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  • reviews
  • 4
  • helpful votes
  • 30
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  • The Frozen Lake

  • A Vintage Mystery
  • By: Elizabeth Edmondson
  • Narrated by: Nicolette McKenzie
  • Length: 15 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 190
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 178
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 179

Fabulous family saga of secrets held through two generations, set against the atmospheric background of the Lake District at Christmas. The year 1936 is drawing to a close. Winter grips Wetmoreland and causes a rare phenonmenon: The lakes freeze. For two local families, the Richardsons and the Grindleys, this will bring unexpected upheaval, as the frozen lake entices long-estranged siblings and children to return home for the holiday season.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • loved this book

  • By Julie on 13-01-16

Worth pursuing to the end - but only just...

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

Reviewed: 24-05-18

There was a very slow start. A whole catalogue of characters was introduced and it was very difficult to remember who was who. Or even care. The story was well-crafted and the story sped up in the last two hours - thank goodness.

My biggest problem was with the characters. There were quite a few sympathetic characters and a couple of pantomime villains. But they all felt as if they were, in fact, made up for a book. I couldn't emotionally engage with any of them.

The narrator was perfect for the job.


  • The Improbability of Love

  • By: Hannah Rothschild
  • Narrated by: Barnaby Edwards, Jilly Bond
  • Length: 17 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 520
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 487
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 490

Annie McDee, alone after the disintegration of her long-term relationship and trapped in a dead-end job, is searching for a present for her unsuitable lover in a neglected secondhand shop. Within the jumble of junk and tack, a grimy painting catches her eye. Leaving the store with the picture after spending her meagre savings, she prepares an elaborate dinner for two - only to be stood up, the gift gathering dust on her mantelpiece.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • I Loved Every Minute of It. Great Characters.

  • By bookylady on 02-04-16

Gripping story set in the 'Super Rich' Art World

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

Reviewed: 15-01-18

There is so much to love about this story. It's gripping, sometimes surprising, and something of an insight into the world of super-rich art collectors.

The characters were well-drawn although the end effect was a fairly lightweight gallop through the events. Very entertaining read.

There were two narrators. The main one was the ubiquitous Jilly Bond. I can see why she gets the jobs. She's very professional, she can do a wide variety of accents, and distinguish between old and young characters. But her well of emotional expression is very shallow. Her breezy, chirrupy style of narration doesn't help you feel for the characters. And she always makes the male love interest sound lumpen and unsexy.

Barnaby Edwards was the second narrator. His performance was impeccable.

  • Love Notes for Freddie

  • By: Eva Rice
  • Narrated by: Liza Ross, Jessica Ball
  • Length: 11 hrs and 2 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

Marnie FitzPatrick is a reclusive sixth former from Hertfordshire with a dysfunctional family, a penchant for Pythagoras' theorem and an addiction to doughnuts and gin. Julie Crewe is a disillusioned maths teacher who lives vicariously through the girls she teaches, yet who once danced barefoot through Central Park with a man called Jo she has never been able to forget.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Offbeat rite of passage story set in the 60s.

  • By londoncomment on 19-10-17

Offbeat rite of passage story set in the 60s.

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

Reviewed: 19-10-17

I enjoyed this story; the characters were eccentric and the premise was unusual. It was good to be reminded of being a schoolgirl in the 60s and 70s.

It's a wistful love story with some unusual relationship triangles. At the end we learn not that love conquers all but strong characters will survive if they can transform themselves.

Written from the perspective of a teenage English girl and a Canadian woman teacher. Both parts were beautifully narrated by the respective actors.

  • Love on the Rocks

  • By: Veronica Henry
  • Narrated by: Jilly Bond
  • Length: 13 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 109
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 89
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 90

When Lisa Jones and her boyfriend George take on the run-down Rocks Hotel, they aim to do for Mariscombe what Rick Stein did for Padstow and set up a chic maritime retreat. But renovating a hotel is about more than stripped wooden floors and Egyptian cotton sheets, particularly when the locals are shifty and unhelpful. Especially Bruno Thorne, the tall, dark and surly owner of the nearby Mariscombe Hotel, where life is one long holiday; for the staff, anyway.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic

  • By MISS on 31-05-12

Pleasurable chick-lit.

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

Reviewed: 25-06-17

Any additional comments?

This was a really well-crafted story. Several sub-plots with a satisfying ending. Veronica Henry's books are undemanding but pleasurable. I sometimes find Jilly Bond's chirpy, twittering narration intensely irritating. But here she raised her game and made you feel the characters' emotions: the pain as well as the joy.

  • A Vintage Wedding

  • By: Katie Fforde
  • Narrated by: Jilly Bond
  • Length: 12 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 360
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 326
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 324

Weddings, romance, humour ,and happy-ever-after endings. The deliciously romantic new novel from the number-one Sunday Times best-selling author of Recipe for Love, A French Affair, and The Perfect Match.

In a small Cotswold country town, Beth, Lindy, and Rachel are looking for new beginnings. So they set up in business, organising stylish and perfectly affordable vintage weddings.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Annother winner from Katie Fforde

  • By Jess on 16-02-15

Likeable story ruined by narration.

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

Reviewed: 20-04-17

Would you listen to A Vintage Wedding again? Why?

No. There is little depth in it. On to the next.

What other book might you compare A Vintage Wedding to, and why?

Nearly all Katie Fforde's books are written on similar lines. Young woman finds herself living in village, a bit down at luck. She usually finds some way to discover or practise her creative or entrepreneurial skills. She meets a man and after a little bit of conflict, she ends up with him. In this book, we have 3 women for the price of one. It's a winning formula; I've read nearly all of them.

What three words best describe Jilly Bond’s performance?

Ruined the book (almost).

Any additional comments?

Jilly Bond is a competent and prolific narrator. But she's wrong for chicklit. She's way too chirpy overall, and in contrast makes the male love-interests sound so unappealing (oafish and lumpen). I think she just doesn't engage with the feel of the story. Publishers clearly disagree. She's done a few Katie Ffordes. I've noticed a few Veronica Henrys coming up in my library which I suspect she's spoiled, too.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Letter

  • By: Kathryn Hughes
  • Narrated by: Rachel Atkins
  • Length: 9 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,057
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,815
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,803

The Number One Kindle best seller guaranteed to break your heart. Every so often a love story comes along to remind us that sometimes, in our darkest hour, hope shines a candle to light our way. Discover the Number One best seller that has captured thousands of hearts worldwide.... Tina Craig longs to escape her violent husband. She works all the hours God sends to save up enough money to leave him, also volunteering in a charity shop to avoid her unhappy home.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Brilliant

  • By Sheila on 19-07-15

Good at the time, not so much afterwards.

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

Reviewed: 12-04-17

What about Rachel Atkins’s performance did you like?

Didn't interfere with the story. I felt she understood what the writer wanted.

Was The Letter worth the listening time?

Listening to this was like plunging into a box of chocolates, when you can't stop eating until you've got to the end. But when the box is finished, you're left with an uncomfortable feeling and some regrets. I was gripped by the story. Yes, I knew it was going to resolve itself satisfactorily but I had to keep moving quickly through it.
Afterwards, I felt empty. This was because the characters, although clearly delineated into good and bad, were very thinly drawn out. In themselves not that interesting. So ultimately, I felt I'd had too much sugar when I could have had a more nutritious meal.

  • You Don't Have to Say You Love Me

  • By: Sarra Manning
  • Narrated by: Julie Maisey
  • Length: 18 hrs and 14 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 126
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130

Girls like Neve Slater don’t get gorgeous guys like William. But William’s been in L A for three years, and Neve’s been slimming down in preparation for his return. Then her sister Celia points out that if Neve wants William to think she's an experienced love-goddess then she’d better get some experience - a man to show her the ropes, like Celia’s colleague Max. And since he’s not Neve’s type, she certainly won’t fall for him...

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Re-readable

  • By Raisa on 05-02-12

Superb character-driven chick lit.

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

Reviewed: 12-04-17

Who was your favorite character and why?

I loved Max. He was the perfect boyfriend - understanding and accepting and non-judgemental. But nobody seemed to realise it apart from us.

What about Julie Maisey’s performance did you like?

The narration was perfect. There was nothing that got in the way of the story. She made both the main character and the love interest sound attractive.

Any additional comments?

I particularly enjoyed the way the main character gradually discovered so much about herself.
Although we could all guess how this would end, exploring the route was so delicious. One of my favourite chick lit books.

  • Men from the Boys

  • By: Tony Parsons
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Keeble
  • Length: 8 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 32
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 24
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 24

Ten years on from Man and Boy, it is crunch time for Harry….

Life is good for Harry Silver. He has a beautiful wife, three wonderful children, and a great job as producer of the cult radio show, A Clip Round the Ear. But Harry is about to turn 40 and his ex-wife is back in town. Soon it could be time to kiss the good life goodbye.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Chic Lit with a masculine view

  • By NinxyNoo on 17-05-13

Thoughtful novel - brilliantly read.

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

Reviewed: 12-04-17

Where does Men from the Boys rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I listened to this with my partner. It was much more suitable for him than my usual diet of chick lit. About 30 mins a day. It was perfect for this slot. We were kept interested without being so engrossed that we had to stay up all night.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The characters were well drawn out. The main character admitted to his flaws but you stayed sympathetic to him.

Any additional comments?

The narration was excellent.

  • Us

  • By: David Nicholls
  • Narrated by: Justin Salinger
  • Length: 12 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,093
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 991
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 990

Douglas Petersen’s family is on the brink of dissolution. His marriage of twenty-one years to Connie is almost over. When autumn comes around, their son Albie will leave for college. Connie has decided to leave soon after. But before everything falls apart, there's still the summer holidays to get through - a Grand Tour of Europe's major cities - and over the course of the journey, Douglas devises a plan to win back the love of his wife and repair his troubled relationship with his son.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Life, love and unhappiness

  • By Dynamo on 17-01-15

Both sad and uplifting? Is it possible?

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

Reviewed: 21-07-16

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

This is an extraordinarily affecting book. The story was character-led. The characters were recognisable and convincing. Although their actions were not always unpredictable. Perfect.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending.

  • High Tide

  • By: Veronica Henry
  • Narrated by: Anna Bentinck
  • Length: 9 hrs and 44 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 223
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 206
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 205

Returning to Penfleet after years in New York, Kate can't help but feel a pang of affection for the little town by the sea where she grew up. If only she were returning in happier circumstances. This last trip is full of farewells: to her childhood home, her once best friend and the life she left behind. Kissing the widow of the richest man in town wasn't one of Nathan's best ideas. Now he can't get Vanessa out his mind.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • not one of my favs

  • By pixie on 21-02-16

Enjoyable story, ruined somewhat by the narration.

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

Reviewed: 21-07-16

Would you try another book written by Veronica Henry or narrated by Anna Bentinck?

The story was well constructed, and ended satisfactorily. Some of the characters behaved in surprising ways for this type of genre, which was good.

What didn’t you like about Anna Bentinck’s performance?

Anna Bentinck is a good expressive narrator who is let down by her accents. Her locals sounded like lumpen, bovine yokels. OK, but not for the handsome love interest, please.
She made her supposedly middle-class female Londoners sound like barmaids from Eastenders. They might not have been as posh as Anna Bentinck but they wouldn't have been quite so full of glottal stops.