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Vacation Audiobook

Vacation

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Publisher's Summary

Dr. William Koval, a pragmatist with little faith in humanity, prefers to dwell in the eerily comforting microscopic realm, where he is master of his domain. But his worldview is upended when he decides to go on the English walking tour his wife had been planning before her murder three years earlier. Only when William confronts his past, including his troubled marriage, will he find a way to rejoin the living, to move forward, and perhaps love again. The real journey, he discovers, lies within.

©2012, 2014 Jeanne Miller (P)2017 Jeanne Miller

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  •  
    Bill Beaulac NEK Vermont 08-19-17
    Bill Beaulac NEK Vermont 08-19-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Despite my hesitation, it was an enjoyable journey"

    I have to admit that I was hesitant to begin this book simple because I had a preconceived sense that this was going to be a "chic-listen" of sorts. That being said, I really ended up enjoying the book as it was an easy listen. Vacation is an inspirational story of one man's vacation in the English countryside, that unexpectedly turns into a journey of self-discovery that will change the way he lives his life. The characters are well developed and the story-line is solid, yet it was rather apparent (to me at least) as to what direction this was going in . . . a truly redemptive ending. Nice, but one could see it coming well before the conclusion of the story. Perhaps because the basis of the story is one that has been told often.

    The narration by Curt Simmons was superb and, in fact, is part of the reason that my overall rating was 4-stars. His rich descriptions of the various locales and that of the English countryside easily transports the listener into the story. For me, that was half the enjoyment of the book.

    I would recommend this book to those looking for a relaxing listen about love, loss, acceptance, forgiveness, hope, friendship, and redemption. A review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in return for this unbiased review. My hope is that this review helps in your decision to obtain this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    ElyLibrarySec 08-19-17 Member Since 2015
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    "A Book To Listen To More Than Once"
    What made the experience of listening to Vacation the most enjoyable?

    It's a book that was sad a lot of the time. It had its up and down moments. But what was most enjoyable was going on vacation to England with our main character.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Since we see him for most of the book, and it's told from his point of view, I would say that it would be William. He's also someone that I can commiserate with.


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

    He was perfect for this book. He brought William's character to life. You could feel all of William's emotions as the story unfolds. Mr. Simmons also did a great job with the characters that had an accent.


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

    Since this is William's story. I would say William but now that he's found Annie I would want her there too. I'd want to know if they go back to England and what they would recommend I visit and where to stay. It would be a great way to catch up with them and find out what happens after this book ends.


    Any additional comments?

    This is a book that I could, in some ways, identify with. I could feel Williams' pain. Our pain is the same but different. His was from violence and mine was from old age. It was nice that at the end of the tunnel you can find love again. It's never easy but if you put in the time and sometimes persistence you can get your happily ever after.

    If I had not been part of a tour for this book I might never have read/listened to it. This is one of those that you can't judge a book by its cover. It's one you need to take a chance on. There were times that I had tears in my eyes but that's a good thing. You need to let your emotions out - keeping them bottled up isn't a good thing. This was a pleasant way to help with that.

    Like William I went on vacation too. But after listening to his story I almost wish that I had gone on a walking tour. It's a great way to meet new people and make lots of new friends. But that doesn't mean it won't happen - my bucket list just got a little longer. Will make sure to have this book with me when I go. It was also a great way to be introduced to a narrator and author that I have not experienced before. But will most definitely experience again.

    I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Audio Copy of this book.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lelia T Richmond, VA 08-17-17
    Lelia T Richmond, VA 08-17-17
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    "A comfortable love story"
    Any additional comments?

    In many ways, William is a stereotypical research physician but those close to him know he isn't coping well with the death of his wife; rather than moving on with his life, he's withdrawn and finds comfort in solitude. He would be content, if not happy, to be left alone but, fortunately for him, there are a few people who care enough about his wellbeing to force him to take a step forward.

    A walking tour through the English countryside doesn't seem too onerous at first, even though William isn't used to this sort of thing or with spending time with a group of strangers, some of whom are intent on being chummy. Their Irish tour guide is a funny sort of guy who's suspiciously inept at this and a couple of his fellow walkers are a bit irritating. Still, it's only for a few days and William has to admit he's feeling a kind of relaxation he didn't expect. When a woman named Annie begins to touch his heart, he's unprepared and, at first, resistant and when he does let himself feel again, he and Annie come up against an unbearable barrier.

    Vacation is what I call a love story rather than a romance because there's more depth to the feelings between these two and it seemed quite organic, if you will. The twist in the story bothered me some, first because I thought it was way too predictable but also because it just seems so unnecessary and I think tension could have been created in a less sensational manner. Despite that, I enjoyed this story a great deal.

    A lot of my enjoyment came from the wonderful narration by Curt Simmons. I don't think I've heard him before but his voice is one of the best I've come across with his smooth, even tones that tell the story with distinct vocalizations and a comfortable quality that makes me want to keep listening. Ms. Miller wrote a really good story; Mr. Simmons brought William and all the other characters to life.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Between the Coverz 08-16-17
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    "A chance meeting that leads to passion and forgive"
    Would you listen to Vacation again? Why?

    Vacation is a story of Dr. William Koval, who feels imprisoned by grief and loss. After a forced vacation, William learns to have hope and love again. He does not realize that learning to love comes with hurt and above all acceptance and healing.

    Vacation is a refreshing and well-written story. JC Miller really knows how to build up the suspense and tension and keep your attention to the very end. The characters are well developed and engaging. The story has just enough description that you can picture you are there in the moment. This story has many lessons to be learned and is an inspiration to all.


    What about Curt Simmons’s performance did you like?

    Curt Simmons did an excellent job with the narration. He had a crisp and clear voice that was a pleasure to listen to and easy to follow. Mr. Simmons did a fantastic job with the different characters’ voices.


    Any additional comments?

    This is the first book that I have read by JC Miller. I recommend Vacation to anyone that enjoys a quick read that is full of romance, grief, hope, and humor.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jan 07-31-17
    Jan 07-31-17 Member Since 2014
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    "Delightful Story!"

    I so enjoyed listening to this book. The premise of going on a walking tour of England sounds so delightful and relaxing, along with being picturesque. (My mother has done it twice) so the imagery brought back many memories. I loved the twists that the author spun into this book as well. The main character was awkward and likable. I thought it was great how the book came full circle for the good doctor. My review is not a synopsis of the book, but rather my opinion of it. I was provided with this review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    oldrum 10-05-17
    oldrum 10-05-17
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    "A Great Story Well Told"

    I found this novel hard to stop listening to. JC's characters are true-to-life and the story moves along at a good clip so there is nary a dull moment. The narration by Simmons is a great match due to his masterful ability to bring the characters to life with the different and authentic accents of the travelers. I would recommend this book highly--it does not disappoint!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anonymous 09-23-17
    09-23-17 Member Since 2017
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    "Ready for a Walking Tour of the English Countryside!"

    I enjoyed listening to "Vacation" by CJ Miller immensely. The story may have been a bit predictable but it was still sweet and the characters were believable and so well done by narrator Curt Simmons.

    One thing that really stood out and impressed me was the quality of his dialects. I'm so used to hearing the Australian accent mangled by Americans that I cringe at the thought. So, when the story required going from an Australian accent to an English accent, back and forth, back and forth, and then throw in a couple of French accents on top of that, it could have been a disaster! However, Simmons made the transitions seamlessly. Very impressive.

    Simmons skilled, accomplished voice is easy to listen to and draws the listeners in, giving us a connection to the characters. I will be looking for more books narrated by Simmons.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    moorj Indiana 09-16-17
    moorj Indiana 09-16-17
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    "Lovely to listen to!"
    Have you listened to any of Curt Simmons’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    Curt Simmon's narration is splendid. His rich voice is pleasing and brings characters to life as if they were friends at your side.


    Any additional comments?

    William Koval is a broken man. His world had been ordered by his love of research, orderliness and his wife Kath. He believed that his life had been changed in one moment – his wife was murdered by a man off his medication for schizophrenia – senseless. The truth was a bit more complicated although he had denied the realities for some years prior to Kath’s death.
    Acceptance can come through many paths. Koval’s decision to go on a English walking tour planned before his wife’s death proves to provide the supports for emotional healing and moving forward from a quirky group of people he finds himself with during the ups and downs of the tour through the beautiful countryside.
    The story is relatable and enchanting. Curt Simmons narration provides wonderful qualities bringing the story alive as you listen. I found myself cheering for members of the tour and Koval as the journey moves along. An enjoyable listen.
    “I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.”

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    The Audiobookworm 09-10-17 Member Since 2017
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    "An Introspective, Emotional Journey"

    4.5★ Audiobook⎮Vacation is a contemporary fiction novel that feels like a classic in a very “coming-of-age” way. JC Miller sends Dr. William Koval on a hero’s journey worthy of a Greek warrior. Although, the journey William goes on to find himself is as much metaphorical as it is physical.

    I would classify Vacation as contemporary fiction, although there is a light romantic theme appearing midway. Vacation is more about life than romance, but since romance is often a part of life, it’s natural that it was included in William’s journey. Don’t expect anything hot and steamy; Instead, Vacation's romance was sweet and endearing. I appreciated that it didn’t overpower the larger plot of William’s journey, which was the main focus of the story.

    Vacation was a character-centered tale. The largest obstacle William had to overcome was an internal struggle. As a widower, he was faced with the ultimate task of obtaining closure over his troubled marriage and his wife’s murder. Miller’s use of an internal primary obstacle rather than external was refreshing. Dr. William Koval was a well-rounded character. Vacation is told from his perspective, so we encounter all other characters from his point-of-view. Considering that, the more minor characters were pretty dynamic as well. They weren’t as developed as William, of course, but I still had a distinct sense of who they all were.

    Some may find Vacation “slow”, but I think it made for an excellent summer read, perfect for lazy days on the beach. Unlike most “Beach Reads”, Vacation has substance. I was so invested in William as a character that his heartache became mine. It prompted a great deal of introspection on my part and was a bit emotionally heavy in a “Life goes on” sort of way. Miller’s light writing style managed to alleviate some of the emotional burden, making this a surprisingly easy tale to get through. The details Miller provided brought William to life, making it easier for me to connect with him and with the story.

    Vacation is a solid standalone novel. At just under 7.5 hours, this could easily be heard in a couple of days. Upon finishing Vacation, I was left with the feeling of completion and satisfaction. Miller did an excellent job of providing the reader with closure. She told a complete tale, with a solid message, in the perfect amount time.

    Narration review: You know who the audiobook world is sleeping on? Mr. Curt Simmons. I’ve been singing his praises and recommending him to everyone since I heard him narrate Omari and the People last year. Curt has been blessed with an unbelievably soothing voice. I could listen to him 24/7 and never tire of his voice (I wonder if his wife feels the same way). Curt was the perfect choice for Vacation. It’s like it was written with him in mind.

    The sheer sound of his voice relaxes me and makes all my worries fall away. Listen for yourself, if you think I’m exaggerating. And not only that, but he’s talented as well. Vacation allowed Curt to showcase a different set of vocal talents than Omari and the People did. In Omari, most of the characters were from roughly the same region and had variations of the same accent. In Vacation, William encounters people from various countries around the world. Curt gave each of them distinct accents, appropriate to their native areas and somehow managed to capture their equally distinct personalities. Simmons was also dialed in on the considerable emotions depicted in Vacation. The sincerity in his narration made this powerful story all the more moving. Despite the “heaviness" of William’s personal journey, this was one of the easiest listening experiences I’ve had- all thanks to Curt Simmons.

    ➜This audiobook was graciously gifted to me by its narrator, Curt Simmons, in exchange for a review containing my honest thoughts and opinions. Thanks, Curt!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Angelina 09-02-17
    Angelina 09-02-17 Member Since 2016
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    "Curt Simmons brings Dr. Koval to life!"
    If you could sum up Vacation in three words, what would they be?

    Despair-Hope-Surrender


    What other book might you compare Vacation to and why?

    A man called Ove because despair and the absence of purpose when a beloved dies is REAL! and the persistence of Life and love - the hope that it brings saves us all!


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

    Curt expresses the doldrum pace of the life of Dr. Koval in the beginning using tempo and mirrors his rising from the ashes like a Phoenix - some dramatic flair you wouldn't know was in him! I enjoyed JC's writing and easy use of metaphors and similes to describe wonderful places like Puget Sound and the Cotswolds! I'll be looking out for more audible books narrated by Curt or written by JC Miller! I actually have a Dr. Koval withdrawal after listening to this novel!


    If you could rename Vacation, what would you call it?

    I would not change it!


    2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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