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  • 22
  • reviews
  • 73
  • helpful votes
  • 31
  • ratings
  • The Thing About Clare

  • By: Imogen Clark
  • Narrated by: Karen Cass
  • Length: 9 hrs and 50 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

The four Bliss siblings have a loving but complicated bond, but when their mother, Dorothy, dies seemingly without a will, this relationship is put to the test. As the mourning siblings try to make sense of the situation, one of them is caught with a secret: before she died, Dorothy entrusted her favourite daughter with her will and a letter - and told her to destroy them both. But what Anna finds in the documents could change everything. Do the other siblings not deserve to know what it is about them that their mother was so desperate to hide?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An engaging and well crafted story of family life

  • By Alana Beatonn on 11-12-18

Lacking something

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

Reviewed: 07-01-19

I hate to be negative about this book because it is not bad. It just didn't have anything original to say and the themes of family dynamics, identity, belonging, loneliness etc weren't observed or explored in much depth at all. The characters were ok, but again, underdeveloped and I found myself not really invested in any of them. I did finish this book and it was not awful and did engage me a little. I just didn't get much from it and will forget it very quickly. I think the sign of a good book is the desire to share it, recommend it, talk about it with someone else. I have no such desire in the case of this book unfortunately.

  • Nine Perfect Strangers

  • By: Liane Moriarty
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 19 hrs
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 828
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 771
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 765

The 10-day retreat at boutique health-and-wellness resort Tranquillum House promises healing and transformation. Nine stressed city dwellers are keen to drop their literal and mental baggage and absorb the blissful meditative ambiance while enjoying their hot stone massages. They are all on a path to a better way of living. Or at least a better waistline.... Watching over them is the resort's director, a woman on a mission to reinvigorate these bodies and minds. But to what lengths will she go to achieve her goal? These nine perfect strangers have no idea what's about to hit them.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Did not like this book at all

  • By sabine on 21-10-18

Utterly brilliant! Liane Moriarty does it again!!!

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

Reviewed: 08-10-18

This is gripping from the start. The 'nine strangers' in the title are all characters I was interested in and entertained by throughout. What I love most about L Moriarty's writing is the way she injects dark human and is so unafraid to confront us as readers with extremes. Her observations of human ridiculousness and how we differently negotiate the world and life is spot on.

Caroline Lee has narrated all Moriarty's books (that I've listened to) and she is the best narrator! I imagine her performance brings these books to life exactly how Moriarty intended. If Lee didn't narrate these books I'd miss her hugely. They are a winning team!

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Little Fires Everywhere

  • By: Celeste Ng
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Lim
  • Length: 11 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,422
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,271
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,269

The brilliant new novel from the author of the New York Times best seller Everything I Never Told You. Everyone in Shaker Heights was talking about it that summer: how Isabelle, the last of the Richardson children, had finally gone around the bend and burned the house down. In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned - from the layout of the winding roads to the colours of the houses to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An evocative and complex portrait of suburbia

  • By Suswati on 11-11-17

Wow!

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

Reviewed: 21-09-18

Celeste Ng is a magnificent writer and this book has had such an impact on me. She makes me realise how my notions of writing are fantasy, because with authors like Ng, it truly puts average or good in the shadows.

This story constantly engaged me, and despite the many characters I found I came to know and understand them very quickly. She has a way of capturing people and scenes and states of mind that communicates and paints pictures in one's head & made me invested throughout. I could imagine it playing out vividly and am sad to leave these characters now I've finished the book. I will definitely be looking out for and reading any future books by Celeste Ng and will recommend this to all my family and friends who share my love if brilliant novels.

  • The Brighton Mermaid

  • By: Dorothy Koomson
  • Narrated by: Vivienne Acheampong, Pippa Bennett-Warner
  • Length: 12 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 144
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 130
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 129

Brighton Beach, 1993. Teenagers Nell and Jude find the body of a young woman, and when no one comes to claim her, she becomes known as the Brighton Mermaid. Nell is still struggling to move on when, three weeks later, Jude disappears. Twenty-five years on, Nell is forced to quit her job to find out who the Brighton Mermaid really was - and what happened to her best friend that summer. But as Nell edges closer to the truth, dangerous things start to happen. Someone seems to be watching her every move, and soon she starts to wonder who in her life she can actually trust....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Slow start but another great book! Thanks Dorothy

  • By Miss E on 02-06-18

Another Dorothy Koomson masterpiece

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

Reviewed: 15-09-18

Dorothy Koomson writes like no other. she manages to create thrilling, gripping and intelligent storylines, with incredibly well crafted characters.

I think it's the characters, their recognisability and their complexities that give her novels a quality of their own. In fact it is impossible to categorise this book as it defies usual structures. I really am in awe of koomson's style, insight and storytelling.

I'd recommend this book highly and find it hard to criticise. It is dark in subject matter and the intensity and relentless uncertainty, fear, and paranoia are definitely something you need to be in the mood and right frame of mind for. Saying that, for such a grisly sounding storyline I found the likeability and focus on relationships, redemption and love added a levity that made it addictive listening.

I would say that I did find one of the narrators a bit grating on the ears at times. However, overall I think this probably added power and was the right tone for the character and her situation.

  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz

  • By: Heather Morris
  • Narrated by: Richard Armitage
  • Length: 7 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 8,118
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7,398
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 7,388

The Tattooist of Auschwitz is based on the true story of Lale and Gita Sokolov, two Slovakian Jews who survived Auschwitz and eventually made their home in Australia. In that terrible place, Lale was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival - literally scratching numbers into his fellow victims' arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Superb

  • By Claire on 21-02-18

An incredible and important read

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

Reviewed: 29-08-18

An incredible, at times unbelievable true story of a man's fight to survive human cruelty at it's worst. The courage, pain, despair and strength, that the Tattooist of Auschwitz possessed contrasts extremely with the weakness, greed and sadism humans are capable of.

I found this story compelling and shocking, and told without self pity or vengeance. The narrator as expressive and brought the characters to life. He told the story with the emotion the descriptions and events evoke, which I appreciated.

I'm not sure what it is that holds me back from 5 stars. Sometimes the way the story was threaded together and the information communicated seemed too overt, maybe? Or something about the writing style in very small parts. But these are tiny things that drown in the brilliance of most of it.

  • Under Italian Skies

  • By: Nicky Pellegrino
  • Narrated by: Jane McDowell
  • Length: 9 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 41
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 39
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 39

Stella has life under control - and that's the way she likes it. For 25 years, she's been the trusted assistant to a legendary fashion designer, but after her boss dies suddenly, she's left with nothing to do apart from clear the studio. It seems as though the life she wanted has vanished. She is lost - until one day she finds a house swap website and sees a beautiful old villa in a Southern Italian village. Could she really exchange her poky London flat for that?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Nice read

  • By Anna Fern on 05-06-16

A lovely light listen. No surprises

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

Reviewed: 23-08-18

This was what I imagine the description 'holiday read' is meant to describe. It was sunny, within a beautiful setting, full of local Italian domestic and village life, food and characters. I enjoyed it and listening to the friendships develop. it's main theme seemed to be endings and beginnings. Or perhaps, those transitional points in one's life that take courage.

I found the storyline very predictable and I don't think it stands out as a book I'll particular remember. But if you want a gentle, well written dip into Italy, definitely give it a read or listen.

  • The Queen of Bloody Everything

  • By: Joanna Nadin
  • Narrated by: Kelly Hotten
  • Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 607
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 574
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 573

As Edie Jones lies in a bed on the 14th floor of a Cambridge hospital, her adult daughter, Dido, tells their story, starting with the day that changed everything. That was the day when Dido - aged exactly six years and 27 days old - met the handsome Tom Trevelyan, his precocious sister, Harry, and their parents, Angela and David.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Insightful and intelligent, witty and honest

  • By Lu on 21-04-18

Insightful and intelligent, witty and honest

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

Reviewed: 21-04-18

I've never read a book by J Nadin before, but after 'The Queen of Bloody Everything', I certainly will seek out other novels by this author.

I was engrossed by Dido's (the main character and narrating voice) story of her life and her deeply complex relationship with her mother (among others). I loved the honesty, the realistic observations of the contradictory feelings we experience towards loved ones. This is a story of love and longing, rage and resentments, fantasies and regrets. All are themes that are conjured through a brilliant narrative which is engrossing, unsentimental, but moving and tender.

Anyone who loves Lisa Jewell's 'The House We Grew Up In', Dorothy Koomsom, Amanda Prowse and Esther Freud would probably really enjoy this as much as I did.

48 of 52 people found this review helpful

  • Seeing Other People

  • By: Mike Gayle
  • Narrated by: David Morley Hale
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 68
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 63
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 64

Father of two Joe Clarke is about seventy-eight per cent sure he's just had an affair. After all that is the hopelessly attractive office intern in bed next to him, isn't it? But then again if he did have an affair why can't he remember anything at all about the night in question? Mortified by his mistake Joe vows to be a better man, but when his adored wife Penny puts two and two together and leaves him, things start to take a turn for the decidedly strange.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • What a great story and narrator!!!

  • By Paul Davis on 16-01-17

A bit frustrating and disappointing

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

Reviewed: 10-04-18

I'm sad to say, as much as I like Mike Gayle, this story really wasn't great. I found it a bit tedious and ridiculous (in a frustrating way). I almost gave up several times but because I'd paid for it I felt I should continue until the end. I spent much of it wishing it would finish so I could start a better book.

To give it credit, the narrator was great and made it much more palatable. I would not say this is awful and a waste of time, but I certainly wish I'd spent my credit on something else!

  • Before I Let You Go

  • By: Kelly Rimmer
  • Narrated by: Amy Landon, Vanessa Johansson
  • Length: 12 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 13
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 13

As children, Lexie and Annie were incredibly close. Bonded by the death of their father and their mother's swift remarriage, they weathered the storms of life together. When Lexie leaves home to follow her dream, Annie is forced to turn to her leather-bound journal to confide her deepest secrets and fears. As adults, sisters Lexie and Annie could not be more different. Lexie is a successful doctor and happily married. Annie is addicted to heroin - a thief, a liar, and unable to remain clean despite being pregnant.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • worth listening to. worth thinking about

  • By KLP on 22-04-18

Complexity of love & torment exquisitely observed

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

Reviewed: 20-03-18

This is a very honest, raw and accurate look at how addiction can manifest and and the repurcussions it can have upon the person with the addictive behaviour, but also their family & wider community. I like how the characters are used to question systems set in place by authorities and their ethics and worth.
It does not throw moral and political or social attitudes around lightly or without respect. Choices made and paths taken by characters are explored with sensitivity and the complexity they deserve.

This said, it is not blatant in it's effort to throw up questions about values and treatments, opinions and consequences. The main point is the story of a relationship between two sisters and their differing experience and memory of their past. I related very much to the passion and strength of love captured between the sisters and the way that bond can be beautiful,painful, intertwining and unbreakable.

  • Chasing Daisy

  • By: Paige Toon
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Woodward
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 28
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 28

Daisy has been dumped, unceremoniously jilted. Not by any ordinary guy, no...Daisy has a secret in her past that she won't even tell her best friend, Holly. She's given up on men - and on her own family. But life still has to be lived and where better to recover than as far away from home as possible. Grabbing a chance to see the world, Daisy packs her bags and joins the team catering to the world's highest-paid, supercharged racing drivers on the Formula 1 Grand Prix circuit.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • Love the book hate how it is narrated

  • By Aaron on 14-03-18

Marred by terrible 'Scottish' accent

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

Reviewed: 05-11-17

This book was so so. It win me over in the end, but was a very familiar story line, although the F1 scene it was set in helped make it a bit different.
The characters are likeable but the narrator's efforts to do all the accents - particularly a Scottish one was quite bad & therefore distracting. Apart from the not so great accents the emotion and performance of the narrator was excellent.

I've enjoyed other Paige Toon books more but perfectly readable for a light holiday light read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful