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A seventeen-year-old London girl flies to Los Angeles for the funeral of her mother Lily, from whom she has been estranged since her childhood. Stealing a suitcase of letters, clothes and photographs from her mum's bedroom at the top of a hotel on Venice Beach, the girl spends her summer travelling around Los Angeles, returning love letters and photographs to the men who had known her mother. But as she discovers more about Lily's past and tries to re-enact her life, she comes to question the foundations of her own.
©2012 Anne Stothard (P)2012 Audible Ltd
"The quality of her writing is remarkable." (Helen Dunmore)
"She breathes new life into old literature" (Fay Weldon)
"Matters of personal identity underlie an exhilarating ride through LA's seamier side in the company of a hard-bitten yet highly engaging protagonist" (The Daily Mail)
"Beautifully written and narrated"
I downloaded this on a whim having heard about the writer’s next book, due out later this year. While it’s a little hard to empathise with the protagonist sometimes, the narration is superb – great accents and you can really visualise the characters. But the main thing is the descriptive writing, which is amazing. It’s so evocative of the places, the people, the atmosphere. You can smell the scorching, sticky heat of LA wafting off the pages (or rather, out of the car speakers). Loved it. If I’d had the time to listen in one go, I would have! Definitely recommend.
"Bit slow... But LOVED IT"
Like I said it took me a good hour or two into the book before I became hooked, but it's a really beautiful story and isn't over done like so many story's can be. It had a nice layed back pace to it which was a nice change for me. It also had some really stunning language and the way Anna stothard writes is lovely.
This was certainly not a typical read for me - I had little idea what sort of story I was getting into. After the first few chapters I was wondering if I should continue when I got hooked on the story and wanted to follow the characters through to the end. Haunting at times. (Not sure if that quite conveys what I mean but came to me which writing.)
"Not for me."
I listened to this in its entirety hoping that it would justify my perseverance in the end. It didn't, I found it dull and bland. I don't think I will try this author again.
I thoughly enjoyed the story, intriguing from beginning to end. I can recommend this as a book worth listening to and I am sure you will not be disapointed.
"Ok story - passed the time"
Not my normal type of book. Not a lot happened and it seemed to take a long time for not a lot to happen. It was well narrated but just not my type of story. I was expecting a journey around America and the descriptions this would enable but I was to be disappointed.
"Twists and turns that you don't expect"
I've got to be honest, I selected this book as it as reduced and thought it could while away a few hours on the sun bed while on holiday.
I really enjoyed the story and became absorbed, feeling all the colours described and the warmth of sun during this adventure. The story is brought to life such that you smell and feel everything.
A nice little break from reality, give it a go.
"I learnt so many new words when reading this book!"
Amongst other things this word taught me my new favourite word: 'desiderium', which has given a label to state I am constantly in.
It is so well written and has the correct amounts of twists and turns to keep you interested. It is superbly narrated and acted. The character in the book is a bit of dictionary fan and I loved learning new words thrown in there at random moments.
A great story and a great purchase!
I couldn't get on with the monotonous narration, very disappointed. Perhaps the story improved as it went on, however I found it almost as boring as the dull voice of the reader.
"Just missed the mark"
For me, this book, short as it is, is dragging. The premise is clever and the writing is, at times, excellent, vivid and daring. But the characters were not as vivid as some of the descriptive passages, the main character, arguably, the late Lily whose daughter narrates the story just didn't have any reality to me and I didn't like her daughter much, in fact I got bored with her introspection. I felt a lot of sympathy for her dad, actually. I am almost at the end now, and looking forward to it being over. It's not bad enough to give up on - I do want to see it through - but it's not really gripping, not very funny, not that touching...
The narration is, however, good and it suits the character of the first person voice who tells the story.
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