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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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Performance

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Story

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

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!!!!!

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

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

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

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.
In any case, if I had read the book instead of listening to it, I might have liked it better.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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

Too long and main story was boring

The back story was good but you had to listen to the main story just to hear the actual love story. It was very long and drawn out. If it wasn’t on an audiobook that I listened to while driving I never would have sat and read the book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Narrator

How could the performance have been better?

I didn't like the narrator's voice at all. I wish I had read it instead. She sounded whiny and nasal.

Was The Sweetness of Forgetting worth the listening time?

The story had a lot of things happening because they needed to happen. But overall, and despite the narrator's voice, I kept listening. Good beach book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • 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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

Horrible audio reader

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

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Annoying to listen to.

I loved the creative way the story wove in recipes and the Holocaust. I found it frustrating to listen to the reader with the wimpy unconfident voice. Too many “what happened? To many “I said in a soft voice.” I think I would have been better off reading this book than listening. I sped it up and the readers voice was less frustrating.

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

Good story but terrible narrator

I liked the book but several times almost gave up because the narrator was most annoying. She has an extremely distracting whine in her voice, that made it difficult to develop a caring about Hope, which is kind of essential in the story. Hope's parenting skills were pathetic, as she repeatedly got hurt feelings instead of telling the daughter to quit being rude and disrespectful. I wanted hope to get a backbone! I loved the part about her trip to Paris, and the important story about how people of differing faiths came together when it mattered most, during the WWII. I'm glad I hung in there because the story was good, although toward the end, it became predictable. I will read more by this author, but I don't want to listen to another book told by Kim McKean.