LISTENER

Sandra

  • 5
  • reviews
  • 12
  • helpful votes
  • 9
  • ratings
  • I Liked My Life

  • A Novel
  • By: Abby Fabiaschi
  • Narrated by: Susan Bennett, Dan Bittner, Therese Plummer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,516
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,302
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,297

Maddy is a devoted stay-at-home wife and mother, host of excellent parties, giver of thoughtful gifts, and bestower of a searingly perceptive piece of advice or two. She is the cornerstone of her family, a true matriarch...until she commits suicide, leaving her husband, Brady, and teenage daughter, Eve, heartbroken and reeling, wondering what happened. How could the exuberant, exacting woman they loved disappear so abruptly, seemingly without reason, from their lives?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Good all around.

  • By Adam C. on 03-16-17

Hands down my favourite audiobook of 2017

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

Reviewed: 12-28-17

Don't let the subject of suicide deter you from choosing this audiobook- it's far more than what it seems to be.

This book gave me all the feels. This is a story where my perspective while listening to it completely changed once I had finished it. I was engrossed in the story it while listening to it but once finished, I fell in love with the characters. They had settled in my heart and mind and months later I still have not been able to stop thinking of them. I normally delete my audiobooks from my phone once I finish it but this one will always be a go-to when I'm not quite sure what I want to read.

I usually race through my audiobooks like a carb addict handed a fresh box of doughnuts but this story just begs to be savoured. It was the perfect audiobook to listen to while out walking the dog. I spent quite a few hours sitting on the boardwalk with my dog on my lap watching the sailboats drift by and the sun set fully immersed in Maddy's story.

There's no shortage of tragedy in I Liked My Life but it never becomes cumbersome and heavy. Maddy's perspective and acceptance of her after-life provides the support and structure that enables the reader to enjoy the story. If you have ever been to a funeral where the primary griever is consoling others, that's the gift Maddy gives to the reader.

It's a beautiful story of loving and letting go without the gut-wrenching, heart shredding, ugly tears that usually accompanies stories like this.

  • Stillhouse Lake

  • By: Rachel Caine
  • Narrated by: Emily Sutton-Smith
  • Length: 10 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,100
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,949
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,922

With her ex now in prison, Gwen has finally found refuge in a new home on remote Stillhouse Lake. Though still the target of stalkers and Internet trolls who think she had something to do with her husband's crimes, Gwen dares to think her kids can finally grow up in peace. But just when she's starting to feel at ease in her new identity, a body turns up in the lake - and threatening letters start arriving from an all-too-familiar address.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Too much

  • By Patti L Langston on 07-18-17

100% hooked

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

Reviewed: 12-28-17

I'm 100% sure that if I had any other job I'd have called in sick so I could stay home and listen to this audiobook in one sitting. As it was, I was dancing dangerously close to arriving late for a shift. While at work I was counting down the hours before I could plug myself back in.

The cast of characters keeps on the roller coaster of hope/fear/uncertainty as Gina/Gwen's fiercely protected new life is threatened. After all she was already put through, how could that only be the beginning of her nightmare?

The story was fast-paced, engaging, and Emily Sutton-Smith delivers a nuanced performance that is so skillfully delivered that I forget there's only one narrator. Rachel Caine is a master at building tension and sympathy so it wasn't long before I was completely invested in the story.

Thank goodness I knew beforehand that it's not a stand-alone novel. I don't think I could have handled finishing the story when it ends in such an explosive cliffhanger...

  • Crimes Against a Book Club

  • By: Kathy Cooperman
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 10 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 603
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 534
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 535

Best friends Annie and Sarah need cash - fast. Sarah, a beautiful, successful lawyer, wants nothing more than to have a baby. But balancing IVF treatments with a grueling eighty-hour workweek is no walk in the park. Meanwhile, Annie, a Harvard-grad chemist recently transplanted to Southern California, is cutting coupons to afford her young autistic son's expensive therapy.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Very entertaining

  • By Beverly P. on 11-21-17

Enjoyable enough to spend a credit

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

Reviewed: 10-26-17

Crimes Against a Bookclub was enjoyable and exactly what I expected- fluffy brain candy. Don't get me wrong, this is one of my favourite genres and if I read this book in hardcopy, I'd have devoured it in a day, probably in the summer.

Will I listen to it again? Probably not.

The premise was intriguing and I enjoyed the beginning but by the midpoint, I was beginning to tire of Annie's antics and my sympathy for her in particular was wearing thin by the end. There was so much potential in the first 1/3 to 1/2 of the story that as it fizzled out later on, it was disappointing.

That being said, the ending is very satisfying so hang on! The last hour or so is pretty great.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Arrangement

  • A Novel
  • By: Sarah Dunn
  • Narrated by: Ellen Archer
  • Length: 9 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,169
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,073
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,070

Lucy and Owen, ambitious, thoroughly-therapized New Yorkers, have taken the plunge, trading in their crazy life in a cramped apartment for Beekman, a bucolic Hudson Valley exurb. They've got a 200-year-old house, an autistic son obsessed with the Titanic whose verbal ticks often sound like a broken record, and 17 chickens, at last count.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story!

  • By Teresa on 05-16-17

The ending really could go either way

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

Reviewed: 10-26-17

What I loved about The Arrangement was that until he very end, I could easily see the ending going either way.

It's an interesting take on an idea that I'm sure more marriages have considered than most people would expect. I love the dual perspectives of Lucy and Owen and how they approach their agreement.

The performance really carries the story so it was no surprise when I found myself up for hours past my bedtime. I was hooked! I gave up trying to figure out what I was rooting for and just sat back and enjoyed the story.

This is definitely one to which I will return; my next source of in-flight entertainment I think...

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Dead Key

  • By: D. M. Pulley
  • Narrated by: Emily Sutton-Smith
  • Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,256
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,405
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7,410

It's 1998, and for years the old First Bank of Cleveland has sat abandoned, perfectly preserved, its secrets only speculated on by the outside world. Twenty years before, amid strange staff disappearances and allegations of fraud, panicked investors sold Cleveland's largest bank in the middle of the night, locking out customers and employees and thwarting a looming federal investigation. In the confusion that followed, the keys to the vault's safe-deposit boxes were lost.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Not good.

  • By Guy on 05-05-17

Few characters have annoyed me as much as Iris

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

Reviewed: 10-26-17

Somehow, I made it through the book. I stopped paying attention right when the action peaked because by that point, I just couldn't care less about what happened either plot-wise or to Iris. I tried to empathize with her but after it was clear that her decisions were the result of character flaws and not a reasonable external factor, I was annoyed.

The story of Beatrice and Max redeemed the story (somewhat). It was far more interesting to learn of the sordid history of the bank but the flaws they had and disadvantages they faced were too artificial. For some reason, I couldn't connect with either one.

I have no idea how it ended and I have zero interest in even listening to the last chapter.

I will say though, it's a great book to put on if you want something to listen to when doing housework.

9 of 12 people found this review helpful