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Vicky

GA, United States
  • 41
  • reviews
  • 22
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  • 52
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  • Taking Flight

  • From War Orphan to Star Ballerina
  • By: Elaine DePrince, Michaela DePrince
  • Narrated by: Allyson Johnson
  • Length: 5 hrs and 43 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 73
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 64
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 65

Michaela DePrince was known as girl no. 27 at the orphanage where she was abandoned at a young age and tormented as a "devil child" for a skin condition that makes her skin appear spotted. But it was at the orphanage that Michaela would find a picture of a beautiful ballerina en pointe that would help change the course of her life. At the age of four, Michaela was adopted by an American family who encouraged her love of dancing and enrolled her in classes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Inspiring story of perseverance

  • By Corrina on 04-02-16

Dreams Carried on the Harmattan Winds

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

Reviewed: 05-16-19

Taking Flight is the story of a War Child and a Magical Ballerina who inspire each other across an ocean, and then one day the war child becomes a magical ballerina. It sounds almost surreal. And, it is. Michaela DePrince was born in Sierra Leone, but was taken to an orphanage by her uncle when her parents died. Her Father had been shot by the rebels, and her mother starved afterwards.

This memoir shares Michaela’s story of how she survived the horrors of the war at four years of age. One day outside the orphanage, the strong Harmattan winds blew a magazine against the gate. On the cover she saw a ‘magical ballerina’ and guessed that she was dancing. She decided then that one day she wanted to be a dancer like that woman. Years later she would learn that magazine was 20 years old when she found it in 1999, and she would meet Magali Messac, that dancer.

But, in the interim her life began a course of change that would set her on the road to her dreams. She was adopted with her best friend by a couple who had two sons already die from hemophilia, and the third would later die as a young adult. When their new mother took them to the hotel the day she adopted them in Africa, she gave them everything she had brought for them. But, seeing Michaela was still waiting to find something, her Mother asked her what she would like. Since she was unable to make her understand her words, Michaela pulled out the magazine photo. Her Mother had no tutu or shoes with her, but promised her that, “Home, in America, you will dance.”

What follows is the beautiful story of adoptive parents who nourish her spirit as well as her body and heart. She becomes a professional classical ballerina and an inspiration to many others. I highly recommend this short book. I read it in the Audible format narrated excellently by Allyson Johnson. This was my stop in Sierra Leone on my Journey Around the World in 80 Books for 2019. My next stop will be Liberia, but I think Michaela’s journey from the war-ravaged Kenema District, to the United Nations Refugee Camp in Conakry Guinea, to the United States… her journey will remain with me.

Amazingly, UNICEF estimates that there are 320,000 orphans in Sierra Leone out of a population of approximately 6 million. Many more died during the conflict. Very few escaped. Michaela was blessed, and as her Mother told her…

“With blessings come a responsibility to share.”




“Nothing lasts forever. There will come a day when these girls will no longer be a part of your life and you'll no longer care about what they once said about you.”



“I first met you there, on the other side of the ocean in Africa.”

  • The Moon Is Down

  • By: John Steinbeck
  • Narrated by: George Guidall
  • Length: 3 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 235
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 210
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206

"Free men cannot start a war, but once it is started, they can fight on in defeat." This compelling, dignified and moving novel was inspired by and based upon the Nazi invasion of neutral Norway. Set in an imaginary European mining town, it shows what happens when a ruthless totalitarian power is up against an occupied democracy with an overwhelming desire to be free.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • my new all-time favorite

  • By J. Reese on 08-09-17

The Flies Have Conquered the Flypaper

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

Reviewed: 12-16-18

A simple story of a simple peaceful town made angry over occupation. Certain words never appear in the story. The omissions are obvious, and are used to great effect. It is a classic story of resistance unexpected. The invaders learn the meaning of fear. I love the Mayor in the story. He so correctly expresses the idea of government by the people and the position of an elected official.

I do enjoy all I've read that Steinbeck wrote. He writes simply, yet with a deep sense of understanding of human psychology. His characters are well developed and likeable, and retain a sense of human fullness, possessing both good and bad traits. Steinbeck has his own place in American history.

I read the Audible narrated by George Guidall. It goes without saying that the book was read perfectly, and with great charm and expression. It has been said that Guidall could read the phone book and make it a pleasant experience for the listener. In this book, he seemed to read as if he were there.

<blockquote>"There is no law between you and us. This is war."</blockquote>

<blockquote>"The one thing that can't be done... to break men's spirits permanently."</blockquote>

<blockquote>"Your private anger was the beginning of a public anger."</blockquote>

<blockquote>"It's all in little terms. It's people against people, not ideas against ideas."</blockquote>

  • The Gardener of Baghdad

  • By: Ahmad Ardalan
  • Narrated by: Randal Schaffer
  • Length: 5 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 34
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 33
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 32

Adnan leads a weary existence as a bookshop owner in modern-day, war-torn Baghdad, where bombings, corruption, and assault are everyday occurrences and the struggle to survive has suffocated the joy out of life for most. But when he begins to clean out his bookshop of 40 years to leave his city in search of somewhere safer, he comes across the story of Ali, the Gardener of Baghdad.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful story!

  • By Ginny Aybar-Flores on 12-28-17

Words Live Like Memories

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

Reviewed: 12-08-18

Identity. Relationship. Love. Revolution. Baghdad in the fifties. Words shared have a life of their own, just like memories. <u>The Gardener of Baghdad</u> is a story that draws you in with a sense of connection between the characters that are so well developed that they seem like neighbors. Happiness pervades life in Baghdad. But, underneath a current of fear and simmering anger ride waves of race division. But, love finds a way.

I chose this book for my stop in Baghdad on my Journey Around the World in 80 Books for 2018 at the recommendation of a friend. It sounded interesting from the info, but I did not expect the beautiful story that unfolded. This is a fictional read that anyone could enjoy reading from start to finish. And, what a finish! I stopped my Arabian stallion to smell the roses here in Baghdad, and traded him for a ticket on <u>The Great Railway Bazaar</u> with Paul Theroux. And now it is time to board the train to Iran and beyond. All aboard!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Pellucidar

  • Pellucidar 2
  • By: Edgar Rice Burroughs
  • Narrated by: Arthur Vincet
  • Length: 5 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 5
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 5

"Pellucidar" is a fantasy novel by Edgar Rice Burroughs, part of his series about the fictional "hollow earth" land of Pellucidar. David Innes and his captive, a member of the reptilian Mahar master race of the interior world of Pellucidar, return from the surface world in the Iron Mole invented by his friend and companion in adventure Abner Perry. Emerging in Pellucidar at an unknown location, David frees his captive.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Vision of Empire

  • By Vicky on 12-06-18

The Vision of Empire

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

Reviewed: 12-06-18

"The instinct of self preservation is stronger than hope. It thrives, fortunately, upon nothing. It takes root upon the brink of the grave. It blossoms in the jaws of death."

Pellucidar's sequel has outdone the original! It exceeds the first in characterization, in plot, in fantastical imagining, in everything but combat, which seems to be in perfect balance to the rest of the story.

I love the addition of a navy in Pellucidar! The focus on empire was an excellent choice. ERB seems to have warmed to his story by the time he reached this book. I am looking forward to continuing the series. The narration was great as well.

  • The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

  • By: Samuel Taylor Coleridge
  • Narrated by: B.J. Harrison
  • Length: 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 179
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162

A bird of good omen is murdered. A fickle crew is punished by supernatural, spectral beings. A skeletal ship is sighted moving against the wind and tide. The figure of Death along with a singular, gruesome companion man the fiendish craft. And as they draw closer, it becomes clear that the two play at dice for the soul of the ancient mariner. The result is nothing short of cataclysmic.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A classic well read

  • By Gary on 08-08-16

Oh, Poe is Me!

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

Reviewed: 12-05-18

This picturesque story length poem is even more hauntingly beautiful than the Gustav Dore paintings that have accompanied some editions. It is a classic that was published almost a half century before, but it reminds me much of A Descent into the Maelstrom by Edgar A. Poe.

It is a tale of guilt, remorse, and expiation which certainly make for enduring themes. It contains many of the phrases we hear in other media: such as 'a painted ship on a painted sea,' and 'water, water, everywhere, but not a drop to drink.' But, it is the word pictures, such as that of departing souls flying past the mariner like an arrow shaft that make the poem so epic.

I read it first in childhood, and I think that it was bigger then... more real... more colossal... enveloping in a way that a movie could have never been. But, in the years since then I've read Poe's tale, and besides that, The Count of Monte Cristo. I think those and the whole growing up process somewhat dampens the effect of this. Yes, its possibly too late to read this in your fifties for the first time.

Just kidding. It's never too late my friend, as long as you are still breathing; as for expiation, the same as with reading good literature.

  • The Vintage Tea Room Collection: Books 1-3

  • By: Lily Wells
  • Narrated by: Nano Nagle
  • Length: 4 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9

When Ellie decides to sell the tea room, she doesn't bank on her twin daughters showing up with ideas of their own. Her daughters have both left home - Jessica is married and expecting her first child, and Marie has built a successful career. She is ready for change and to leave the past behind; however, her daughters are not. To complicate matters further, Ellie meets Michael. She was not looking to meet a man, but life occasionally throws in a few surprises. Maybe now is the right time to change more than just her work.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Vintage Tea room

  • By Deedra on 09-09-18

A Rainy Evening Read that's My Cup of Tea

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

Reviewed: 08-10-18

There's nothing like a rainy evening to make me want a hot cup of tea and a good book, which may or may not involve an audiobook on my smartphone. I'd requested and recieved a free Audible copy of this whole collection for review purposes, when a storm swept us in flash rains and a power outage. Luckily I had a full charge on my phone and a battery operated desktop tea carafe ready for this new relationship drama read.

The story is set in Cirencester UK, where I was already 'at the station' for my virtual Around the World in 80 Books Journey reading of The Great Train Robbery, by Michael Crichton. So, I stopped here for the tea and cakes. The story is built around a single mother who raises her twin daughters around the tea room business she started herself. Now that they are grown and one is married, she has decided to sell the tea room and buy a cottage. But, her daughters hate to see the tea room go. So, they show up with ideas of their own.

Lily Wells adeptly weaves dialog around the day-to-day lives of the characters, who quickly take on a life of their own. The mother is the focus of the first book, and her daughters, one pregnant, return home for a visit. The plot becomes involved in their lives, loves, and baking cakes for the tea room customers. By the second book, Mom is no longer in the spotlight, and the daughter and son-in-law with baby on the way are running the business, and are adding a line of their own baked breads. In the third book, the other twin has a dilemma of whether to accept a promotion that will involve her moving farther away from the family, and new nephew, while he will soon be a big brother.

The family relationships have their highs and lows and the conclusions are what you'd expect from similar relationship dramas. I did not anticipate the change in focus from the Mother in the second book, but loved it myself. The books are warm and emotional... positive lives making a world they are pleased to live in. The narration is of excellent quality, in a warm English accent, which I loved. I highly recommend this set of books for anyone who likes relationship stories.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Jungle of Stone

  • The True Story of Two Men, Their Extraordinary Journey, and the Discovery of the Lost Civilization of the Maya
  • By: William Carlsen
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael Garcia
  • Length: 16 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 333
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 303
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 304

In 1839 rumors of extraordinary yet baffling stone ruins buried within the unmapped jungles of Central America reached two of the world's most intrepid travelers. Seized by the reports, American diplomat John Lloyd Stephens and British artist Frederick Catherwood sailed together out of New York Harbor on an expedition into the forbidding rainforests of present-day Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. What they found would rewrite the West's understanding of human history.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Unsung Explorers at the Heart of History

  • By thomas on 01-10-17

Lndmarks of a People; Stories in Stone

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

Reviewed: 02-12-18

Oblivion beckons for what we hold most dear… our memories. Memory loss is not the affliction solely of individual human beings. Society itself, in a never ending rush to discard all that is cherished of the past, often through fascination with the new, and even in distrust of what is passed down unwitnessed by our own eyes, simply ‘forgets’ to remember the evidence of our progress, and especially of our mistakes. When we ignore the landmarks of our past, we lose our way. How can we know where we are going, unless we know where we have been? 

Here is the story of Classical Mayan architecture and the Golden-age of Mesoamerican history in stone ruins. John Lloyd Stephens and Frank Catherwood, the acknowledged progenitors of American archaeology, forged a new narrative of the ‘New World’ that had yet been untold and unwritten. Jungle of Stone tells the remarkable human story of these two men and a forgotten civilization buried in the jungles of the Yucatan peninsula. The author, William Carlsen, leaves out nothing in the story as he sketches a brief bio of their personal lives. 

Stephens had studied originally for the Law profession, but was drawn away from New York to the Mediterranean for his health, where he indulged in a study of the great sites of Europe, Egypt, and the Middle East. Taking Catherwood, an architect/ artist he met there, they journeyed to Central America and began exploring and recording the many ruins of the Maya Empire. Before that, it was thought that the Americas had been sparsely populated by roving bands of hunter/gatherer tribes. Of course, the population of the area had been greatly reduced because the diseases Columbus and others brought to the coast had rushed far inland, devastating empires ahead of the Conquistadores. 

I read this book as part of my Journey Around the World in 80 Books challenge for the Honduras. (My book-trip will continue from here to El Salvador.) I debated before buying the book, unsure how detailed it might be, and not wanting one of the trend of ‘pop-history’ books that float around today rewriting the real history. There was none of that here. I chose the Audible originally and quickly decided to splurge for the Kindle version as well to continue in Whisper-sync, because the pronunciation of some of the city names was excellent. This was even better when I realized the Audible included many very good illustrations and maps. So, it is certainly not a book I would suggest going with the Audible alone. 

One of the more fascinating aspects of Maya studies for me has always been the limitations they had with muscle, technology, and tools. The book includes details on the facts; such as the lack of larger land animals in the Mesoamericas for protein, not even wheels for technology, and the use of Stone Age tools. But, the book also includes details of competition between a British expedition that tried to ‘out-scoop’ Stephens’ expeditions. There is much here that could not even be gained from the individual primary sources of Stephens’ own books written during his expeditions, though I certainly hope to get good hardback copies of those for all of Catherwood’s excellent artwork. And, interesting details are included like the fact that barbecue was first discovered in this area (and among the Taino Indians.)

From the Mayan Cities of Copan and Palenque to Chichen Itza and many cities in between; Stephens and Catherwood uncovered the story of the Americas etched in the hieroglyphs and carved bas-reliefs of a lost people. They found themselves often in the midst of revolutions and wars, and survived diseases and malaria to recount their discoveries, some of which have been since left in rubbles, and are preserved only in the drawings of their books. Across mountains and through jungles, this book brings the story to life.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Collapse

  • How Societies Choose to Fail or Succeed
  • By: Jared Diamond
  • Narrated by: Michael Prichard
  • Length: 27 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 882
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 789
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 781

In Jared Diamond’s follow-up to the Pulitzer-Prize winning Guns, Germs and Steel, the author explores how climate change, the population explosion, and political discord create the conditions for the collapse of civilization. Environmental damage, climate change, globalization, rapid population growth, and unwise political choices were all factors in the demise of societies around the world, but some found solutions and persisted.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting subject, not as good as GG&S

  • By Jeff H on 01-15-15

So Many Ways to Die Like a Viking

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

Reviewed: 02-06-18

Jared Diamond uses a telescopic lens to assimilate a big picture view of the globe. It is this ability to synthesize that makes reading his books an enjoyable experience… a learning experience. But, more than a textbook look at ecological factors, Diamond touches base with what individual places mean to the world around them. He not only describes individual loss in a region, but the impact of that collapse on the world around. He describes such archeological study methods as the study of middens, tree rings, and ice cores. He discusses the problem of ‘creeping normalcy,’ ‘landscape amnesia,’ and ‘tragedy of the commons.’

 

The Mayan Civilization and the Viking Colonies take up some of the largest sections of treatment. Diamond looks at how these societies failed to respond to ecological problems. The answers he gives to the Maya problem are some of the best researched and most clear reasons I’ve seen to date. I read the book from the Kindle version with whisper-sync, narrated by Michael Prichard. I read it as a part of my Journey Around the World in 80 books while in Guatamala (The Maya Civ,) and am excited about moving ahead to the Honduras.

 

He compares the sustainability of the volcanic Iceland soil to the fragile Greenland soil, and points to the way in which the Norse Vikings failed to adapt to living conditions that were vastly different from European Norway. Two of the surprising factors of the Viking problems I noticed were that the Greenland Norse apparently did not eat fish. They insisted on trying to raise their beloved beef, though their starving & stunted cows refused to eat seaweed, and had to be force hand-fed. That is certainly maladaptive, and unlike the Vikings in the other colonies. Seriously, when in Rome, do as the Romans. When living on an island, eat fish. Second, Iceland today is one of Europe’s richest places due to exports, where it was the poorest then. But, my bet for the Greenland Vikings disappearance is that their Inuit neighbors grew tired of their less than neighborly habit of checking to see how heavily they bled when pierced with a knife. They referred to the Inuit natives as Skraelings, or “Wretches.”

 

Individually, the book lays bare the experience of a number of societies; past and present, and looks for underlying contributing factors to their demise. Besides the Maya and the Vikings; Diamond analyses the disappearance at Easter Island, Pitcairn and Henderson Islands, the Anasazi Natives of Chaco Canyon in New Mexico, among others. He sheds light on the sustainability of other nearby societies, like New Guinea (and Japan) where people have maintained resources for more than a millennia with only similar ecological conditions because of the choices they made.

 

Modern societies such as the Hutu and Tutsi of Rwanda were also covered. Diamond shows how racial genocide was exacerbated by ecological problems and population density. He illustrates that the politicized racial problem was sometimes just an excuse to wipe out neighbors who had resources you needed. For example, some areas only had one Tutsi living there, yet during the massacre, Hutus killed many of their own Hutus anyways since there were no Tutsi nearby to kill. The political race bait was just the ‘match to light the keg.’ He compares and contrasts the Dominican Republic’s sustainability efforts with the lack thereof in Haiti, while both share the island of Hispaniola and a history of dictator government.

 

The book also covers the modern prospering countries of China and Australia that are on the cusp of having major ecological problems in the coming years. Throughout Diamond uses a framework of five factors that contribute to collapse: self-inflicted environmental damage, unanticipated ‘normal’ climate change, hostilities with other societies, friendly trading relations with other societies, and cultural attitudes. I highly recommend the book for those looking for a common sense, apolitical view of ecology in a global world.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Scapegoat

  • A Flight Crew's Journey from Heroes to Villains to Redemption
  • By: Emilio Corsetti III
  • Narrated by: Fred Filbrich
  • Length: 11 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

On April 4, 1979, a Boeing 727 with 82 passengers and a crew of seven rolled over and plummeted from an altitude of 39,000 feet to within seconds of crashing, were it not for the crew's actions to save the plane. The cause of the unexplained dive was the subject of one of the longest NTSB investigations at that time. While the crew's efforts to save TWA 841 were initially hailed as heroic, that all changed when safety inspectors found 21 minutes of the 30-minute cockpit voice recorder tape blank.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Technical Exposé

  • By Vicky on 02-03-18

A Technical Exposé

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

Reviewed: 02-03-18

Scapegoat details a near fatal dive that was salvaged by the pilot in a heroic maneuver in 1979. At first he is hailed as a hero, but things get rough when he is skewered in the media in an attempt to divert attention away from the possibility of a part malfunction. 

Unlike anything else I’ve read, Corsetti delivers this project on an investigative timeline, instead of chronologically. By that I mean that he starts with what is happening in the cockpit, until the crash. Then he backtracks to the passengers’ experience. Then he moves through the stages of investigation in the order that they revealed the sequence of events. This allows you to learn what happened with the passengers and on the body of the plane the same way ‘Hoot’ and the crew would have known. You are not given any prescient knowledge of what is going on behind the scenes. This causes the reader to experience the event from the pilot’s seat. 

The book has some pretty glum moments and is not easy to read all in one setting because of the life-shattering effects the whole fiasco has on the career and personal life of the pilot. It gets pretty grim, and things go from bad to worse, before they get better. But, through it all, the pilot, ‘Hoot’ keeps battling and begins new income projects in Costa Rica that help with both his mind set and his financial state. It is definitely a story of overcoming the odds. I recommend this book for anyone who flies, as it is quite revealing on aspects of the industry. I requested and received the Audible version free for review purposes. 

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • The Confluence

  • By: Puja Guha
  • Narrated by: Yael Eylat-Tanaka
  • Length: 7 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10

The Kite Runner meets Monsoon Wedding during revolution in the Middle East. The story of an Indian woman adopting her son as she brings her estranged family back together in fictionalized Sudan and Calcutta. In 2045, Naina Ranjeeva writes a letter to recount the journey that led to the adoption of her son Nikhil. Decades earlier, she stumbles upon a lead on the location of her aunt, who had disappeared when Naina was just a child.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • too long but...

  • By Vicente on 02-24-19

Family Overcoming Global and Emotional Distances

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

Reviewed: 01-29-18

In The Confluence, Guha brings together the diverging members of a fictitious extended family in a global world. At the beginning of the story the main character, Naina, is writing a letter to her grown adopted son to explain the details of his unknown birth family. She’d been living in Paris, and went to meet her Mother-in-law to be in New York after getting engaged. Since her In-laws were in politics, they did a background check to know how to spin her past before the tabloids got hold of anything. Inadvertently, the investigation pulled up the detail that her Mother’s sister had abandoned her husband and son.

So, realizing how traumatic this separation from family was to her Mother, Naina travels first to East Africa to locate the missing Aunt and hear her story. Then, she travels to Kolkata India to locate the child her Aunt had abandoned, now grown with a son of his own. In reconnecting, Naina finds herself in a revolution, with bombs (both emotional and real) dropping and events spiral beyond what she ever dreamed would happen. In the end, it is her cousin’s young 3 year old that she adopts and raises. The confluence of family lost, though born of pain and loss, results in a beautiful peace and happiness for her and her loved ones.

Puja Guha has an ability to force communication between the characters in the story by separating the reader from the events that take place. It is this distance from events that are so integral to the story that creates the sense of lost time, and pain that you feel as you read. With each event, you realize the character should have been there, but instead they must learn of the event from a distance. It really is a good way of getting the point across, and I didn’t miss the car chases and gun fights typical of action stories. After all, it’s a relationship drama, not an action movie.

I requested and received a free copy of the Audible version for review purposes. The narration was done by  Yael Eylat-Tanaka with a most enjoyable authentic accent. Once I’d started reading I couldn’t put it down. The recording quality was not great. But, the quality of the reader and the impact of the story made me ignore the audio quality. If not for that, I’d probably have given it a 5 star rating. I do recommend the story for readers who enjoy relationship stories. Puja Guha is an author sure to have upcoming literary success.