©1990 Joanna Trollope; (P) Chivers Audio Books
"A compelling journey into the lives of two ordinary people coping with extraordinary events." (Booklist)
Eleanor Bron is such a delightful narrator- the story was a pleasure to listen to from beginning to end. It was rather like a warm shawl around you on a pleasant but slightly chilly British summer evening.
When scenes change without the chapter changing too, there is absolutely no pause in the reading, so it takes time to realise the story has moved on. The characterisation of voices is good, however. I was not impressed with the 2 main characters - both act stupidly and a bit selfishly. Generally a rather depressing book - not one of her best.
I always like Joanna Trollope, and I'd listen to Eleanor Bron read the phone book aloud, so this looked like a sure thing. Alas, the production is so weak enough to take the edge off my enjoyment of this book. The sound is muffled and mushy, and too frequently I can hear extraneous background noises. It sounds as if Bron recorded the book at home, not in a studio. Very distracting, and not to the high standard I expect from Audible.
Also, Bron doesn't do children well. There's one child character, Imogen, a toddler, who is written as a spoiled, mouthy little brat. She should have been comic relief or possibly a foil to other characters, but Bron reads every line of hers in the same high-pitched whine. I wanted to reach into my mp3 player, grab the kid, and slap it silly.
The book is worth your time - a well written and engaging story - but be advised that the production flaws will take the edge off the experience. And that horrible little girl will make you wonder why the parents failed so miserably with her when their other children are three dimensional and believable.
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