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Publisher's Summary

At 36, Hope McKenna-Smith is no stranger to bad news. She lost her mother to cancer, her husband left her for a 22-year-old, and her bank account is nearly depleted. Her own dreams of becoming a lawyer long gone, she’s running a failing family bakery on Cape Cod and raising a troubled preteen.

Now, Hope’s beloved French-born grandmother Mamie, who wowed the Cape with her fabulous pastries for more than 50 years, is drifting away into a haze of Alzheimer’s. But in a rare moment of clarity, Mamie realizes that unless she tells Hope about the past, the secrets she has held on to for so many years will soon be lost forever. Tantalizingly, she reveals mysterious snippets of a tragic history in Paris. And then, arming her with a scrawled list of names, she sends Hope to France to uncover a 70-year-old mystery.

Hope’s emotional journey takes her through the bakeries of Paris and three religious traditions, all guided by Mamie’s fairy tales and the sweet tastes of home. As Hope pieces together her family’s history, she finds horrific Holocaust stories mixed with powerful testimonies of her family’s will to survive in a world gone mad. And to reunite two lovers torn apart by terror, all she’ll need is a dash of courage, and the belief that God exists everywhere, even in cake....

©2012 Kristin Harmel (P)2013 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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  • Story

the WORST narration I have ever heard!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What would have made The Sweetness of Forgetting better?

A different narrator. Kim McKean was horrible. She ruined the book for me. She tried to pass off a British accent as a French one. A friend suggested this book to my husband and myself, and prefaced it by saying that the narrator was very annoying, but eventually you got used to her. That never happened!

Would you be willing to try another one of Kim McKean’s performances?

NEVER!!!!!

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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Horrible audio reader

Horrible audio reader absolutely horrendous. The story very good! Who hired the reader dull boring slow a complete no talent!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Good story but poor story editing and delivery

The premise of this story was engaging and interesting. Bakeries, pastries, a WWII mystery all should have been right up my alley.

Oh my goodness though, I lost count of how many times the main character or her daughter spoke or said something [in a small voice.] Good GAD. I almost started a drinking game. Gallery Publishing is an imprint of Simon and Schuster. Did they run out of editors to notice things like this? Honestly I think Kristin Harmel uses the expression at least 10 times. Why not [in a soft voice] or [softly] or [murmured] or [whispered] or .... When the last two [in a small voice] moments occurred withing 5 minutes of each other, I burst out laughing. Not the right reaction at that dramatic point in the story.

The narrator Kim McKean makes a valiant but unfortunate stab at a French accent. Ordinarily, I do not ding a narrator for a missed vowel or wrong accent on a syllable but McKean was so inconsistent that is was a major distraction for me. Was she going for a French accent or a German or Russian or American Tourist? When 50% of your characters are speaking in a French accent, you have to get either the accent or the cadence right or else abandon the effort all together. Also the vocal fry in her delivery was so disconcerting that it took me out of the story frequently. The growl at the end of each sentence was irritating to listen to. I really enjoy most of Audible's productions. This was was a bit of a miss for me.

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Beware - Vocal Fry and Bad French Accent!

How did the narrator detract from the book?

If the recent epidemic of vocal fry bothers you, don't listen to this narrator. I have listened to about 30 books in the past year, and I have never written a bad review, but with this one, I was so distracted by the narrator's voice, I could hardly concentrate on the story. In addition to the quality of her voice, she really only had two "voices" for all of the characters - whiny female and bad French accent. If she had stuck with the bad French accent when the American was trying to speak French badly, that would have been totally appropriate. But to mispronounce French words when a native French speaker was supposed to be speaking, is unforgivable. I think a better producer/director could have made this much more enjoyable and realistic.<br/>In any case, if I had read the book instead of listening to it, I might have liked it better.

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  • Jennifer
  • Morrison, CO, United States
  • 02-21-17

Narrator ruins the story as an audiobook

The narrator reminded me of an elderly preschool teacher. She spoke so slowly it was grinding. She also read without much expression and was pretty awful with accents as well, turning most of them into a monotone. Like other reviewers, I found this narration made it difficult to listen to the entire book.
The story was interesting though.

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Terrible narration

The story was fascinating and well told. The narration was so painfully slow, stunted and just plain bad I considered just calling it quits every time I began to listen!

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best seller??

this story had some potential, but ended up being maudlin and drawn out as a listen

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Good story

I liked the story. It really made me appreciate my freedom and personalized the holocaust. It was very very intense.

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Sweet love story; I was captivated!!!

What did you love best about The Sweetness of Forgetting?

The storyline was excellent ranging from emotion of tears to joy! Could easily have a sequel!

What other book might you compare The Sweetness of Forgetting to and why?

This is a book in itself!

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

Not that I remember but the narration was very good!

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Same as title of book.

Any additional comments?

I didn't want this book to end. The characters were enticing! It is a beautiful yet somewhat sad book. I recommend if you like relationship books and family!

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Highly enjoyable

Although not my all-time favorite narrator, Ms. McKean does a fine job bringing this story to life. I love a story that draws me in by the end of the first few chapters and this book did just that. The story was so rich and full, my emotions were extremely engaged, I cried several times throughout the course of the book. I definitely recommend this audible.