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Wendi

Houston, TX
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  • The Water Cure

  • A Novel
  • By: Sophie Mackintosh
  • Narrated by: Hannah Murray, Gemma Whelan, Morfydd Clark
  • Length: 7 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 13

King has tenderly staked out a territory for his wife and three daughters, Grace, Lia, and Sky. He has lain the barbed wire; he has anchored the buoys in the water; he has marked out a clear message: Do not enter. Or viewed from another angle: Not safe to leave. Here women are protected from the chaos and violence of men on the mainland. The cult-like rituals and therapies they endure fortify them from the spreading toxicity of a degrading world. But when their father, the only man they've ever seen, disappears, they retreat further inward until the day two men and a boy wash ashore.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unique, strange, beautiful

  • By Brittany Clemens on 01-08-19

This is the Worst Book I've Ever Listened To.

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

Reviewed: 01-16-19

Sophie Mackintosh can have her story back, and while she's at it she should give every person who said it was good a gift card so they can buy a book that IS good. Because this one is NOT. In no way, shape or form.

We are presented with a hum-drum family of daughters and their mother who live on what we think is an island. Their father who they called 'King' has died and they are living through his ideologies. They hate men, find men evil, and they find other species (birds, frogs, rats) to be disease spreaders which must face immediate death.

The story (not that there IS a story) is told by several different points of view. We're really lucky if we can figure out who's talking or who's viewpoint we're hearing. And, it's the same sentence, over and over.

The characters are beyond boring, the situation is just stupid-bizarre, and there is NO WAY one can picture the book in 'the mind's eye' so to speak because there isn't enough to imagine- we don't know what the heck is going on. And quite frankly, we don't care.

I don't know if this was set in today's time, in a post-apocalyptic world, or in a fairy tale land. If Mackintosh was trying to imitate the writing style of the beautiful 'Circe,' she has failed tremendously.

I tried hard to listen to this all the way through and I almost finished it. By the time I decided I wanted my credit back, I was literally disgusted by the fact I had wasted so much time and energy trying to find out what the hoopla was about. Because, there is no hoopla.

Do yourself a favour and stay away from this. It's more awful than terrible.

-Wendi

  • The Secret Mother

  • By: Shalini Boland
  • Narrated by: Katie Villa
  • Length: 6 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 786
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 701
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 696

Tessa Markham comes home to find a child in her kitchen. He thinks she’s his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children. Not anymore. She doesn’t know who the little boy is or how he got there.After contacting the police, Tessa comes under suspicion for snatching the child. She must fight to prove her innocence. But how can she convince everyone she’s not guilty when even those closest to her are questioning the truth? And when Tessa doesn’t even trust herself...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • wonderfully entertaining book

  • By susan on 01-17-18

Best Boland Book Yet!

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

Reviewed: 01-14-19

The Secret Mother is a very good psychological thriller. I have been on a Shalini Boland tear lately and I wasn't sure what to expect because the past two weren't the greatest. My faith is restored.

This tale is about a grieving mother who walked into her home after work one day to find a little boy waiting for her. He told her she was his new mother. Perplexed. the woman called her ex husband to come over, and they called the police. Of course, the media had a field day, and accused her of stealing a man's child because of her fragile state after her own two children died (twins, one at birth).

The story progresses and I have to say, I was shocked at the end. It's a great story full of twists and turns and likable characters, and I recommend this to anyone who appreciates a great psychological thriller. It starts out with a bang and keeps you hanging on to the edge of your seat throughout the whole novel. Narration is also excellent!

5 stars

  • The Silent Sister

  • By: Shalini Boland
  • Narrated by: Katie Villa
  • Length: 8 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 209
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 198
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 198

Lizzy Beresford is at home alone when she hears a strange noise. Running downstairs to check, she discovers a disturbing letter addressed to her. But who sent it? As Lizzy receives more unsettling messages, she begins to doubt those closest to her - her boyfriend, her neighbors, her friends - because the mystery sender seems to know everything about her. And they want to destroy her perfect life. Desperate for answers, Lizzy reaches out to her sister, Emma. She used to be her best friend. But they haven’t spoken in years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Had no idea at all!

  • By Mystical Lady on 07-25-18

Worst Shalini Boland Book I Have Read

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

This book is just too implausible and silly to be taken seriously. A woman is getting several weird notes and she can't figure out who they are coming from. The story works through who the note writer is, and why. To be honest, I didn't care enough about the main character to care if she was being harassed.

The Silent Sister is boring and awkward and I didn't really enjoy it much. I wouldn't recommend this book to people who enjoy a good psychological thriller because this just isn't one of them.

-Wendi
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  • The Secret

  • By: K. L. Slater
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 7 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 109
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 101
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 100

You think you can trust the ones you love most. But what if one secret could make you question everything? Every day, a woman like Louise passes you in the street: elegant, confident, determined. But underneath, she’s struggling. She doesn’t know her sister, Alice, has been scared of leaving the house since their mother died. She doesn’t know when Alice babysits her little boy, Archie, he sometimes sees things he shouldn’t. She doesn’t know Archie has a secret. A secret that could send cracks through the heart of Louise’s carefully constructed life....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Naw

  • By Melissa Kaizer on 10-16-18

Meh.. Okay Story, Predictable and Somewhat Juvenil

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

Reviewed: 01-11-19

I like KL Slater and I love a good British narrated psychological thriller. 'The Secret' is about a woman who has lost her husband and her mother, and the only people she has in life are her nephew and her sister, Her sister treats the woman poorly, and she finds herself often watching her nephew. But something weird is going on.

Nephew is keeping secrets and Sister's mood swings are horrible.

The ending is fairly predictable. Slater tries a 'double twist' with this one that works somewhat.

There is no real 'wow' factor to 'The Secret.' It's worth the listen if you can get it on sale.

-Wendi

  • Closer

  • By: K. L . Slater
  • Narrated by: Lucy Price-Lewis
  • Length: 8 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 37
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 37

I know my daughter better than I know myself, and if there’s one thing I know for sure at this moment it's that Maisie is not okay. My ex-husband, Shaun, and I are still friends. We would do anything for our beautiful little girl, Maisie. But now Shaun has moved in with Joanne, and suddenly Maisie has a brand-new family. And there’s something not quite right about it.... I know Joanne isn’t everything she says she is. Yet no-one will listen. I need to discover what she’s hiding. Because if I don’t, my daughter will be in terrible danger. 

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Ridiculous Story

  • By Hera on 12-19-18

K L Slater.. losing her touch unfortunately...

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

Reviewed: 12-29-18

I am giving this book a VERY generous rating of 3/5 stars because I love the narrator, and because I would hate for someone to read a bad review about K.L. Slater books and think they are all awful. Because, they aren't. Except for this one. And the one before it..

I love K.L. Slater books. I salivate over them. She has such an awesome way of pulling the reader or listener into the story and twisting the plot with a 'SURPRISE' that you just might have seen coming, but probably not.. The 'SURPRISE' in this book was not at all one I saw coming, which is another reason for the 3/5 stars.

So- we have a great narrator, and a fairly good 'SURPRISE.' The problem is.. everything that lead up to the end wasn't good. At all.. In fact, it was confusing and unlikable and I wanted to slap every character in the book. Hard.

We have a busy paralegal (Ellen), her husband (Sean), and their 10 year old daughter. They have agreed to stay together for the sake of their daughter but live separate lives because they've fallen out of love. It's not too long before the Mr. falls deeply in love with a woman, who happens to be his wife's boss.

The wife's boss has her own daughter who is the same age as Ellen's daughter. Ellen's daughter is thrown into a serious conundrum when dad starts dating her friend's mom of course- but then things take a really implausible term. In fact, the story line was so ridiculous and stupid, it was actually hard to finish the book. And the ending.. it would have been ok.. but then Slater adds an additional 'SURPRISE' to the already-shocking moment and it's soooo... dumb.

For those who have never read Slater, please don't start with this book. For those who have, you might want to skip this.. unless you are a die-hard fan like me. (Then again, if she keeps publishing this quality of psychological fiction, even the die-hards will wean off)

Advice to Slater- please quit trying to crank out so many books in such a short period of time. Your fans will wait. Sometimes, good things happen when we wait... (Just a suggestion, of course.)

-Wendi

  • Unraveling Oliver

  • A Novel
  • By: Liz Nugent
  • Narrated by: Sam O'Mahony
  • Length: 6 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 356
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 330
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 326

Oliver Ryan, handsome, charismatic, and successful, has long been married to his devoted wife, Alice. Together they write and illustrate award-winning children's books; their life together is one of enviable privilege and ease - until, one evening after a delightful dinner, Oliver delivers a blow to Alice that renders her unconscious and subsequently beats her into a coma.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wow!!!!

  • By felicia jones on 09-21-17

Wonderful Performance, Meaningless Story

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

Reviewed: 12-16-18

I am angry that I bought this book, even if I got it on sale. I wanted to love it. I loved the narration with the thick Irish accents. Sam O'Mahony is brilliant! This book is not.

The premise is great. We start out by meeting Oliver, who has hit his wife. Then, several different characters tell how they knew Oliver. The problem is, their back stories and information is disjointed, irrelevant, and pretty annoying. It gets boring. Like as in, 'Who is this person again, and how does he or she matter to the story?'

The end.. it's like a slap in the face to the reader.

I am going to look for Sam O'Mahony narrated books. But I am going to avoid any other books by Liz Nugent. Urgh.

-Wendi

  • Allie and Bea

  • By: Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Narrated by: Lauren Ezzo, Janet Metzger
  • Length: 10 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,775
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,411
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,398

Bea has barely been scraping by since her husband died. After falling for a telephone scam, she loses everything and is forced to abandon her trailer. With only two-thirds of a tank in her old van, she heads toward the Pacific Ocean with her cat - on a mission to reclaim what's rightfully hers, even if it means making others pay for what she lost.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I did not see this coming

  • By Lolasark on 07-19-17

Beautiful, clean, feel good story! Lovely!

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

Reviewed: 12-13-18

I have never read a book by this author but I saw that there were several great reviews for this book and I decided to purchase it while it was on sale. I am not disappointed!

This book is a very 'feel good' book that has no gratuitous sex, cussing, or inappropriate behaviour. It's a lovely story about a old woman who's down on her luck, and a young girl who is equally unlucky. The two of them form a friendship although the friendship is not conventional, and they sort of find themselves through their problems, together.

This book is a beautiful testament that you don't always need to have a lot of money to be happy, that there are many beautiful things to see in every day life, and that if you keep your heart open, you may just form friendships with people who surprise you.

I loved this story- Brava!

-Wendi

  • Educated

  • A Memoir
  • By: Tara Westover
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 28,500
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 25,863
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 25,735

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father's junkyard. Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. Her quest for knowledge transformed her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Other Side of Idaho's Mountains

  • By Darwin8u on 03-28-18

I am Shocked That Everyone Loves This Book!

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

Reviewed: 12-09-18

The audible sale (or any audible sale) is so tempting to an audible addict like me. I have been avoiding reading any memoirs this year because.. well.. there are just too many. I am also a memoir addict, but I have been trying to read as much fiction as possible this past year. The sale gave me 50% off 'Educated' plus I had a $5.00 coupon, so I decided to go for it.

I started 'Educated' as soon as I bought it. I fell asleep 5 times while listening to it and had to go find where 'I was.' I was thinking this would be a thought provoking, moving memoir. I was hoping for 'The Glass Castle' with all of the rave reviews and 'Audiobook of the Year, Memoir Category.' Unfortunately this memoir just isn't very good. There is nothing jaw dropping or amazing or 'wow' about it. In fact, it's incredibly boring and the story is nothing out of the ordinary.

The youngest girl of a strict Mormon family with 7 children tells their life story. Their dad was a big believer in living off the grid, which meant most of their children were born at home, and home schooled. The kids had to help their parents with the family businesses, and with chores. Their father was paranoid and didn't want to let the government know his business.

The children had grandparents they could see. The older kids left when they could to get away from 'crazy' and went to college. Our subject of the memoir learned many things during her childhood that children wouldn't pick up in conventional schools, but she was still taught how to read and write, and other lessons when growing up. Her mother was a midwife, and her father had a business, so they rarely did without money.

The truth is, all you have to do is a bit of research to see there are several Mormon families who live this way, as well as other families too. There is nothing shocking about it. It's not a conventional life, but it's not like the people who raise their families this way should all be considered abusive and neglectful. It seems to me that this memoir was molded after Jeannette Walls' 'The Glass Castle'- which was truly shocking, and something that will stay with me for the rest of my life. 'Educated' is boring, and over-rated. It's just.. no big deal.

Disappointed.

-Wendi

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Dream Daughter

  • A Novel
  • By: Diane Chamberlain
  • Narrated by: Susan Bennett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 725
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 677
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 676

When Carly Sears, a young woman widowed by the Vietnam War, receives the news that her unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970, and she is told nothing can be done to help her child. But her brother-in-law, a physicist with a mysterious past, tells her that perhaps there is a way to save her baby. What he suggests is something that will shatter every preconceived notion Carly has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage she never knew existed. Something that will mean an unimaginable leap of faith on Carly's part. 

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • ✫✫ 4 Stars ✫✫

  • By Cyndi on 10-05-18

Chamberlain is Amazing! Now She's Time Traveling!

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

I love Diane Chamberlain. I have NEVER read a book or listened to a book of hers that I haven't liked. I will admit her stories have a formula, but they never get old. They are always about women, and the women in her stories face some kind of unique struggle. I always get addicted to her characters and the narrator is always fantastic in portraying the Chamberlain 'classy lady' voice.

The Dream Daughter was a little bit out of her normal realm but it was awesome!! It's her same wonderful formula but this time, there is time travel involved. She does an amazing job at roping the reader in to all of her characters; past, present, and future. I loved each one of them, and this book is melodic and delightful and full of surprises, love, and character.

She is amazing. Loved 'The Dream Daughter.' I highly recommend this author, especially to women. She entangles social issues, trying times, and heartfelt sentiment in her writings and she is a wonderful author.

-Wendi

  • The Perfect Family

  • By: Shalini Boland
  • Narrated by: Katie Villa
  • Length: 7 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 489
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 445
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 441

Gemma Ballantine is getting ready for work one morning when her eldest child comes running down the stairs saying the words every mother dreads. The front door is open. And her six-year-old daughter has disappeared. Frantic with fear, Gemma starts a nail-biting search for her little girl. After what feels like forever, her mother-in-law, Diane, finds Katie wandering lost a few streets away. Relieved to have her youngest child back in her arms, breathing in the sweet scent of her hair, Gemma thinks the nightmare is over. But then her perfect family starts to fall apart....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Solid Psychological Thriller

  • By Wendi on 12-02-18

Solid Psychological Thriller

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

Reviewed: 12-02-18

I have a weakness for British narrated psychological thrillers. I can't help it. They are my guilty pleasure. 'The Perfect Family' is different. Yes, a child is missing but the child is found right away- and that's just the beginning of the problems that faces our family.

This is fairly fast paced with interesting characters, and although I figured out the ending before 'the twist,' there were a few things that were a surprise.

Having said this, I've never read a Shalina Boland book before, and I will definitely be ordering more. I enjoyed her style, her pace, and the story was very good. I would recommend this to any fan of psychological thrillers.

4 solid stars,

-Wendi

10 of 10 people found this review helpful