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Publisher's Summary

The physics-bending charm of The Time Traveler's Wife meets the curious mischief of The Eyre Affair in this debut novel.

Annabelle Aster doesn't bow to convention - not even that of space and time - which makes the 1890s Kansas wheat field that has appeared in her modern-day San Francisco garden easy to accept. Even more exciting is Elsbeth, the truculent schoolmarm who sends Annie letters through the mysterious brass mailbox perched on the picket fence that now divides their two worlds. In this unconventional and enchanting tale, Annie and her new neighbor must solve the mystery of what connects them before one of them is convicted of a murder that has yet to happen - and somehow already did.

©2015 Scott Wilbanks (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

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What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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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

Story is fine; audio is attrocious

The reading of this book horrendous. It is read in a highly theatrical, excessively emotional manner that interferes with the dialogue and makes the content difficult to comprehend. It is a flatly unpleasant and almost uncomfortable listening experience.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Disappointing

Would you try another book from Scott Wilbanks and/or Tavia Gilbert?

No. His story was too much - too wordy, too many plot elements, too much exposition and too long. But in other areas, details were lacking. What was she wearing during so many of the big plot lines (it's important to this particular book). How was the adoption made to happen, considering the circumstances? So on. I literally plodded through the last third of this book for two reasons: One, I DID want to see how it all turned out, and two, I wanted to feel what my students feel when forced to complete a book they're not enjoying.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Most details tied up, and more quickly than they were drawn out (don't know if that was good).

How could the performance have been better?

Her narration was anxiety producing. Everything was in an overexcited tone. I even tried slowing down the speed, but it didn't help much. I will NEVER listen to this narrator again.

Did The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster inspire you to do anything?

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

I just couldn't get into it :/

After listening for an hour, I just wasn't pulled in. Frankly, I didn't really care about the characters or what was going on with them. It just seemed kind of pointless. Also, the voices for each character's letters were borderline intolerable, overdone. I really wanted to like it...

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

Magical Story, Beautiful Narration

The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster is so wonderfully crafted that I didn't want it to end. Each character, even minor ones, are incredibly fleshed out, but one character really came to life for me over all others. Elspeth Grundy is perhaps the best written and most entertaining character I have encountered since I first met Augustus 'Gus' McCrae in Lonesome Dove.

There is nothing worse for a listener than finding such a well written book that has been voiced by a mediocre narrator. Luckily, that is not the case here. Tavia Gilbert had never failed to draw me into a book. This time her performance dragged me so deeply into the story that it was dangerous to listen while I was driving.

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

Dr. Who meets Little House on the Prairie?

What made the experience of listening to The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster the most enjoyable?

The experience kept me guessing as to how the title of the book had anything to do with the story. - Still haven't figured that one out. I understand what Lemoncholy means - but still it had nothing to do with the story.

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

Dr. Who meets Little House on the Prairie

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

Great narrator, quirky characters, but meandering

What made the experience of listening to The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster the most enjoyable?

The first thing I have to say about this is that the audiobook narrator (Tavia Gilbert) is fantastic. Her talent for voices, especially across the range of genders and ages, was one of the best I've heard.

Any additional comments?

OK, on to the book. I have mixed feelings. I like that the characters are quirky, and all a bit damaged in ways subtle enough to be realistic. In fact, I'd say the characters are Scott Wilbanks' strength. Christian's sexuality was handled with a much lighter touch than I've seen before in fiction, which was a standout. He's also an exemplary friend, and somehow all that development meant Annie felt less the lead and more a plot device.

The story itself was a mixed bag. It just didn't seem to know if it was a sweet wandering fiction, a time travel murder mystery, a twisty psychological thriller, or a story about family and accepting yourself. Every time it seemed to find its footing on one genre, it switched to another. And it pulled some cheap tricks to do so. If it had stuck to one, I'd have liked it better. Also, the entire bootstrap paradox aspect (utterly ignored), combined with the lack of time travel to visit other loved ones, was perplexing. And frustrating. Mostly because I expect my authors to assume reader intelligence, and not gloss over the interesting physics and science fiction bits.

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

Can I give it 4.8 stars? I loved this!

Can I give it a 4.8? It's nearly a 5. There are so many lovable characters in this book that I didn't want the story to end. I don't tend to pick books with time-travel in them because they can get campy, but not this. It is a beautiful story of friendship and family and it was fun to read. Caution: weak-stomached readers may need to take some breathers near the end. It's a great fast-paced ending, and will be great for thriller/murder/mystery readers, too.

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

Interesting tale of misfits and time travel

This book of misfits and time travel grows on you as you get to know the characters and how their lives intertwine. Overall, a pleasant read.

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

Whisked to another world

This was my first Audible novel and it took a few chapters to get used to listening rather than reading but soon I was immersed into the author's imagination. The characters so well drawn (and read) that they were very clear in my mind. I wanted more while at the same time wanted to know how it ended. And then I was disappointed the book had actually ended. A very good read.