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  • reviews
  • 11
  • helpful votes
  • 88
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  • Once Upon a River

  • By: Diane Setterfield
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 16 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,096
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,954
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,945

A body always tells a story - but this child’s was a blank page. Rita reached for the lantern. She trained its light on the child’s face. "Who are you?" she murmured, but the face said as little as the rest of her. It was impossible to tell whether, in life, these blunt and unfinished features had borne the imprint of prettiness, timid watchfulness, or sly mischief. If there had once been curiosity or placidity or impatience here, life had not had time to etch it into permanence. Only a very short time ago, the body and soul of this little girl had still been securely attached.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Best book I have read in years!!

  • By CV on 02-06-19

Fascinating read

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

Reviewed: 04-07-19

The author took us on a fanciful flight and then returned us safely and satisfied back to earth.

  • What Was Mine

  • A Novel
  • By: Helen Klein Ross
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan, Cassandra Campbell, Amanda Carlin, and others
  • Length: 8 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,120
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,006
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,007

Lucy Wakefield is a seemingly ordinary woman who does something extraordinary in a desperate moment: She takes a baby girl from a shopping cart and raises her as her own. It's a secret she manages to keep for over two decades - from her daughter, the babysitter who helped raise her, family, coworkers, and friends. When Lucy's now-grown daughter, Mia, discovers the devastating truth of her origins, she is overwhelmed by confusion and anger and determines not to speak again to the mother who raised her.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Switching alliances

  • By Simone on 01-23-16

Good, but not great.

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

Reviewed: 03-05-16

What did you like best about What Was Mine? What did you like least?

I enjoyed the way the author presented the story from different points of view. She went so far as to interject the thoughts of 3rd parties like they were being interviewed by a reporter. I did not like the new age mom that Marilyn turned into. I do not think Mia's character was as developed as it could have been.

How would you have changed the story to make it more enjoyable?

I just wonder how the story would have turned out if the families weren't so darn perfect.

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

I think Wendy was my favorite character. Her view of America and Americans gave me a chuckle or two.

Could you see What Was Mine being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I'm not sure how this book could be made into a movie. Other than a great opening scene, where would it go from there?

  • Never Fall Down

  • A Boy Soldier's Story of Survival
  • By: Patricia McCormick
  • Narrated by: Ramon De Ocampo
  • Length: 6 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 110
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 97
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96

When soldiers arrive at his hometown in Cambodia, Arn is just a kid, dancing to rock 'n' roll, hustling for spare change, and selling ice cream with his brother. But after the soldiers march the entire population into the countryside, his life is changed forever. Arn is separated from his family and assigned to a labor camp. Working in the rice paddies under a blazing sun, he sees the other children, weak from hunger, malaria, or sheer exhaustion, dying before his eyes.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • incredible

  • By Jillian Eichel on 04-22-16

Heartbreaking.

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

Reviewed: 12-23-15

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

Yes, because it was so enlightening as to the plight of the Cambodians in the years right after the end of the Vietnam War.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Never Fall Down?

When the main character had to decide whether to kill his younger sister or leave her to die.

What about Ramon De Ocampo’s performance did you like?

Truly credible for all characters.

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

The entire book was so depressing but I think when the main character understood why he had lived when almost everyone around him died.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Rent Collector

  • By: Camron Wright
  • Narrated by: Diane Dabczynski
  • Length: 9 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,846
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,659
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,654

Survival for Ki Lim and Sang Ly is a daily battle at Stung Mean Chey, the largest municipal waste dump in all of Cambodia. They make their living scavenging recyclables from the trash. Life would be hard enough without the worry for their chronically ill child, Nisay, and the added expense of medicines that are not working. Just when things seem worst, Sang Ly learns a secret about the ill-tempered rent collector who comes demanding money - a secret that sets in motion a tide that will change the life of everyone it sweeps past.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Good story but has some issues

  • By BR on 02-23-16

A reminder of what literature is.

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

Reviewed: 12-10-15

If you could sum up The Rent Collector in three words, what would they be?

thought provoking, eye opening, and beautiful

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Rent Collector?

the dying elephant

What does Diane Dabczynski bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Her accent is perfect for the audio book.

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

It's not what you expect.

Any additional comments?

The author reminds of us of what literature is. She also reminds us of the millions of people in this world who do not know how to read. She brought beauty and wonderment in her reintroduction of literature to us with stories inside a story against a backdrop of poverty and some Cambodian history thrown in for good measure.

  • You Should Have Known

  • By: Jean Hanff Korelitz
  • Narrated by: Christina Delaine
  • Length: 16 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 612
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 543
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 542

Grace Reinhart Sachs is living the only life she ever wanted for herself. Devoted to her husband, a pediatric oncologist at a major cancer hospital, their young son Henry, and the patients she sees in her therapy practice, her days are full of familiar things: She lives in the very New York apartment in which she was raised, and sends Henry to the school she herself once attended. Dismayed by the ways in which women delude themselves, Grace is also the author of a book You Should Have Known, in which she cautions women to really hear what men are trying to tell them.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic reading;literary soap opera

  • By colprubin on 06-04-14

Love is blind.

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

Reviewed: 10-22-15

Is there anything you would change about this book?

There was no mention of the couple's bank account and whether the husband dove into it as it is in most stories along this same line.

Would you be willing to try another book from Jean Hanff Korelitz? Why or why not?

Yes, I would read another book by this author. I think she show great potential.

What does Christina Delaine bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

One thing that comes to mind is that some times when interjecting your own voice in the written word,, you may miss some of the sarcasm that you catch when you listen to the audio version.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Possibly, but it is a little too predicable to be a great movie.

  • The Girls

  • By: Lori Lansens
  • Narrated by: Stephanie Zimbalist, Lolita Davidovich
  • Length: 6 hrs and 4 mins
  • Abridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 209
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 56
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 57

Meet Rose and Ruby: sisters, best friends, confidantes, and conjoined twins. Since their birth, Rose and Ruby Darlen have been known simply as "the girls". They make friends, fall in love, have jobs, love their parents, and follow their dreams. But the Darlens are special. Now nearing their 30th birthday, they are history's oldest craniopagus twins, joined at the head by a pot the size of a bread plate.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Terrific material, great presentation:

  • By Barbara on 06-24-06

Did I miss something?

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

Reviewed: 10-17-15

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A total rewrite. I thought the premise was excellent, but except for a few chapters, the story really went nowhere.

What could Lori Lansens have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I like a little more fiction with my " based on a true story" books.

Would you be willing to try another one of Stephanie Zimbalist and Lolita Davidovich ’s performances?

Yes

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Yes, that is was based on actual co-joined twins.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Learning to Swim

  • By: Sara J. Henry
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 296
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 264
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 264

When she witnesses a small child tumbling from a ferry into Lake Champlain, Troy Chance dives in without thinking. Harrowing moments later, she bobs to the surface, pulling a terrified little boy with her. As the ferry disappears into the distance, she begins a bone-chilling swim nearly a mile to shore towing a tiny passenger. Surprisingly, he speaks only French. He'll acknowledge that his name is Paul; otherwise, he's resolutely mute.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Worthwhile Suspense/Mystery

  • By Howard on 10-25-11

An okay mystery

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

Reviewed: 10-17-15

What would have made Learning to Swim better?

It was not predictable but yet it was nothing new, nothing fresh.

What could Sara J. Henry have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

I'm not sure she could have done much. I did not care for the main character's personality. She was a little to perfect. She was a little to full of herself at times. She knew so much about computers. She knew exactly what to say to the little boy she saved and exactly how to take care of him. Everyone she met liked her. She was surrounded by men who thought she walked on water.

What three words best describe Suzanne Toren’s performance?

She spoke beautiful French.. Okay, that was four words.

What character would you cut from Learning to Swim?

All of them - lol

Any additional comments?

I am not normally one for mysteries, and this book reminds me why.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Flying Circus

  • By: Susan Crandall
  • Narrated by: Jacques Roy
  • Length: 12 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 96
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 92
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91

Set in the rapidly changing world of 1920s America, this is a story of three people from very different backgrounds: Henry "Schuler" Jefferson, son of German immigrants from Midwestern farm country; Cora Rose Haviland, a young woman of privilege whose family has lost their fortune; and Charles "Gil" Gilchrist, an emotionally damaged WWI veteran pilot. Set adrift by life-altering circumstances, they find themselves bound together by need and torn apart by blind obsessions and conflicting goals.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another great book from Susan Crandall.

  • By MissSusie66 on 08-11-15

faith, family, flying

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

Reviewed: 09-28-15

What did you like best about The Flying Circus? What did you like least?

Ii was a quick, enjoyable read. I still can't believe women and flight have come so far over the past century.

I guess overall the book was a bit YA so I was disappointed in that.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

It was a happy and unexpected ending.

Did Jacques Roy do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

Yes he did. His characters were very real.

Do you think The Flying Circus needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No follow-up. There was no cliff-hanger ending.

Any additional comments?

Good quick summer read. Very appropriate for young girls.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker

  • By: Jennifer Chiaverini
  • Narrated by: Christina Moore
  • Length: 14 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,541
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,372
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,378

In Mrs. Lincoln’s Dressmaker, novelist Jennifer Chiaverini presents a stunning account of the friendship that blossomed between Mary Todd Lincoln and her seamstress, Elizabeth 'Lizzie' Keckley, a former slave who gained her professional reputation in Washington, D.C. by outfitting the city’s elite. Keckley made history by sewing for First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln within the White House, a trusted witness to many private moments between the President and his wife, two of the most compelling figures in American history.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A Wonderful Re-Imagining of Mrs. Keckley's Life

  • By Melissa on 03-04-13

Good, but not what I expected.

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

Reviewed: 09-12-15

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Since the book was really about the dressmaker, I would like to have read a little more about her slave years. Also, I hate to admit it, but once her years with Mrs.Lincoln were over, I basically half listened to the rest of her story.

Would you recommend Mrs. Lincoln's Dressmaker to your friends? Why or why not?

Probably would not recommend because most of my friends have read 'Mary' by Janis Cooke Newman, and we all agree it is one of our favorite books.

Which character – as performed by Christina Moore – was your favorite?

I think she did an excellent job of portraying all her characters. You could tell when toothless women spoke. You could feel the emotions of the characters as she spoke for them.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Probably not.

Any additional comments?

The book was enjoyable as long as you go into it knowing it is about Mrs. Lincoln's dressmaker and not as much about Mrs. Lincoln. Also, I could never make up my mind if Mrs. Lincoln was a true friend to her dressmaker or just using her. The dressmaker was an incredible friend to Mrs. Lincoln.

  • Orphan Number Eight

  • A Novel
  • By: Kim van Alkemade
  • Narrated by: Andi Arndt, Ginny Auer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 320
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 287
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 285

In 1919, Rachel Rabinowitz is a vivacious four-year-old living with her family in a crowded tenement on New York City's Lower East Side. When tragedy strikes, Rachel is separated from her brother, Sam, and sent to a Jewish orphanage where Dr. Mildred Solomon is conducting medical research. Subjected to X-ray treatments that leave her disfigured, Rachel suffers years of cruel harassment from the other orphans.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Characters not fleshed out enough

  • By MissSusie66 on 08-18-15

lesbiaism, jewism, unethical medical practices

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

Reviewed: 09-09-15

Would you try another book from Kim van Alkemade and/or Andi Arndt and Ginny Auer ?

Yes, I thought the premise of the book was a very sad realization of yet another way the Jewish people could be demeaned,

What was the most interesting aspect of this story? The least interesting?

that what goes around may very well come around again,

What about Andi Arndt and Ginny Auer ’s performance did you like?

They played true to their characters, I'm glad they have happy ending,

Do you think Orphan Number Eight needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

no follow up book things were tied up neatly enough.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful