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Debra

New York, NY, United States
  • 20
  • reviews
  • 36
  • helpful votes
  • 130
  • ratings
  • Before We Were Yours

  • A Novel
  • By: Lisa Wingate
  • Narrated by: Emily Rankin, Catherine Taber
  • Length: 14 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51,324
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 46,673
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46,510

Memphis, 1939. Twelve-year-old Rill Foss and her four younger siblings live a magical life aboard their family’s Mississippi River shantyboat. But when their father must rush their mother to the hospital one stormy night, Rill is left in charge - until strangers arrive in force. Wrenched from all that is familiar and thrown into a Tennessee Children’s Home Society orphanage, the Foss children are assured that they will soon be returned to their parents - but they quickly realize the dark truth.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • I was rivetted, finished in three days.

  • By Lin Cloward on 06-26-17

Way too long!

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

Reviewed: 01-08-19

I know I'm in the minority here and that most people loved this audiobook. The subject matter is quite interesting. I was enjoying it, too, until about the middle, after which it just got too long. The author did not need 14 hours to tell this story. It could have been 10 and it would have been tighter and better. It was just tedious towards the end and I was relieved when it was finally over.

  • Since We Fell

  • A Novel
  • By: Dennis Lehane
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,799
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,671
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,666

Since We Fell follows Rachel Childs, a former journalist who, after an on-air mental breakdown, now lives as a virtual shut-in. In all other respects, however, she enjoys an ideal life with an ideal husband. Until a chance encounter on a rainy afternoon causes that ideal life to fray. As does Rachel's marriage. As does Rachel herself. Sucked into a conspiracy thick with deception, violence, and possibly madness, Rachel must find the strength within herself to conquer unimaginable fears and mind-altering truths.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Impressive skill, but awfully contrived

  • By Joe Kraus on 12-23-17

Second half was bizarre

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

Reviewed: 07-31-18

I enjoyed the beginning of this story but I found the second half confusing and it strained credulity. In fact, although I finished the book, I'm still not sure what actually happened. Julia Whelan's performance was excellent, as always.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Speak No Evil

  • A Novel
  • By: Uzodinma Iweala
  • Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi, Julia Whelan
  • Length: 6 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 285
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 273
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 273

On the surface, Niru leads a charmed life. Raised by two attentive parents in Washington, DC, he's a top student and a track star at his prestigious private high school. Bound for Harvard in the fall, his prospects are bright. But Niru has a painful secret: He is queer - an abominable sin to his conservative Nigerian parents. No one knows except Meredith, his best friend, the daughter of prominent Washington insiders - and the one person who seems not to judge him.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Part 2 Let Me Down

  • By pynkskies on 06-09-18

Haunting and powerful

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

Reviewed: 04-05-18

Where does Speak No Evil rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Definitely among the best.

What did you like best about this story?

The story was realistic and heartbreaking, and the ending shocked me. I loved the character of Niru. This book will stay with me for a long time.

Have you listened to any of Prentice Onayemi and Julia Whelan ’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I've listened to both of them before and they are both great narrators.

If you could take any character from Speak No Evil out to dinner, who would it be and why?

I loved the character of Niru. Perhaps I'd take his father to dinner to discuss the error of his ways.

Any additional comments?

As a parent, this book brought home to me the lesson that we must love and appreciate our children for who they are, not who we want them to be.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Behold the Dreamers (Oprah's Book Club)

  • A Novel
  • By: Imbolo Mbue
  • Narrated by: Prentice Onayemi
  • Length: 12 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,297
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 3,036
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,023

Jende Jonga, a Cameroonian immigrant living in Harlem, has come to the United States to provide a better life for himself; his wife, Neni; and their six-year-old son. In the fall of 2007, Jende can hardly believe his luck when he lands a job as a chauffeur for Clark Edwards, a senior executive at Lehman Brothers. Clark demands punctuality, discretion, and loyalty - and Jende is eager to please. Clark's wife, Cindy, even offers Neni temporary work at the Edwardses' summer home in the Hamptons.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great Story About Life

  • By A on 01-15-17

Heartrending account of American immigrants' lives

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

Reviewed: 07-16-17

What did you love best about Behold the Dreamers (Oprah's Book Club)?

I found the story compelling and couldn't stop listening. I was very curious to see what would unfold next for both families, the wealthy Edwardses, and the struggling immigrant Jongas. The book was humorous at times but moved me to tears at various others.

Have you listened to any of Prentice Onayemi’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No but I will certainly try to listen to more in the future; I think he did a masterful job. It's unusual for one narrator to nail down different accents, ages, and genders, and he did it very well. 5 stars!

Any additional comments?

This was one of those books that made me sad when it ended, and I'm still thinking about the characters.

  • Forever Is the Worst Long Time

  • A Novel
  • By: Camille Pagán
  • Narrated by: Timothy Andrés Pabon
  • Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 197
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 171

When struggling novelist James Hernandez meets poet Louisa "Lou" Bell, he's sure he's just found the love of his life. There's just one problem: she's engaged to his oldest friend, Rob. So James toasts their union and swallows his desire. As the years pass, James's dreams always seem just out of reach - he can't finish that novel, can't mend his relationship with his father, can't fully commit to a romantic relationship. He just can't move on.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Captivating Story

  • By Patlakeme on 02-15-17

I LOVE this author!

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

Reviewed: 06-11-17

What did you love best about Forever Is the Worst Long Time?

The author made the characters so believable and realistic.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Forever Is the Worst Long Time?

The ending moved me to tears.

What about Timothy Andrés Pabon’s performance did you like?

I loved his performance; Jim sounded like such a kind and wonderful man.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The final two chapters, but I don't want to give away any spoilers.

  • The White Rose

  • By: Jean Hanff Korelitz
  • Narrated by: Eliza Foss
  • Length: 15 hrs and 33 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 14

At 48 Marian Kahn, a professor of history at Columbia, has reached a comfortable perch. Married, wealthy, and the famed discoverer of the eighteenth-century adventuress Lady Charlotte Wilcox, she ought to be content. Instead she is horrified to find herself profoundly in love with 26-year-old Oliver, the son of her eldest friend.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • This book is as slow as christmas!

  • By Amanda on 03-27-15

Loved it!

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

Reviewed: 04-27-17

What made the experience of listening to The White Rose the most enjoyable?

I thought the narration was excellent.

Who was the most memorable character of The White Rose and why?

Oliver; I found him so interesting and I really liked him.

Any additional comments?

I loved the story.

  • 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 3,780
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,542
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,535

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

Loved this book!

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

Reviewed: 02-15-17

If you could sum up I Liked My Life in three words, what would they be?

Kept me intrigued

Which character – as performed by the narrators – was your favorite?

Toss up between Eve and Maddie

If you could take any character from I Liked My Life out to dinner, who would it be and why?

Maddie because she sounded so wise and wonderful.

Any additional comments?

This book kept me guessing until the very end. It was sad, funny and deeply emotional. A great read for any wife and mother who feels unappreciated by her husband and kids.

15 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Under the Influence

  • A Novel
  • By: Joyce Maynard
  • Narrated by: Joyce Maynard
  • Length: 9 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 438
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 401
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 403

Drinking cost Helen her marriage and custody of her seven-year-old son, Ollie. Once an aspiring art photographer, she now makes ends meet by taking portraits of schoolchildren and working for a caterer. Recovering from her addiction, she spends lonely evenings checking out profiles on an online dating site. Weekend visits with her son are awkward. He's drifting away from her fast.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Paper-Thin Caricatures Inhabit PG-13 Morality Tale

  • By Gretchen SLP on 03-12-16

Perfect for these times

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

Reviewed: 01-18-17

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I loved both Ms Maynard's writing and narration. This is a book I have continued to think about since I finished listening. In these days when the gap between the ultra rich and the poor is growing, this book rang true to me.

Which character – as performed by Joyce Maynard – was your favorite?

My favorite was Eliot. Although Connor was a minor character, I loved Ms Maynard's portrayal of him: an entitled, selfish, user who gets away with everything because he has a wealthy father who thinks he can do no wrong. I know lots of people just like him!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Behind every great fortune there is a great crime
OR
Things are not always as they appear
OR
All that glitters is not gold

0 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Nine Women, One Dress

  • A Novel
  • By: Jane L. Rosen
  • Narrated by: full cast
  • Length: 6 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,605
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,485
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,476

Natalie is a Bloomingdale's salesgirl mooning over her lawyer ex-boyfriend, who's engaged to someone else after just two months. Felicia has been quietly in love with her boss for 17 years and has one night to finally make the feeling mutual. Andie is a private detective who specializes in gathering evidence on cheating husbands - a skill she unfortunately learned from her own life - and lands a case that may restore her faith in true love.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A perfect fit for fans of "Love, Actually." It's a delight!

  • By Katherine on 08-13-16

Delightful!

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

Reviewed: 07-27-16

This is a perfect light beach listen. It was a sweet and funny story that was well performed by a varied cast.
And if you live in NYC and shop at
Bloomingdale's at 59th St--as I do--you will get a kick out of it.
A real feel-good book!

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • This Was Not the Plan

  • A Novel
  • By: Cristina Alger
  • Narrated by: George Newbern
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 86
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 78
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 77

Charlie Goldwyn's life hasn't exactly gone according to plan. A widower at 34, he is left trying to raise a quirky five-year-old, Caleb, whose obsession with natural disasters and penchant for girls' clothing have made him a loner at his preschool. The only thing Charlie does have going for him is his job at a prestigious law firm where - after 10 long years of 12-hour days and working through weekends and a huge win on a settlement - he is finally a rising star on his way to becoming a partner.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Modern Fairy Tale

  • By RueRue on 03-04-16

Thoroughly charming

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

Reviewed: 03-19-16

What made the experience of listening to This Was Not the Plan the most enjoyable?

I thought the narrator was spot on and sounded like a real person I might know, not an actor.

What did you like best about this story?

I thought it presented the characters in a realistic manner, with both their strengths and their flaws. I thought it was heartwarming, even though much of it was quite sad. It made me cry in parts and smile in others.

What about George Newbern’s performance did you like?

Everything!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes!

Any additional comments?

This would be a great movie.