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  • 20
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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 1,540
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,432
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,424

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
  • Enjoyed thoroughly... one minor glitch

  • By Jen817 on 12-27-18

Best book I have read in years!!

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

Reviewed: 02-06-19

This book was so fantastic I cried when it ended. I will replay it at some point, which is rare for me- but I just don't want it to end. The depth of each character, the artistry of word play, the emotional depth, the narration- just superb. I can't wait to visit the river, and investigate the true life characters that inspired some of this tail. I love you Diane Setterfield and Juliet Stevenson- how incredible you both are.

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • The Poisonwood Bible

  • By: Barbara Kingsolver
  • Narrated by: Dean Robertson
  • Length: 15 hrs and 34 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,661
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,960
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,999

The Poisonwood Bible is a story told by the wife and four daughters of Nathan Price, a fierce evangelical Baptist who takes his family and mission to the Belgian Congo in 1959. They carry with them all they believe they will need from home, but soon find that all of it - from garden seeds to Scripture - is calamitously transformed on African soil.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I'd give it ten stars if I could

  • By Johnna on 06-10-11

Deep thoughts about Culture and religion .

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

Reviewed: 03-02-18

Would you listen to The Poisonwood Bible again? Why?

Absolutely. It is deep, thoughtful and full of reality. I loved learning about the Congo and experiencing what it would be like to be in a missionary family.

What other book might you compare The Poisonwood Bible to and why?

I really can't compare it to anything, it is quite unique.

Have you listened to any of Dean Robertson’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No, but I will definitely look for some to read.

If you could rename The Poisonwood Bible , what would you call it?

"After the Congo" "The Missionary"

  • The Great Alone

  • By: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 15 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24,816
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,620
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,516

Ernt Allbright, a former POW, comes home from the Vietnam war a changed and volatile man. When he loses yet another job, he makes an impulsive decision: He will move his family north, to Alaska, where they will live off the grid in America’s last true frontier.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • ✫✫✫✫✫ 5 Stars ✫✫✫✫✫

  • By Cyndi on 09-12-18

Excellent

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

Reviewed: 03-02-18

What did you love best about The Great Alone?

I loved all of this novel. The characters were real, and interesting. She gives you different angles to consider of each character.

What did you like best about this story?

The descriptive language of Alaska, the survival skills the quality of life.

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

Visiting or living in Alaska. Being married to an abusive husband ( thank God).

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

The death of the mother. How there was forgiveness and love across generations.

Any additional comments?

This is such a great story. I look forward to more books of similar quality from this author.

  • Distant Shores

  • By: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Bernadette Quigley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 376
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 315
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 314

Elizabeth and Jackson Shore married young, raised two daughters, and weathered the storms of youth as they built a future together. But after the children leave home, they quietly drift apart. When Jack accepts a wonderful new job offer, Elizabeth puts her needs aside to follow him across the country. Until the sudden death of her father changes everything.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Hit way too close to home

  • By Kiki Gee on 01-28-17

A little cheesy, but ok.

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

Reviewed: 03-02-18

What did you like best about Distant Shores ? What did you like least?

The narrator annoyed me. Some of the descriptive language and dialogue was unsophisticated. The character's self talk also seemed underdeveloped and immature.

Would you recommend Distant Shores to your friends? Why or why not?

No. I just don't feel like it is for the sophisticated reader. I found myself irritated at the main characters, and considered returning this book several times.

What did you like about the performance? What did you dislike?

She sounds like Andy McDowell, an actress I enjoy, but as a narrator I found her annoying.

Did Distant Shores inspire you to do anything?

Stay married.

Any additional comments?

This book is so different from "The great alone" I was disappointed. But yet, I felt like the author was trying to encourage middle aged woman who have dedicated their lives to their families to find their own lives, and stay married. It is a good message.

  • Nobody's Fool

  • By: Richard Russo
  • Narrated by: Ron McLarty
  • Length: 24 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,561
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,109
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,107

Divorced from his own wife and carrying on halfheartedly with another man's, saddled with a bum knee and friends who make enemies redundant, Sully now has one new problem to cope with: a long-estranged son who is in imminent danger of following in his father's footsteps. With its sly and uproarious humor and a heart that embraces humanity's follies as well as its triumphs, Nobody's Fool is storytelling at its most generous.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful Book Fabulous Narrator

  • By Marsha on 04-27-05

Had me hooked

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

Reviewed: 07-12-16

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

I found all of the characters relatable, and interesting.

What did you like best about this story?

I like looking into the mind of the main character- why he became who he was, and many of the other characters.

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

I thought that Ron McLarty was amazing.

Who was the most memorable character of Nobody's Fool and why?

I gave me insight into people in my own life- I couldn't stop thinking about some of the characters.

  • The Summer Before the War

  • A Novel
  • By: Helen Simonson
  • Narrated by: Fiona Hardingham
  • Length: 15 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,753
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,593
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,584

East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England's brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha's husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent saber rattling over the Balkans won't come to anything.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Not Sure About This Book

  • By Sara on 04-27-16

Disappointing

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

Reviewed: 07-12-16

What disappointed you about The Summer Before the War?

I just couldn't get into the storyline or the characters. None of them held my interest- I found my mind wandering off.

What was most disappointing about Helen Simonson’s story?

I found it lacked a hook.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narrator was good.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • The Witness [Brilliance Audio Edition]

  • By: Nora Roberts
  • Narrated by: Julia Whelan
  • Length: 16 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22,618
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,198
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 20,159

Daughter of a cold, controlling mother and an anonymous donor, studious, obedient Elizabeth finally let loose one night, drinking too much at a nightclub and allowing a strange man’s seductive Russian accent to lure her to a house on Lake Shore Drive. The events that followed changed her life forever. Twelve years later, the woman now known as Abigail Lowery lives alone on the outskirts of a small town in the Ozarks. A freelance programmer, she works at home designing sophisticated security systems.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Classic Nora - Outstanding!!!!

  • By M. Davis on 04-20-12

Surprisingly good read

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

Reviewed: 07-23-15

If you could sum up The Witness [Brilliance Audio Edition] in three words, what would they be?

I was not disappointed in this story- it was interesting and complex.

What did you like best about this story?

A satisfying ending.

Which scene was your favorite?

The court scene where the main character is shot.

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

The scene where girls go back to the gangster's house.

  • The Book of Speculation

  • A Novel
  • By: Erika Swyler
  • Narrated by: Ari Fliakos
  • Length: 11 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 2,620
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,452
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 2,445

Simon Watson, a young librarian on the verge of losing his job, lives alone on the Long Island Sound in his family home - a house, perched on the edge of a bluff, that is slowly crumbling toward the sea. His parents are long dead, his mother having drowned in the water his house overlooks. His younger sister, Enola, works for a traveling carnival reading tarot cards and seldom calls.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I lost myself in this book

  • By Barb Freman on 07-30-15

Interesting story that weaves generations.

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

Reviewed: 07-23-15

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

Absolutely- because it different, hopeful, surprising and satisfying.

What other book might you compare The Book of Speculation to and why?

I can't think of anything to compare it to, but I would love to read something similar.

Which scene was your favorite?

When the main character was walking into the water to get rid of the Tarot cards.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Yes, couldn't wait to read it.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Nightingale

  • By: Kristin Hannah
  • Narrated by: Polly Stone
  • Length: 17 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 50,122
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 45,429
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 45,352

Audie Award, Fiction, 2016. From the number-one New York Times bestselling author comes Kristin Hannah’s next novel. It is an epic love story and family drama set at the dawn of World War II. She is the author of twenty-one novels. Her previous novels include Home Front, Night Road, Firefly Lane, Fly Away, and Winter Garden.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Heroic & Harrowing Work Of Fiction

  • By Sara on 08-21-15

Decent read- slightly disappointing.

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

Reviewed: 07-23-15

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

It was a decent read, but not one I would recommend. I don't think the author resolved the ending very well.

What was most disappointing about Kristin Hannah’s story?

I think too many people died- I know that is the point of a war story- but by the end it seemed too depressing. I also thought the attitude of the surviving sister lacked depth. I don't know why she moved to America, or how this happened. Would have liked to know more about how she resolved her marriage. She also doesn't seem to respect her son and how he is trying to care of her.

Have you listened to any of Polly Stone’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

no

Could you see The Nightingale being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

I hope not, I think it would fall apart. It would be like a cheap copy of the Titanic.

  • The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

  • By: Rebecca Skloot
  • Narrated by: Cassandra Campbell, Bahni Turpin
  • Length: 12 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,788
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,582
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9,623

Her name was Henrietta Lacks, but scientists know her as HeLa. She was a poor Southern tobacco farmer who worked the same land as her slave ancestors, yet her cells, taken without her knowledge, became one of the most important tools in medicine. The first immortal human cells grown in culture, they are still alive today, though she has been dead for more than 60 years.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazing Story

  • By Prisca on 04-30-10

Informative and entertaining

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

Reviewed: 07-23-15

If you could sum up The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks in three words, what would they be?

Be entertained, open your eyes and heart to this women, her family and how she has changed the world. A vivid reminder of the struggles of Africian Americans and the complications of science and morality.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks?

When she went to the mental hospital and found her sister's photo.

Which character – as performed by Cassandra Campbell and Bahni Turpin – was your favorite?

Henrietta Lacks- so real- you felt like you could reach out and touch her.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Yes- I don't think I laughed- but I did cry and it caused me to look up some things on my own.

Any additional comments?

Awesome book, I hope this author writes more like this.