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Publisher's Summary

After her mother's suicide, Abbie Myers returns home to the Lake District with her young child - and no wedding ring. Estranged from her turbulent family for many years, Abbie is heartbroken when she hears that they blame her for this tragedy.

Determined to uncover her mother's past, Abbie approaches her beloved grandmother, Millie, in search of answers. The old woman reveals the story of how she travelled to Russia in 1911 as a young governess and became caught up in the revolution.

As Abbie struggles to reconcile with her family, and to support herself and her child, she realizes that those long-ago events created aftershocks that threaten to upset the fragile peace she longs to create.

Set against the backdrops of the English Lake District in the 1960s and the upheavals of revolutionary Russia, The Amber Keeper is a sweeping tale of jealousy and revenge, reconciliation and forgiveness.

©2014 Freda Lightfoot (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    116
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    61
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    56
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    17
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    8

Performance

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    39
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Story

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
  • Lulew
  • California, United States
  • 04-28-15

Terrible narrator

Story was okay and might have been a little more enjoyable if it was not for the narrator. Not worth a credit.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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

annoying...annoying...annoying

What did you like best about The Amber Keeper? What did you like least?

The story could have held my interest, but the narration's appalling. I kept wondering if your narrator is actually a robot. Although I enjoy audio books....I will be very careful to check as to who the narrator is before I order future books.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Amber Keeper?

I can answer this better after I READ it.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Susan Duerden?

anyone....absolutely anyone

Did The Amber Keeper inspire you to do anything?

yes..........to shut the sound off

Any additional comments?

I could have enjoyed this story. It had a very interesting start, and I'm sure that reading it will be a pleasure. I will read the written word to finish.............

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Debbie
  • Toney, Alabama
  • 03-28-15

Mystery and Love During the Russian Revolution

Historical story moving back in forth from the 1911 (and the years following) to the 1960s, as Millie recounts her tale of moving from England to Russia to become the governess for two young children. Abbie, Millie's granddaughter has returned home to England, from France with her own young daughter, following the death of her mother, after being estranged for many years. Trying to make sense of her mother's adoption and her mother's past, Abbie asks her grandmother, Millie for answers. Who was her mother? How had Millie come to adopt her? The fall of the Russian Czar, the turbulent aftermath and the eventual escape from Russia back to England are retold to her granddaughter, Abbie, in heartbreaking detail. Excellent listen . . . mysteries revealed . . . satisfying ending.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

Terrible Narrator!

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Teenagers..

Would you be willing to try another book from Freda Lightfoot? Why or why not?

Possibly. The sing-song narration made me dislike this book intensely. I might have enjoyed it if I'd been reading, rather than listening to it.

Would you be willing to try another one of Susan Duerden’s performances?

Never! She reads it so that it sounds like a nursery rhyme. It's irritating and nerve-wracking.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Irritation.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

I found the narrator very annoying .

The storyline was very good, but the narrator was extremely annoying it sounded like she was trying to sound I don't know I didn't like it at all. I would not get another book if the narrator was the same

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

Narrator destroys listen!!!!

OMG....the story is wonderful & wonderfully written but the narrator absolutely ruined it for me!!!! I don't even know how to put this nicely but I will try. First of all....WHO TALKS LIKE THAT???? REALLY???? Her breathless, husky, fake-sounding, sing/song tone was enough to drive me mad! So annoying! She didn't even attempt to "toughen" up the tone when she spoke for the male parts...awful! I hung in until Ch. 16 hoping, praying it would get better because I was loving the story...but nope, it never did! I'm now going to buy the book and read it in order to finish it! No offense but this narrator sounds like she belongs on the other end of a 1-900 phone call....seriously!!! I blame myself for not listening before buying...lesson learned! Also wrote this narrator's name down so I don't EVER make the same mistake twice! I suggest you take a listen first...if you're not annoyed then go for it because it's a fantastic story!!!

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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

Narrator’s voice ruined what otherwise might have been an OK book

The voices of every male character, good and bad, were read in the same evil tone of voice as the wicked witch of the west when she said “I’ll get you my little pretty, and your little dog too,” only in a British accent. It was so Annoying and distracting that I couldn’t help visualizing the wicked witch whenever a male spoke. And every man in the book sounded exactly like every other man, which made it quite confusing since the book jumps from one historical era to the next.

The female voices were no better, with every female in the book sounding like a whispery little girl telling secrets at a slumber party, and every female voice in the book sounding like the voice of every other female in the book, which was quite confusing. The narrator seemed unable to speak in the voice of an adult woman. I could hardly wait for the book to end, and I’m not sure why I finished it other than the fact that the storyline was Barely sufficiently interesting to prevent me from completely giving up.

The evil woman in the book was also so totally evil and one dimensional that It seemed incredible that the main character, Abby, Continued to be taken in by her, and unbelievable that anyone wanted to have anything to do with her regardless how rich and seductive she was.

In trying to find something positive to say about the book, the historical background was interesting, and the basic storyline was decent. I also liked the cover of the book. But that’s about all. I cannot recommend this book are there as there are so many better books about this time period out there.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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

This is a good story. Worth a listen and time well spent.

I would rate this a five if the MC hadn't been so willing to trust, or so easy to be had. Patsies usually get what they deserve, where the innocent are truly taken advantage of....

A little backbone would go a long way. Only my opinion, and we know what those are worth. Still, I would choose this author again.

That said, great premise and story telling. Excellent writing. Well done. A book to be proud of, as an author myself I know the work and diligence required to produce at this level.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • MK
  • Kansas
  • 03-30-15

couldn't stand the narrator's voice

good story but narrarator's vice was irritating and detracted from the story. some kind of rise in get voice at the end of wits grated on my nerves.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

Great story

Well written and engaging. Two stories told intertwined past and present all come together in a sweet ending. I couldn't stop listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss D Srao
  • 06-18-15

Ok story, shame about the narration!!!

Story was lovely but it was ruined by the intonation of the narrator. I nearly gave up listening but I had paid for it so wanted my money's worth.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Claudia
  • 10-19-15

Not recommended

The idea for the story is promising. With proper research and the creation of engaging, convincing characters this book could have become an interesting and informative story about "Upstairs, Downstairs" in Russia at the onset of the October Revolution. Pity the execution is so poor, this book is not even entertaining.

Worse still, Susan Duerden's reading is terrible. Every sentence has the same intonation and contributes to a merciless singsong which ruins even those parts of the story that arouse a little interest. Miss Duerden's attempts at creating different voices are confined to her lowering her voice and sounding breathy. It is all so bad, in the end I just laughed and turned off. I would recommend that Miss Duerden listen to a performance by Rupert Degas who should give masterclasses teaching how to read a story and create a stunning variety of voices.

I shall return this book.

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
  • Amanda
  • 07-07-15

Droning voice

Story was OK but nearly gave up listening due to the terrible narration. It sounded as though she was reciting a shopping list most of the time.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • asterisk
  • 10-03-18

The narration is appalling

I’ve tried to get through this book on several occasions as the story sounds interesting but every time the narration just kills it and I can’t get through a single chapter at a time.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • SMInc
  • 01-25-18

Breathless but senseless narration of two-dimensional characters I couldn't grow to care about

The opening was a bit overdone, and unlikely, but promised some interest along the lines of the cover picture and title...
However it jerked forward to an anachronistic future and a host of cardboard-cutout characters each one less sympathetic than the last,
The narrator read like a robot on helium - every sentence delivered with breathless anticipation totally unsuited to the text and context, as though it was all seat-edge knife-edge drama instead of some trite story of family (and lovers) who couldn't communicate.
The writing was equally irritating - so much so that after struggling for an hour and a half to engage with some of the characters or to care about what happened next, I decided to give up the unequal struggle. It is the first audiobook I have had to abandon.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Geordie lass
  • 01-08-18

Dreadful narrator

I would have most likely enjoyed this book if not for the awful narration. I could barely listen to it for more than a few minutes. The clipped and over enunciated words were like shards of glass to my ears.
It’s the first time I’ve encountered it. Hope it’s not a regular meeting!

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • MarcF
  • 01-08-18

Good story badly written

This was a fascinating story marred by incredibly shoddy writing. I found it unbelievable that between the author, publisher, narrator and audio recording team, things got through to the end performance. For example: describing scenes where children wouldn't do as they were told as "blatant displays of obedience". And not just once. Much of the writing was contrived and amateurish.

For all that, in spite of moments of disbelief over the above, I'm glad I stuck with it. Great story. I just wish someone would rewrite it.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • MAUREEN LEE-BOURKE
  • 12-12-17

I cannot listen to this narrator

I’m only on chapter one and I’ve decided to read this instead. The narrator does not make this interesting at all. The same tone and intonation at all times is so annoying and makes me shut off completely. Just read the book. I cannot comment on the story yet

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • JAK
  • 10-12-17

A light weight story not even worthy in a magazine

I concur that the basic language, poor scene setting and triviality of this book got very annoying after the first two hours of listening. I just didn't feel any depth of character and any sense of setting. Very stereotyped and lightweight.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sailaway
  • 08-03-17

Good listen

Enjoyed the story listening to the audio. Brought alive the struggle of three generations of women with complex pasts. Each character was clearly defined but the only down side was the narrators aspirating the end of each sentence when no accent was involved.

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Julie
  • 12-18-16

Book ok, narrator appalling

While the book was an amusing enough listen, and the historical perspective interesting, the narrator's voice was grating...all breathy and sing song. Such a shame

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • lola
  • 08-04-16

Interesting storyline

The storyline was very interesting and kept closely to historical fact. The narrator was awful. The accents were painful to listen to and ruined the story. This would have been much better read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful