A Ship of Pearl

A Novel
Narrated by: Bud Corley
Length: 7 hrs and 8 mins
Categories: Fiction, Historical
5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

$14.95/month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

OR
In Cart

Publisher's Summary

A 1933 bank closing in mid-Michigan piles calamity on top of disaster. Separated from his family, 12-year-old Eldie Craine is up to his eyeballs in unfamiliar territory: someone else’s clothes, a new school, new rules. And, now there’s Cecilea. 

©2016 Adela Crandell Durkee (P)2019 Adela Crandell Durkee

Critic Reviews

“Adela writes with the eye of an artist and the ear of a musician.” (Ronne Hartfield, author of Another Way Home, essayist, international museum consultant, and former executive director at The Art Institute of Chicago and Urban Gateways)

“Adela’s unique voice brings a romantic nostalgia to its readers. She captures the simplicity of a child’s wonder and amazement at God’s beautiful world.” (Kimberly Sullivan, Executive Director of Love Inc., contributing writer at www.familyfire.com and featured at Huffington Post)

“I hope someday to be able to write like Crandell. In the meantime, I'll be content to continue reading her…Bud Corley is the only voice I can imagine speaking for Eldie. There's something about the surface-level sound of his voice, his manner of speaking, that takes us to childhood, but beyond that, it's as if Corley intimately knows the heart and soul of Eldie. Every emotion, from frustration to guilt to confusion to amusement, is convincingly expressed without over-acting or even a hint of obvious effort.” (Kristen Tsetsi, author of The Year of Dan Palace, Pretty Much True, and The Year of the Child)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    4
  • 4 Stars
    1
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Performance

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    5
  • 4 Stars
    0
  • 3 Stars
    0
  • 2 Stars
    0
  • 1 Stars
    0

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing Read!

I loved this story! Adela has such a deep and unique vocabulary that I looked forward to the next fun and new phrase or words I was learning. From a mans perspective, I loved reading about a boy growing up in a tough situation, much tougher then I could imagine going through and taking you along for the ride while he learns about life, heartbreak, and love. This story brought laughs, emotion, and nostalgia. I highly recommend this book, and any others written by Adela Crandell Durkee.

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

Looking back

A delightful journey into the mind and times of years gone by. Rich with the humor and wisdom of childhood. Well done!

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

Lovely story.

I read the Ship of Pearl and listen to the recent audio version. I enjoyed the audible version as the narrator’s male voice added feeling and emotion to the story told from
of a young boys memories. Many readers will relate to the sometimes comical events.

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

Heartwarming

Told from the perspective of twelve-year-old Eldie, "A Ship of Pearl" is a heartwarming, insightful, and hopeful coming of age story. It's a story about memory; an artful demonstration of the magic of a child's perspective. We follow young Eldie as he adjusts to a new life after his family home is burnt down, forcing them to separate and live with different families, presenting new opportunities and challenges. Adela has a magical way of crafting a young character who is both extremely self-aware, but also eager to learn what he doesn't understand. "I got the best memory for things I want to remember," he says. We follow Eldie explore the mysteries of new friends and new love, the hard truths of growing up, while maintaining a strong willed optimism carried throughout the story. "Life can take some sweet and bitter turns, even in one afternoon," he says. "That's for darn sure."

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

So enjoyed it that I'm listening again.

The wonderful thing about hearing a story from a child's perspective is that children have limited awareness of adult troubles. In A Ship of Pearl, Eldie, 12, exists in a time when money is scarce, a house fire has taken his family's home and forced his siblings and parents to board separately with others, and his new living situation means attending a new (and inferior, in Eldie's opinion) school with a new (much less pleasant) teacher. But because Eldie is a child, we as readers escape the pressure felt by adult parents trying to provide for their children under harsh conditions. Instead, we get to follow Eldie, both in the (his) present day and through his rich and vivid memories, from his almost-born days in the womb to his twelfth year.

In that time, we're casually made aware of the family's difficulties (Eldie is told he can take a fresh sandwich from the trash, if he wants it - he's so skinny, after all), but we're also introduced to Eldie's dynamic, sparkling parents, his friends (Ephram is wonderful until he isn't, but he still very much is), and his serious love interest, Cecilia. We're immersed not in constant woe and struggle, but in a place and a past--the scents of the flowers Eldie knows, the behavior of livestock he observes, the two-room house and the one-room schoolhouse, all part of the huge, small world where Eldie lives--, and with the kind of naturally and beautifully placed details that never once pull readers out of the story the way some do with their clunky efforts to explain or show.

The story is immersive not only because of its characters and their braided-together lives, but because Adela Crandell Durkee somehow managed to fully inhabit the mind of a young boy. Eldie's observations are sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, other times age-appropriately simple but utterly lovely poetry. (Because I listened to the novel while walking my dog, it wasn't possible to copy my favorite passages. If I had copied them, this review would go on and on with short excerpts that I just loved.)

I hope someday to be able to write like Crandell. In the meantime, I'll be content to continue reading her.

Performance: Bud Corley is the only voice I can imagine speaking for Eldie. There's something about the surface-level sound of his voice, his manner of speaking, that takes us to childhood, but beyond that, it's as if Corley intimately knows the heart and soul of Eldie. Every emotion, from frustration to guilt to confusion to amusement, is convincingly expressed without over-acting or even a hint of obvious effort.