LISTENER

Aubrey

  • 16
  • reviews
  • 84
  • helpful votes
  • 40
  • ratings
  • Call the Midwife

  • A Memoir of Birth, Joy, and Hard Times
  • By: Jennifer Worth
  • Narrated by: Nicola Barber
  • Length: 12 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,242
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,604
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,590

At the age of 22, Jennifer Worth left her comfortable home to move into a convent and become a midwife in postwar London’s East End slums. The colorful characters she met while delivering babies all over London - from the plucky, warm-hearted nuns with whom she lived to the woman with 24 children who couldn't speak English to the prostitutes and dockers of the city’s seedier side - illuminate a fascinating time in history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The best book I've listened to this year

  • By Richard on 06-12-13

Engaging!

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

Reviewed: 07-16-18

Very visual storyteller. Captivating heartfelt stories and excellent narration skills. I laughed and cried.
Highly recommend.

  • Broken Angels

  • By: Gemma Liviero
  • Narrated by: Nico Evers-Swindell, Emily Foster
  • Length: 13 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,856
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,676
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,669

Imprisoned in the Lodz Ghetto, Elsi discovers her mother's desperate attempt to end her pregnancy and comes face-to-face with the impossibility of their situation. Risking her own life, Elsi joins a resistance group to sabotage the regime. Blonde, blue-eyed Matilda is wrenched from her family in Romania and taken to Germany, where her captors attempt to mold her into the perfect Aryan child. Spirited and brave, she must inspire hope in the other stolen children to make her dreams of escape a reality.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • loved this book.

  • By James R Terry, II on 05-17-16

Best Book I've Read in a Long Time

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

Reviewed: 09-07-16

I absolutely loved this book. It's incredibly well-written, emotionally moving, and has fully developed, flawed characters.

Broken Angels tells the story of three individuals -- Elsi, Willam, and Mathilde (possibly spelled wrong because I listened to this so I'm not sure) -- brought together by circumstances of WWII. Elsi is a half-Jewish teenager living in a ghetto in Poland, Willam is a Nazi doctor, and Mathilde is a Romanian child taken from her home and placed in a Lebensborn center for potential Aryan adoption.

This was a detailed, emotional depiction of life in WWII Poland and Germany, but all the more moving for those reasons. I've also rarely seen an author who can give a child a full character, both shaped by nature and circumstance. While not easy to hear about, it was masterfully done. Willem is also a flawed character. His actions can't be characterized as 100% good or bad, which is interesting and honest in a character -- and true to human nature and what our situations hand us.

The book also chronicles horrendous, gruesome events with an appropriate level of detail -- not a gloss over but not enough to make you vomit in your car while listening. So I appreciated that as well. Too many books about this subject matter provide too much gloss.

My only small critique is that it took a long time for the characters' stories to intersect. However, the individual stories were so well-told and crucial to the character development that in the end I retracted this thought. However, just be aware of that if you read this book.

Additionally, the narration was just ok. The man who narrated Willem's part was great, but the woman reading the female parts (first, each character should have gotten her own reader) was a bit flat. The voices could have been brought to life a bit more.

That said, this book is so well-written that I recommend it completely. Anyone who enjoys history and complex characters would enjoy this book, and I will be reading more by this author :)

25 of 26 people found this review helpful

  • Julian Fellowes's Belgravia

  • By: Julian Fellowes
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,756
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,551
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,532

Julian Fellowes's Belgravia is the story of a secret. A secret that unravels behind the porticoed doors of London's grandest postcode. Set in the 1840s, when the upper echelons of society began to rub shoulders with the emerging industrial nouveau riche, Belgravia is peopled by a rich cast of characters. But the story begins on the eve of the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. At the Duchess of Richmond's new legendary ball, one family's life will change forever.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fellowes is a Brand but the Narrator is a Marvel!

  • By M. T. Mirabile on 08-14-16

Couldn't Put it Down All Week!

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

Reviewed: 08-19-16

Loved this book! Very Downton Abbey-esque, in the best ways possible. There are heroes, there are villains, and there are those who will surprise you. The writing is sharp and the storytelling is superb.

Perhaps not the most unpredictable of plots, but an enjoyable read nonetheless. Julian Fellowes is just as good on paper as he is on the screen, and I couldn't put this one down.

I also loved the narrator, so an all-around win!

9 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • The Girl Who Wrote in Silk

  • By: Kelli Estes
  • Narrated by: Emily Woo Zeller
  • Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,477
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,165
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,168

Inara Erickson is exploring her deceased aunt's island estate when she finds an elaborately stitched piece of fabric hidden in the house. As she peels back layer upon layer of the secrets it holds, Inara's life becomes interwoven with that of Mei Lein, a young Chinese girl mysteriously driven from her home a century before. Through the stories Mei Lein tells in silk, Inara uncovers a tragic truth that will shake her family to its core - and force her to make an impossible choice.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Very intriguing

  • By Claudine on 12-04-15

Poorly Written Story; Returning

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

Reviewed: 08-19-16

I really wanted to like this book, as the premise sounds great and I love reading about unfamiliar historical periods. However, it's so poorly written that I just could not get into it.

Instead of the story unfolding and being shown to the reader as it should be, the events are simply told to you. You learn way too much about how the characters are feeling, instead of about the actual events happening. It's cheap and lazy writing. The same information about the feelings also repeats many times within a short period. I just wanted to shout "I get it!"

I'd hoped it would get better once the story flashed back in time, and it did -- but only slightly. The narration is also just ok, but it's really the writing that's the main problem.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Forgotten Room

  • By: Karen White, Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig
  • Narrated by: Morgan Hallett, Susan Bennett
  • Length: 13 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,485
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,352
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,349

It's 1945: When the critically wounded Captain Cooper Ravenal is brought to a private hospital on Manhattan's Upper East Side, young Dr. Kate Schuyler is drawn into a complex mystery that connects three generations of women in her family to a single extraordinary room in a Gilded Age mansion. Who is the woman in Captain Ravenel's portrait miniature who looks so much like Kate? And why is she wearing the ruby pendant handed down to Kate by her mother?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • The same story 3 times over...

  • By Amazon Customer on 03-30-16

Could not wait for it to be over

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

Reviewed: 06-13-16

Any additional comments?

This book was TERRIBLE. I could not wait to finish it, and probably should not have bothered.

*May contain spoilers.*

First, there was no reason for it to take place in the three distinct time periods it encompassed, all of which have interesting and highly significant events. The social, historical, or political events of those times were never referenced in the story and did not influence the plot at all, so the story could have been written in ANY three time periods. This was frustrating, as I love historical fiction and chose this book because of these three time periods.

Second, the three stories are all the same exact story being told over and over. It's repetitive to read and feels very contrived. There are too many coincidences and it's just not plausible. It moves very slowly and the "mysteries" are obvious way before they're revealed. Nothing is surprising.

Third, the inclusion of the middle character, Lucy, is completely unnecessary. The book may have been better (and at least more intriguing) if it just had Olive and Kate. Those characters were at least slightly different and more interesting to read about. There was no literary need to include the middle character.

Fourth, I also find it completely implausible that all the parents would have died young and no one would have been around into their child's adulthood. Lucy's parents died before her story began, as did Kate's. This is just too convenient, as they then did not have to answer their children's questions. Not believable, and seems like the lazy way out.

Fifth, the narration was just ok. It needed three voices, and just had two. They were not particularly great, and did not bring any characters alive.

Three different authors wrote this, and they couldn't have come up with something better? It feels contrived, is trite, and lacks any historical relevance. The characters are static and underdeveloped. The "epilogue" was not an epilogue and completely unnecessary.

Everything that happened was the result of misunderstandings or communication failures, which make the most frustrating and unbelievable plots.

Overall, I was not impressed.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Memoirs of a Geisha

  • By: Arthur Golden
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Dunne
  • Length: 17 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,550
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,635
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,661

In a voice both haunting and startlingly immediate, Nitta Sayuri describes her life as a geisha. Taken from her home at the age of nine, she is sold into slavery to a renowned geisha house. Witness her transformation as you enter a world where appearances are paramount, virginity is auctioned to the highest bidder, women beguile powerful men, and love is scorned as illusion.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent

  • By Linda on 02-01-03

A Well-Crafted Story

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

Reviewed: 03-08-16

Any additional comments?

Loved this book. It's well-written, engaging, and is an interesting look at this culture and time period. The characters are fully rounded and dynamic.

I wasn't a huge fan of the narrator right away, but settled in as the story went on. He's ok, but doesn't necessarily bring Japan to life.

Overall though, this is a great listen, and I definitely recommend it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Midwife's Revolt

  • By: Jodi Daynard
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 12 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,876
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,471
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,450

On a dark night in 1775, Lizzie Boylston is awakened by the sound of cannons. From a hill south of Boston, she watches as fires burn in Charlestown, in a battle that she soon discovers has claimed her husband's life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bravo

  • By Angela on 11-20-15

Just Ok

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

Reviewed: 03-08-16

Any additional comments?

This was just ok. I like the premise of the story, and it was interesting to read about these real-life historical figures.

However, the story wasn't that engaging, and the narration was just ok. And while I appreciate that some historic language elements were used, they kind of detracted from the story itself.

This just wasn't as good as I was hoping.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • The Best of Our Spies

  • By: Alex Gerlis
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 15 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 491
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 452
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 446

France, July 1944: a month after the Allied landings in Normandy, and the liberation of Europe is under way. In the Pas-de-Calais, Nathalie Mercier, a young British Special Operations executive secret agent working with the French Resistance, disappears. In London, her husband, Owen Quinn, an officer with Royal Navy Intelligence, discovers the truth about her role in the Allies' sophisticated deception at the heart of D-Day.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • WWII spy novel

  • By Wayne on 11-25-17

Great narration, ok story.

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

Reviewed: 03-08-16

Any additional comments?

John Lee is my favorite narrator, and is why I chose to listen to this book. His narration was excellent as always, and really brought these characters to life.

I like the premise of the story and the setting, and the characters were interesting and dynamic. However, the reader doesn't learn the wife's backstory until the end, which really leaves you wondering about her motive the whole time. I also was kind of bored, and am not sure why.

This was written well, contained great descriptions, and the performance was excellent. I just did not find it to be exceedingly engaging, and it did take me a long time to get through.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Swans of Fifth Avenue

  • A Novel
  • By: Melanie Benjamin
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell, Paul Boehmer
  • Length: 12 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,203
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,101
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,090

Of all the glamorous stars of New York high society, none blazes brighter than Babe Paley. Her flawless face regularly graces the pages of Vogue, and she is celebrated and adored for her ineffable style and exquisite taste, especially among her friends - the alluring socialite Swans Slim Keith, C. Z. Guest, Gloria Guinness, and Pamela Churchill. By all appearances, Babe has it all. But beneath this elegantly composed exterior dwells a passionate woman - a woman desperately longing for true love and connection.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • If You Are Of Certain Age, You'll Enjoy This

  • By Sudi on 02-22-16

Just Ok

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

Reviewed: 03-08-16

Any additional comments?

Either of the narrators on their own probably would have been just fine, but I did not like having the same characters' voices done by two different people. I felt like I didn't really get to know the characters or that they were not as real. These narrators also were both only ok, and both pronounced some important things incorrectly.

I like this author, and the story was pretty good -- but again, not my favorite ever. It was interesting to learn more about Capote and this era, but I felt like the story lacked substance to an extent.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Dust of the Land

  • By: J. H. Fletcher
  • Narrated by: Eloise Oxer
  • Length: 17 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 145
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 135
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 135

There was only one way she could guarantee her future ... and she knew that she would take it. Bella Tucker has come a long way. Born illegitimate and banished to the London slums by her vindictive stepmother, at six Bella is rescued by her grandfather and brought up as a member of the aristocratic Richmond family. Her future seems assured when she falls passionately in love with Charles Hardy, heir to the wealthy Hardy estate – until her grandfather’s death changes everything...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book

  • By A. on 06-01-15

Surprisingly Great Listen!

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

Reviewed: 11-13-15

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

Yes! I really enjoyed it, even though I would suggest cutting part of it.

What did you like best about this story?

I love this narrator and have tried to listen to as many of her books as possible. The story was mostly engaging and entertaining too, although I think part of it (near the end, the last catch-up bit before syncing the past and the present) could have been cut.

What about Eloise Oxer’s performance did you like?

She's a great narrator and natural storyteller who gives great voices to her characters. Better at Chinese than German though :).

Any additional comments?

Definitely recommend, will look for more by this author!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful