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Another great listen by a good author

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

Reviewed: 08-27-19

I have now finished 5 of Ronald H Balson's books. I'm happy to have found this author. This is his 2nd one and it's equal to the other 4. In fact, I've loved all of his books. And I love the narrator.

I learned a lot of history of the Middle East in relation to Israel. The recap of the Israeli wars and how and when the West Bank and Gaza became part of Israel were interesting. Further explained was how the various parts of Israel are divided and by whom they are governed. I worked in Israel for 5 months based in Tel Aviv so I was particularly interested.

I love Liam and Kathryn. They make such a good team. The characters are well developed. There are 3 threads woven in the story and they are all tied together nicely. It was an easy read and a 'page turner'. I liked the settings: Chicago, Hawaii. and Hebron. I felt like I was in each location when visiting a character there. The plot was believable and interesting.

Not sure what else to say except, if you like intrigue, a bit of a thriller populated with characters who come to life, dive right into this book.

Spoiler Alert for an Enjoyable Read

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

Reviewed: 08-23-19

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read many books on WWI but this is the first one centered on Americans or the Red Cross that I've read. It was pretty light weight but the 6 Red Cross girls and their newly acquired boyfriends were characters that I both liked and cared about.

Some reviewers said they wanted to know about the girls' lives going forward. I thought the book ended just right. All of the girls had their lives to live and went their separate ways. Intense situations, like the war, bring people close but once the artificial situation is over, the closeness remains but the lives move on from there. The girls had a bond that could never be broken.

I loved the men that Vivian, Dottie, and Fiona paired with. Each one seemed to be a good match. I also enjoyed descriptions of the places in Europe that the girls were in. I've spent a lot of time both working and vacationing in Europe and I love it there. So I was pleased that the 3 girls from Boston decided to remain in Europe after thebwar.

Another winner from Balson

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

Reviewed: 08-20-19

I read Balson’s other 3 books before this one. Since this one wasn’t about the holocaust or WWII, I wondered how much I would like it. Well, it not only kept engrossed, but I couldn’t stop listening. Like his other 3 books, I learned something. This time it was about the Irish Troubles in Northern Ireland. I love Kathryn and Liam and they feel like old friends. Kathryn takes a backseat in this one but I loved hearing about Liam’s family. I am hoping that Balson will write a book about Kathryn now.

This book is a little more mystery than the others. I figured out who was behind the murders but didn’t figure out the full story of the killer’s motives so the ending still held some surprises for me. Nearly at the end, there was a huge surprise that saw me burst into tears. I won’t spoil it for you though.

If you’re considering listening to this book, don’t hesitate! Just get it and buckle up for a wonderful, exciting story that keeps you listening well into the night just to see what happens next. In fact, all 4 of the Ronald H Balson books I’ve read are Great listens!

Another wonderful story!

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

Reviewed: 08-19-19

I read many books about the holocaust and recently discovered Ronald Balson's book on the subject. I have now read 3 books by Balson including Once We Were Brothers. The Girl From Berlin is my favorite. The mystery of Gabby's past unfolds slowly through the words of Ada. As with other holocaust stories, this one was heartbreaking at times, heartwarming at others. Ada left a memoir of her family, the Baumgartners, Jacob, Frieda, and Ada. I loved this family. Ada's boyfriend, Kurt, was a wonderful man whom I also loved. Although I know these characters are fictional, I would love to have known them. The holocaust was possibly the most complicated, evil time in world history. However, it was also a time before the war, that life was simple and straightforward. For me, that's makes the holocaust doubly sad.

This is a wonderful book thatvI hope you'll choose to read!

Wonderful.

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

Reviewed: 08-17-19

I am a voracious reader (listener). I have finished 60 books this year! A Fire Sparkling is one of the best books I have ever read. I'm especially fond of WWII novels; this one is at the top of the list. There are many twists and surprises. The 2 narrators are very good. The accents, even of the American pilot, are believable. I liked all of the characters and that plays a large part in my liking of a novel. If you're a fan of England and/or WWII, definitely listen to this book. I loved it!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

Dragging to the End

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

Reviewed: 07-30-19

A depressing and frustrating read. However, despite that, I stayed with it to the end. It's not terribly well written and the reader was annoying to the extreme. She went from whispering to speaking above a normal tone. I almost returned the book due to the unevenness of the performance. But on the 3rd device I tried, I was able to listen without having my hand on the volume control.

The book isn't as negative as it sounds. There's genuine love between the main characters and they grow together as adults. Their love is so overpowering that they are willing to keep changing to make their relationship work. With all the annoyances, it's still an entertaining read.

Pathos

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

Reviewed: 07-16-19

I found the beginning of this novel confusing although it may be that I wasn't listening closely. Aside from 1 or 2 instances where a convenient explanation wasn't believable or stood out as too easily resolved, the story is incredibly compelling. There is loss, tenderness, fortitude, hope, fear, hurt, anger, and most of all love. I didn't realize until the author's note that it was based (loosely) on the true story of the author's family.

I haven't found another book about Romania in WWII and afterwards behind the iron curtain. I learned much about both time periods in the country. I don't recall reading another book about life behind the iron curtain either and I wonder why.

The narrator does a wonderful job with accents and it felt like I Was there in what was happening. It is a sad but beautiful story. I think anyone who reads a book hoping to find characters you care about will love this book.

Another Winner

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

Reviewed: 07-02-19

I await Elian Hilderbrand’s new novel every summer. She has never disappointed and Summer of 69 is no exception. I love all of the character’s in this novel. Hilderbrand has a way of bring her characters to life and each one of the characters in this book come to life. The large family has past and present secrets, a Matriarch, a troubled Mother, marital discord, growing pains, and most of all, Love. Nantucket seems real to me when I read her novels although I’ve never been there. I also felt that I knew this family as I watched them navigate the summer. Tiger, although not physically present for most of the novel, is a central character that I felt I knew!

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

Another Quinn Winner

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

Reviewed: 05-07-19

I was excited to read another book by Kate Quinn. The Alice Network is one of the best books I have ever read. The Huntress doesn’t approach the level of The Alice Network; however, it is very enjoyable. I didn’t feel drawn to any of the characters as I did in The Alice Network but I liked them all; even Lorelei at times. Because I wasn’t ‘hooked on’ any of the characters, it took me awhile to get into the stories of each of them until later in the book. I loved the way all the characters eventually came together.

I never did relate to Nina. She was too far from my realm of experience but she’s one of the Central characters and key to the story.
Ian was the character I related to most. When the various threads began to merge, it became a compelling read.

The Huntress is definitely worth a listen. Based on this, Quinn’s latest book, I will definitely read her next one.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful