet to read a book where a young Jewish girl gets out of Germany. It was an interesting perspective. It opened a part of my curiosity about children who survived by leaving their families.

I liked the story. It kept my interest. The narrator is excellent. I was, however, disappointed with the ending. It felt rushed. As though the editor had to make it shorter and cut important parts of the ending.

  • The Paris Secret

  • By: Karen Swan
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 585
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 547
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 548

When high-powered fine-art agent Flora Sykes is called in to assess objets d'art in a Paris apartment that has been abandoned since WWII, she is skeptical at first - until she discovers that under decades of dust the treasure trove of paintings is myriad...and priceless. The powerful Vermeil family to whom they belong is eager to learn more and asks Flora to trace the history of each and every painting.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Paris, Art History, Nazi occupation’s...

  • By Mona-Alisa on 02-06-18

Paris, Art History, Nazi occupation’s...

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

Reviewed: 02-06-18

effect on contemporary lives. I especially enjoyed this modern story which weaves the impact of France’s collaboration with Germany in WWII on one family. It isn’t emotionally grueling as many books on the subject are. The book is mostly about a very wealthy family in Paris and the young woman they hire to assess the provenance to value an apartment full of paintings they’ve inherited.

The narrator does an excellent job weaving between the voices of the characters and their various accents.

Being a student of art history, fashion, a Francophile, and a connoisseur of historical fiction - particularly of WWII - this is among my top three books.

30 of 30 people found this review helpful