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Carolyn White

  • 5
  • reviews
  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 9
  • ratings
  • Heartland

  • A Memoir of Working Hard and Being Broke in the Richest Country on Earth
  • By: Sarah Smarsh
  • Narrated by: Sarah Smarsh
  • Length: 9 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 380
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 342
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 342

During Sarah Smarsh’s turbulent childhood in Kansas in the 1980s and 1990s, the forces of cyclical poverty and the country’s changing economic policies solidified her family’s place among the working poor. By telling the story of her life and the lives of the people she loves, Smarsh challenges us to look more closely at the class divide in our country and examine the myths about people thought to be less because they earn less. 

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • My favorite memoir of 2018

  • By NMwritergal on 11-25-18

Missing pieces

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

Reviewed: 11-25-18

I wanted to love this book, and it was in fact very educational. I thought, however, that the narrator did not seem especially poor. That’s a good thing, of course, except the book was built on the premise that she was. In fact, several of her family members owned property and others had businesses. I kept waiting for dramatic evidence of poverty to emerge. It felt almost as if something had been omitted from the book, something that would explain why she felt so very poor.

As modern style seems to dictate, the book jumps around in time a great deal, making some aspects of Smarsh’s story feel repetitive by, say, the third time we are with her in her elementary school years and she is moving again. Still, it was an interesting portrait of a tough and really admirable American family in a part of the country that isn’t often discussed in modern literature.


3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Alternate Side

  • By: Anna Quindlen
  • Narrated by: Ellen Archer
  • Length: 7 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 487
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 461
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 462

Some days Nora Nolan thinks that she and her husband, Charlie, lead a charmed life - except when there’s a crisis at work, a leak in the roof at home, or a problem with their twins at college. And why not? New York City was once Nora’s dream destination, and her clannish dead-end block has become a safe harbor, a tranquil village amid the urban craziness. Then one morning she returns from her run to discover that a terrible incident has shaken the neighborhood, and the fault lines begin to open: on the block, at her job, especially in her marriage.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Skip This One

  • By BostonMommy on 04-18-18

So disappointing

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

Reviewed: 05-05-18

Every NYC cliche is here: the homeless wiseman who isn’t really homeless, parking issues, ethnic food delivered at 2 A.M., spoiled Gen Z twins, with the girl of course a hysterical b**** and the boy a chill genius...More importantly, it takes five chapters for there to be a whisper of a plot. For the record, I like Anna Quindlen a lot.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Good Life

  • By: Marian Thurm
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 40
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 37

Stacy and Roger seem to have it all: a wonderful marriage, a luxurious Upper East Side apartment with all the accoutrements of the wealthy, and two endearing young children enrolled in private schools. But what appears to be "the good life" to their family and friends is not what it seems in this fast-paced, suspenseful novel that shows the sinister effects of a destructive marriage and the pursuit of the privileged life.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • not actually a good life

  • By Jenn on 05-19-16

Darker than dark

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

Reviewed: 09-21-16

Beware- this book is darker than Gone Girl, Girl on the Train, Pretty Girls...well done but infuriatingly sad.

  • 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 432
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 396
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 398

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

Great story

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

Reviewed: 04-03-16

The only reason I didn't give this a perfect score is that there are many minor repetitions of details in the book, the kind that only a seasoned author would slide by an editor. Still, the plot and characters are amazing and believable.

0 of 4 people found this review helpful

Vanishing Acts
    
    
        By:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Jodi Picoult
    
    


    
    
        Narrated by:
        












    





    





    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Jonathan Davis,
    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Julia Gibson,
    
        
            
            
                
            
        
        Jim Jenner,
    
    
        and others
    


    
    Length: 16 hrs and 24 mins
    1,092 ratings
    Overall 4.0
  • Vanishing Acts

  • By: Jodi Picoult
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Julia Gibson, Jim Jenner, and others
  • Length: 16 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,092
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 591
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 590

Jodi Picoult, the New York Times best-selling author of Second Glance and My Sister's Keeper, is a master at crafting powerful stories that are filled with suspense. In Vanishing Acts this acclaimed author delivers the gripping tale of a woman caught between her forgotten past and her uncertain future.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Impressive!

  • By Diana on 04-11-05

Not so good

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

Reviewed: 07-22-15

This plot is implausible. For instance, why would a lawyer have his family live in a trailer park while he was working on a case? Answer: to introduce a character who had no bearing on the story. Also, the book is weighed down with back story. The main character is terribly self involved and spoiled, and the similes are overwrought and don't make sense. I like this author and was very sad about this one.