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Publisher's Summary

Eleven-year-old Michael Murray is the best at two things: Keepy-uppies and keeping secrets. His family thinks he's too young to hear grown-up stuff, but he listens at doors; it's the only way to find out anything. And Michael's heard a secret, one that might explain the bruises on his mother's face.

When the whispers at home and on the street become too loud to ignore, Michael begins to wonder if there is an even bigger secret waiting to be discovered. Scared of what might happen if anyone finds out, and desperate for life to be normal again, Michael sets out to piece together the truth. But he also has to prepare for the upcoming talent show, keep an eye out for Dirty Alice, his arch-nemesis, and avoid eating Granny's watery stew.

Closed Doors is a vivid evocation of the fears and freedoms of childhood and a powerful tale of love, the loss of innocence, and the importance of family in difficult times.

©2014 Lisa O'Donnell (P)2014 Tantor

Critic Reviews

"Sweet and sad, this is a coming-of-age story with dark secrets-and love-at its heart." (Karen Campbell, author of This Is Where I Am)

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sand
  • Tampa, FL, United States
  • 08-04-14

A lovely Audible treat

Whatever the format, this is a delightfully well- crafted novel, seen through the lens of an 11 year old male Scottish narrator. But Simon Vance's performance puts this Audible version into a whole 'nother category of great.
It's funny and touching and wholly satisfying. A truly entertaining listen and totally worth the download!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Simon Vance does a wonderful job.

This was a good story. Very real. The story moves along, drawing the reader with it , holds your intetest. Loved the narrator's performance and accent.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointed by the ending

Is there anything you would change about this book?

This fascinating whodunit suddenly ended with all the excitement of "who cares ?" It's as if the author got tired and just wanted to end the story.

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

Listening to Simon Vance's Scottish brogue was well worth the time. He brought great feeling to the various characters.

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

Very Dark Yet Funny

Where does Closed Doors rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Probably the best one so far-GREAT story, dark humor and subject but told in a way that made you want to listen. The speaker was amazing, I could totally picture the scenes, and felt for the characters as the plot progressed.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Closed Doors?

The interaction between Michael and his mother when the truth is revealed.

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

I have not--I would listen to him again though if the story was good.

If you could take any character from Closed Doors out to dinner, who would it be and why?

The grandmother--she's a hysterical, hypocritical, kind person. It would be a fun dinner.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Really enjoyed this book!

What did you like best about this story?

I like the fact that the author chose to tell the story through the child's point of view.
I think it is so funny that children always know more than we think they do, and how each generation of adults seems to forget how they were under estimated by their parents.
I also really loved the way she gave us a window into the everyday life of people in a small community and how they are all linked to one another.
I thought that the whole book as well as all of the characters were very well written.
Nothing was over-the-top and all the characters were believable and would be like people you know in your own life.
She chose to deal with a difficult subject in a very good easy-to-read way.

What about Simon Vance’s performance did you like?

Simon Vance is always a pretty good narrator in my opinion.
That is one of the reasons I went ahead and listen to a sample of this book even not being familiar with the author.
I thought he did very well with the Scottish accent.
He also did a good job of making the characters standout from one another.

Who was the most memorable character of Closed Doors and why?

Well obviously Michaelson's the story was told from his perspective.
I do think that all of Michael's immediate family members were memorable in their own ways.
And of course dirty Alice.

Any additional comments?

Overall this was a very well written and enjoyable book.
I am going to recommend it both to my 17-year-old daughter and to my mother.
I definitely look forward to more from this author.