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Gail Drago

  • 18
  • reviews
  • 10
  • helpful votes
  • 28
  • ratings
The Paris Wife audiobook cover art

The Paris Wife

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

Reviewed: 02-19-17

McLain certainly captures the essence of the "lost generation." Through this fictional narrative, she develops her characters in such a way that the reader feels as if she is a voyeur --a silent observer in the lives of these 'larger than life" personalities.

Circling the Sun audiobook cover art

Circling the Sun

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

Reviewed: 08-06-16

McLain brings to life Beryl Markham, Denys Finch Hatton, Karen Blixen, known adventurers who were the very reflections of Africa, a land untamed, vivid, and breath-taking. However. there was a wildness about Beryl, the reader discovers, that made her a woman to be reckoned with--a spearhead who dared to question the norm.

I highly recommend the book as it celebrates the lives of those among us who gamble everything to "reach for the stars."

As for Katherine McEwan, her beautiful voice added another dimension to the characters.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

The Alienist audiobook cover art

The Alienist by Caleb Carr

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

Reviewed: 07-31-16

The Alienist by Caleb Carr revolves around a wealthy crime reporter for the New York Times in 1899 and his search for a savage murderer. Teamed with a renowned psychiatrist (in those days called an "alienist"), the pair uses psychological theory with deductive reasoning to tract the serial killer who preys on poverty-stricken young boys, victimized by powerful forces--club and hotel owners who control the city's dark world of prostitution.

Although not one of my favorite crime reads, the novel does give a sense of New York during the Victorian era with its presence of governmental corruption. It also highlights the gradual acceptance of criminal profiling as a vital police tool.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Salt to the Sea audiobook cover art

Salt to the Sea

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

Reviewed: 07-21-16

Ruta Sepetys in her historical fiction, Salt to the Sea, begins with Operation Hannibal, Germany's momentous effort to evacuate thousands of civilians and troops as a conquering Stalin advances through Eastern Europe in early 1945. Sepetys in this convergent novel brings to this frantic setting a band of courageous refugees who pool their survival skills to brave the bitter cold. Together they walk with the suffering throng toward the snowy coast where a fleet of ships waits to take them to safety.

Once they arrive, they are relieved to find shelter aboard the majestic Wilhelm Gustloff, but their joy soon turns to fear when they discover that are the overloaded ship is a moving target. What happens next is considered by chroniclers to be the worst disaster in maritime history. Yet, the characters Sepetys creates give a human face to this little known catastrophe that overshadows even that of the Titanic.

Poetic prose used here painted haunting images that I'm sure will stay with me for a long time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

The Glass Castle audiobook cover art

The Glass Castle

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

Reviewed: 07-12-16

Jeannette Walls in her memoir, The Glass Castle, paints a different picture of those to choose to live outside the box. She paints a vivid picture of her parents and their dual decision to reject the conventional trappings of society. Both self-obsessed, they gave birth to a band of offspring--never children, always adults.

On a personal level, there were parts of this book that struck chords vaguely familiar--a long time ago when every need was justified by a hard lesson learned.

A Man Called Ove audiobook cover art

A Man Called Ove

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

Reviewed: 07-06-16

A Man Called Ove is a masterpiece in characterization. Backman creates a endearing malcontent who is Ill-equipped to face a changing world--one even more complicated by the death of his beloved wife. Determined to end it all, his frequent attempts at suicide are always unhinged, however, by a cast of colorful row house neighbors who just won't leave him alone. A funny, yet poignant read, it explores a senior journey self-awareness.

The Nest audiobook cover art

The Nest

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

Reviewed: 06-30-16

For three days while listening to Sweeney's novel, I was transported to New York where I found myself in the company of the deliciously dysfunctional Plumb family. Sweeney's last scene, however, was "icing" on a literary cake--tale of love, loss, self-discovery, renewal, an rebirth in the form of a brand, new character.

The Storyteller audiobook cover art

The Storyteller

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

Reviewed: 05-19-16

Three stories in one, Picoult has combined fact, fiction, and fantasy to weave a story of love and hate coupled with kindness and cruelty. Sage, plagued by a facial scar that represents her feelings of guilt, finds herself pitted against a character in "sheep's clothing" whose crimes reach decades back to the Holocaust. As the novel unfolds, each character tells his own story in first person narration, weaving gripping a tapestry of human experience from which we all can learn. Picoult never ceases to amaze me with her imagination. This one and Leaving Time are my favorites thus far.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

The House at Riverton [recorded under the alternate title The Shifting Fog] audiobook cover art
  • The House at Riverton [recorded under the alternate title The Shifting Fog]
  • By: Kate Morton
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee

The House at Riverton

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

Reviewed: 03-04-16

Morton's haunting tale of unfulfilled love as well as the strict strappings of 19th century society propelled me back in time. I found the choice of Grace as the narrator perfect in that her voice captures the soul of both the aristocrat and the servant. I did feel the plot was a little slow at the beginning, but when Hannah meets Robbie, the action advances rapidly. Also, was the novel first named The Shifting Fog? The audio book holds The House at Riverton.

The Little Paris Bookshop audiobook cover art

The Little Paris Bookshop

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

Reviewed: 12-22-15

Nina George in her novel, The Little Paris Bookshop, not only portrays the agonizing plight of a Parisian bookseller who struggles to find renewal after a