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Deirdre

Newtownards, United Kingdom
  • 7
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  • 42
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  • 11
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The Time Traveler's Wife cover art
  • The Time Traveler's Wife

  • By: Audrey Niffenegger
  • Narrated by: William Hope, Laurel Lefkow
  • Length: 17 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,109
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 183

This extraordinary, magical novel is the story of Clare, a beautiful art student, and Henry, a librarian, who have known each other since Clare was six and Henry was 36, and were married when Clare was 22 and Henry 30. Impossible but true, because Henry has Chrono-Displacement Disorder: periodically his genetic clock resets and he finds himself misplaced in time, pulled to moments of emotional gravity in his past, present, and future.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Truly engrossing - couldn't put it down

  • By Wendy on 11-11-05

Draws you in...

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 30-08-11

The Time Traveler's Wife is a truly unique piece of story-telling. It is the story of Henry and Claire and the love which grows and endures between them both in spite of and because of Henry's ability to time travel.

Henry is an adult when Claire first meets him, but she is only six. However, in real time there is only eight years between them. Confused? Maybe. This story had the potential to go so wrong, but in Audrey Niffenegger's competent hands the reason for Henry's time traveling ability (a genetic condition) sounds extremely plausible. The 'rules' of time travel and Henry's condition are explained very well within the story, and it isn't too long before the listener 'gets it'. The beginning can be a bit confusing but if this is the case please persevere because it is worth it.

And then there is Claire and how she has to cope with Henry's disappearances, her concern and love for him. How both her and Henry try to live as normally as they possibly can.

I enjoyed this very much, and thought it one of the most moving, tender and original love stories ever! I love the way it explores the whole subject of free will and destiny, and how much control we truly have over our lives. Keep the tissues handy for the final chapters.

I wholeheartedly recommend it and please go for the UNABRIDGED version, because I feel you would lose so much otherwise. The audiobook has two readers, William Hope and Laura Lefkow. They were equally excellent and brought Henry and Claire, richly to life.

Hope this helps

Enjoy :)

The French Gardener cover art
  • The French Gardener

  • By: Santa Montefiore
  • Narrated by: Juanita McMahon
  • Length: 13 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 36
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 10
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 11

Miranda and David move out of London into a beautiful country house with a magical garden. But Miranda insists on tottering across the wet lawn in kitten heels, David is never there, and the children won't tear themselves away from the telly. Then an enigmatic Frenchman arrives. With the wisdom of nature, he slowly begins to heal the past and the present. But who is he? And what is his secret?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An excellent listen

  • By Judith on 15-11-08

Beautiful

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 20-11-10

Miranda moves to the country with her family. She finds it difficult to settle in being used to London life, and David her husband still working in the city during the week. The gardens surrounding her new home have been neglected, and so she hires an enigmatic French gardener in the shape of the handsome Jean Paul to restore them to their formal beauty. She knows nothing about the french man, but slowly we are drawn into his world.

The writing in this audiobook is exquiste, and it is a story to be savoured as the words wash over you. It is a story within a story and is both romantic and poignant. I loved it, and finished the story with a sigh and a tear in my eye, sorry to leave all the richly drawn characters behind. Santa Montefiore is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors.

The reader in this audio version was fantastic, and would have no hesitation in listening to her again.

If you love romance with a little more depth than standard chick lit, do not hesitate:)

  • Making the Shift

  • How to Live Your True Divine Purpose
  • By: Wayne W. Dyer
  • Narrated by: Wayne W. Dyer
  • Length: 5 hrs and 35 mins
  • Original Recording
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 117
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 74
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 72

The Shift is a call to become more conscious, to move from aimless ambition to meaning and purpose. Making this Shift is a necessity in order to live a peaceful, fulfilling life aligned with your divine calling. In this deeply engaging live seminar, Dr. Wayne W. Dyer explains that instead of heeding the demands of the ego, which keep you mired in self-sabotage through never-ending pleas and false promises, you can choose to move in a new direction.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • First Class Dyer!

  • By Deirdre on 14-11-10

First Class Dyer!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-11-10

I found this latest offering from Wayne Dyer, interesting, engaging and a joy to listen to. Being a fan of his work, Making the Shift did not disappoint.

It is NOT a rehash of Excuses Begone. Certainly there are many references to previous material, and he spends a short time going over the Excuses Begone paradigm. However, the bulk of the program is about Making the Shift from ambition to meaning in your life, and giving clear advice on how to do that. It's not where you are in your life that matters, it's what direction you're going, and that is profoundly important.

I thought the real icing on the cake, however, was the final hour of the recording, where he spends a bit of time on his up and coming book, Wishes Fulfilled. This was mind blowing stuff, and have listened to this part several times, each time gleaning more meaning from it.

All in all highly entertaining and recommended :)

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

The Affair cover art
  • The Affair

  • By: Santa Montefiore
  • Narrated by: Jilly Bond
  • Length: 11 hrs and 13 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 59
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 43

Best-selling children's book writer Angelica is amused and flattered at the attention of Jack, the owner of a vineyard in South Africa, whom she meets at a dinner party. With his easy charm and reputation as a ladies' man, Jack makes her feel good about herself - surely it can't do any harm to indulge in a mild email flirtation?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Affair

  • By Eileen on 25-09-10

Loved it!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 22-10-10

Angelica is a happily married woman, or so she thinks. She has the perfect life, a husband she loves, and two children she adores. She lives in a beautiful house in London, has a fulfilling career as a children's author with enough time left over to do lunch with the girls.

Then Jack, a handsome South African man walks into her life turning her world on its head.

I thoroughly enjoyed this audiobook. The story started off a little slow but then drew me in until I was hooked. This was enhanced by the narrator, Jilly Bond, who gave the story life. Every voice in the story was very well portrayed, with much care even given to the minor characters. eg. when Angelica gets together with her girlfriends each and every one of them was given a very distinctive voice and their personalities were brought to life.

Lovely story, and I agree moral undertones. Very enjoyable. Hope this helps:)

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Mariana

  • By: Susanna Kearsley
  • Narrated by: Carolyn Bonnyman
  • Length: 11 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51

Juliet Beckett believes in destiny. When she moves into Greywethers, a beautiful 16th-century farmhouse, she suspects that more than coincidence has brought her there. The locals are warm and welcoming; especially the eligible squire of Crofton Hall, yet beneath the ordinaries, Julia senses a haunting sadness about her new home. Then she learns of Mariana, a beautiful young woman who lived there 300 years ago. It seems history has been waiting for Julia...

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Interesting time-slip tale

  • By Deirdre on 14-07-10

Interesting time-slip tale

Overall
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 14-07-10

Julia Becket moves to the country from London, and finds her perfect home in the shape of Greywethers a 17th century cottage.

Right from the start we get the sense that the house chose Julia rather than the other way round, and soon Julia realizes all is not quite as it seems. She starts having strange experiences seemingly transported back to the past and into the life of a woman called Mariana.

I quite enjoyed this story, and liked the characters and gentle love story. However I only gave it three stars, This is primarily because of the narrator, Carolyn Bonnyman. I found her voice too monotone, and lacking emotion, especially when there was a lot of dialogue. When different characters were speaking there wasn't enough difference made between them and this could be a bit confusing, as in a pub scene when there were four people all having a conversation together.

I still enjoyed it though and found the story entertaining, with enough mystery about it to keep me interested.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

The Lady in the Tower cover art
  • The Lady in the Tower

  • By: Alison Weir
  • Narrated by: Judith Boyd
  • Length: 16 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 107
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47

The imprisonment and execution of Queen Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII's second wife, in 1536 was unprecedented in English history, and never before has there been a book devoted entirely to her fall. But here Alison Weir has reassessed the evidence and created a richly researched and detailed portrait of the last days of one of the most influential and important figures in English history.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Wonderful

  • By Deirdre on 16-06-10

Wonderful

Overall
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-06-10

I thoroughly enjoyed this stunning portrayal of Anne Boleyn's final weeks. Sometimes non-fiction books can seem a little dry, but this account of the fall of this most controversial queen will have you holding your breath on quite a few occasions. No amount of films or novels of Anne's life can live up to the real thing.

Often, when we read about great characters from history, time distances us from them, making us feel detached, or their stories are embellished for the modern audience. Not the case here.

Alison has managed to cut away all the myth and legend surrounding Anne, thus transporting us back in time to watch events as they unfold. You are quickly caught up in the drama of the time, watching it as if you don't have the gift of hindsight. She brings to life all the important movers and shakers of the time, and I particularly liked the way the author dealt with the men who were accused with Anne, giving mini biographies of them along the way. As for Anne herself, the account of her execution will take your breath away.

The narrator in this recording did a wonderful job, particularly when quoting from contemporary accounts of the time. She was very easy to listen to.

All in all, highly recommended:)

16 of 17 people found this review helpful

  • Portrait of an Unknown Woman

  • By: Vanora Bennett
  • Narrated by: Lucy Scott
  • Length: 17 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 7

It's 1527 and Hans Holbein is welcomed as a guest at the splendid Chelsea home of Sir Thomas More to paint the family portrait. Unknown to them, it is the dawn of a tumultuous time in English history, affecting the family as well as Tudor society. Meg Griggs, a foster daughter of More, attracts the attention of two people, one of them being Holbein. She marries one - but loves the other.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Lush Tudor Fiction

  • By Deirdre on 18-03-10

Lush Tudor Fiction

Overall
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 18-03-10

Portrait of an unknown woman, begins with Hans Holbein arriving to paint the family of Sir Thomas More. Meg Griggs is a ward of Sir Thomas and the beginning is told in the first person through her eyes. She is a bit of a lonely figure having watched her siblings married and start families of their own, but she has always been in love with the family Tutor, John Clement. And so the stage is set, so to speak.

The novel is a meandering tale, and not short of historical detail, and the author brings the period to life, enabling the listener to 'see' the story unfold easily. Slowly we come to realize that many things and events are not as they seem, and many surprises become apparent along the way. The character of Holbein is particularly well drawn, especially towards the final chapters.

My only complaint about this novel is that there is perhaps too much historical detail. Sometimes less is more. It's as if the author is letting us see how much she knows. Also the story switches frequently between first and third person the whole way through. I feel the story would have flowed better being told one way or the other. That said, I did get used to it after a while.

The story is narrated by Lucy Scott, who does an excellent job. I knew exactly which character was speaking just by the changes in her voice. Again, Hans Holbein was brilliantly done.

If you are interested in historical fiction, with a few twists and turns, and a gentle love story thrown in, do not hesitate. I will certainly be looking up other titles by Vanorra Bennett. Hope this helps.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful