One hundred fifty years of Roses' Tolivers, Warwicks, and DuMonts! We begin in the antebellum South on Plantation Alley in South Carolina, where Silas Toliver, deprived of his inheritance, joins up with his best friend Jeremy Warwick to plan a wagon train expedition to the "black waxy" promise of a new territory called Texas. Slavery, westward expansion, abolition, the Civil War, love, marriage, friendship, tragedy and triumph-all the ingredients (and much more) that made so many love Roses so much-are here in abundance.
©2014 Leila Meacham (P)2014 Hachette Audio
"Meacham sets her tale against the backdrop of historical upheavals, even the Civil War takes a backseat to the Tolivers' domestic dramas full of intrigue and tragedy." (Booklist)
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"A Prequel done RIGHT!"
The book, yes. The audio version, mmm, not so much. The narrator was the only drawback to an otherwise AMAZING book.
It takes the time to cover 4 generations and develops the characters so that you get a very clear understanding of the story. Loved how it touched on everything from slavery to the civil war to Texas history, and wove in tangled up stories of love and loss and life. VERY well written.
The narrator made the characters speak S-L-O-W-L-Y, as in made the southern "drawl" into something painful. All female voices were (annoyingly) high-pitched and whiny, and all the men gruff and raspy. I would have enjoyed it much more if it was read conversationally and each character was given their own "voice". And I think the southern accent could have been achieved without making them sound, well, slow.
I REALLY wish someone would make this into a movie!!! I thought that the whole time I was listening. I don't know how to summarize it into one line. Except that if it was done right, it would be long. As in Lonesome Dove long!
The strength of the main character, Jessica, through the adversities set before her.
The various voices she uses in defining the characters is remarkable. I love listening to a great narrator who has mastered different voices so the listener knows exactly who is speaking. This is a rare art form and Teresa is certainly an expert.
If I awaken during the night, I put my earbuds in and listen to the book (which actually lulls me back to sleep). However, I happened to listen to one of the saddest parts of the book at 3 a.m. & could not get back to sleep because my heart was so grieved. There's a lot of drama in the book with not much laughter but it's an interesting story of the beginning of this family and their settlement in Texas.
Because I listened to Somerset after listening to Roses, I'll have to go back and listen to the first part of Roses to connect the stories in my head.
"Saying good bye is hard"
This book ranks as one of the best fiction pieces I have read. I was sad when it was over.
I loved the historic detail given to the location and it's characters. Each character was greatly developed throughout the book while keeping to the essence of their traits and actions.
There were so many favorite scenes. Bit I think it would any scene with Silas. He loved her more than anyone would ever know.
I found myself staying in my car after a long drive just so that I could continue hearing the story. The narrator was fabulous and believable.
I craved the sound of the narrators voice! I was so drawn to the characters. i celebrated their joys, grieved with them in their tragedies, felt their pride in their accomplishments.
"A Wonderful Story Line; Ties Up Roses"
Jessica. She was sassy, tough, and took control. She put Darla in her place. She loved Silas unconditionally.
Her accent sounded fake therefore making it difficult to listen. I was forced to speed the reading up to tolerate the accent. She did not do a good job changing character voices.
I wouldn't think of renaming Somerset!
I will be extremely mindful not to listen to any additional audio books read by this narrator.
Audible version is too long and characters are for the most part dull and the story line has nothing new.
"Narration is terrible, but the story is superb."
I loved the sweeping historical fiction as well as the background for my favorite of Meacham's books: Roses. Silas and Jessica were both well-rounded and likable characters, and Thomas and Vernon later on.
I enjoyed Silas and Jessica equally, and Tippy was also an interesting character early on, though I would have liked to have heard her more developed. She basically disappeared about halfway through the book.
Incredibly over acted, her voice at times in the early portions of the book was like nails on a chalkboard. Especially with Elizabeth and Tippy's characters. I think the narrator for Roses did a much, much better job. I enjoyed the story enough to grin and bear it and after about 2-3 hours into the book I got used to it.
No, the narration was too annoying.
The narration is the only bad thing I have to say about this book.
"Needs a believable narrator"
Yes, I would read a Leila Meacham book but Teresa DeBerry's narration was unbelievable. The fake southern accent made it sound like a 100 year old woman was reading.
I liked Jessica as the most interesting character. She was a trooper in falling into the situation given to her by her father! I can see a young woman in the South who is disowned by her family taking on this challenge. Tippy started out interesting, but the character development falls off early and I quickly lost interest in her.
Maybe, but not if she is using that same accent. Occasionally, her normal voice came through and she sounded Southern without the false dragging of words.
Probably Nettie, since it is not very believable that someone of character would abandon the woman he deeply loves. I couldn't buy into that part of the story. Making Silas a confirmed batchelor would have been more believable.
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