It is December; Christmas is approaching and the magic of one of Europe’s most beautiful cities beckons. A father looks for himself in the past, struggling to deal with a recent divorce, his teenage son in tow. A single, selfless mother accompanies her only daughter and friends for a weekend-long bachelorette party. And a husband treats his wife to a birthday weekend away, somehow heightening her anxieties and insecurities about age, desire, and motherhood.
During their brief stay in the city, the confusions and contradictions inherent in their relationships assert themselves in unexpected ways, forcing each couple into a sometimes painful reassessment and a new awareness of the price that love demands. As these people brush against each other in the squares, museums, and parks of Amsterdam, their lives are transfigured in the winter light as they encounter the complexities of love in a city that challenges what has gone before. Tender and humane, elevating the ordinary to something timeless and important, The Light of Amsterdam is a novel of compassion and rare dignity.
If someone utterly mangling an accent is an irritation to you avoid this audio book. Why would you decide to make an audio book by an Irish writer with a complete cast of Belfast characters and not employ a reader who could manage the accent? This is a wonderful story but I have had to abandon it halfway through and buy a paper version. The narrator's style is, for me, so deeply irritating. These things are very subjective and he is clearly a very frequently used actor for audio books, however I have sampled his style twice now, on this book and on the wonderful 'Some KInd of Fairytale' where his cod generic 'rural' voice was also irritating but here it was literally unbearable. He also has a way of representing female voices in a kind of high, breathy, sing song delivery that manages to communicate a sense of patronising parody. Come on audible, cast your net a bit wider and get your readers the performance skills they deserve for their money. This was insulting.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
Feel I must review this book if only to disagree with previous reviewer! I thought the performance perfect and enjoyed his Belfast accent. It is extremely hard for male narrators to depict female characters without sounding too camp and John Lee does a sympathetic rendition. The story lines are a bit depressing but the descriptions of Amsterdam are evocative and bring the city to life.