The Ghostly Father

A Mystery Romance Based on Shakespeare's Romeo & Juliet
Narrated by: Danielle Cohen, Philip Rose
Length: 8 hrs and 32 mins
Categories: Romance, Fantasy
4.5 out of 5 stars (5 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Think you know the world's most famous love story? Think again. What if the story of Romeo and Juliet really happened - but not quite in the way we've all been told?  

This part-prequel, part-sequel to the original tale, told from the point of view of the Friar, tells how an ancient Italian manuscript reveals secrets and lies which have remained hidden for hundreds of years, and casts new doubts on the official story of Shakespeare's famous star-crossed lovers.  

If you love the Romeo and Juliet story but are disappointed with the way it ended, this is the book for you.

©2017 Sue Barnard, Ocelot Press (P)2020 Spectrum Audiobooks

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

Beautiful, believable rendering of R & J

We all know exactly what happened at the end of Romeo and Juliet, right? But what if all we "know" is the result of centuries-old "fake news?" Of a death-scene-smoke-screen meant to throw judgmental family members off the trail? Could it be???? Sue Barnard suggests that perhaps there were a few details askew in the tale we all know and love. Here's her premise: a contemporary dying man asks his granddaughter to provide a translation of a journal passed down from generation to generation that just might have been written by Friar Lorenzo. Yup, that Friar Lorenzo.

The story moves well and provides plenty of fascinating and engrossing detail. Sure there are a few aspects that make my eyebrows rise: could someone with only a smattering of university Italian really effortless translate a 500-year-old-plus diary? Wouldn't Grandpa, or any of his family, not have wondered about the journal earlier? Similarly, regarding the narration: the contemporary young woman begins the tale, but then Father Lorenzo's male voice takes over. Periodically throughout the book, the female voice pops in briefly for an "oh my goodness!" moment that I found distracting and unnecessary. But overall, this was a terrific listen and made me think about Romeo and Juliet in a new light. (It also provided a completely non-proselytizing portrait of a devout Franciscan monk's mindset.) I was fortunate to receive a complimentary copy of this audiobook at my request and am truly glad I thus found a new author I look forward to reading again.

1 person found this helpful

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

A Delightful Reimagining

This story presents the "true" story of Romeo and Juliet, told from Friar "Lorenzo's" perspective. While I appreciated the clever twists to the classic plot, the 3rd act presented few obstacles or tension, an anti-climax. Also, there seemed to be a lot of redundant and tedious explaining and re-explaining, which slowed the plot down.
Still, the book is not terrible, and perhaps it was simply not to my taste.
The narrator's each did a fine job.

1 person found this helpful

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

Familiar But Not…

The Ghostly Father is a retelling of the classic Romeo and Juliet, but it’s quite a bit different. First off, it’s being told from a completely different perspective. And second, it’s being told (and kind of re-told) through the “translation” that the main character is performing. Every time she translates the book, it’s read from the male narrators point of view. Every once in a while she’ll add in thoughts about what’s going on (especially early on once she realizes what the story is actually about).

I’m not 100% sure that the females interjections were really needed. Sometimes they took away from the story (which, since it was sort of jumping back in time) had a sort of Assassin’s Creed feel to it. I can’t tell if it was just the storytelling or also jumping back into that time that did it for me.

The story itself is both familiar and not. I’ll be honest, it’s been a long time since I’ve read Romeo and Juliet, and even longer since I’ve actually thought about the plot, the people, and the overall story behind the story. Barnard takes an interesting point of view in The Ghostly Father – one that I definitely enjoyed reading.

Overall, I thought that the performance was great (especially Philip Rose who has a lot of the book). They were had the right accents and just the overall right vibe for this book. I thought it was enjoyable and one of those “familiar-but-not” sort of books. The story and all of the major parts of it were familiar but all of the other stuff around it was not.

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

A Unique and Novel Twist To Romeo and Juliet

A grandfather’s 100 birthday..his request for his granddaughter to translate an old manuscript handed down in the family written in Italian....it’s written by the monk known from Romeo and Juliet...with a different version. The story is told from not only the perspective of the monk but the granddaughter translating for her grandfather.

Starting with the monk’s life prior to becoming a monk. In depth examination of the players in Shakespeare’s play, primary and secondary. Twists to each plot line. An interesting and compelling version seeing the entire story in a different light..masterfully portrayed by the narrator.
Well worth time and credit or money.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.