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katethestate

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  • River of Destiny

  • By: Barbara Erskine
  • Narrated by: Gina Peach
  • Length: 14 hrs and 27 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 121
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 91

On the banks of the River Deben in Suffolk lies a set of barns dating back to the Anglo Saxons. Within their walls, secrets have been buried deeply. Zoe and Ken have just moved into one of the barns, ready to start a new life away from the hustle and bustle of the city. To the outside world they seem like an ordinary couple, but underneath they are growing more distant by the day. And when Zoe becomes close to local recluse, Leo, she finds her attraction to him undeniable.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Spoiled by the narrator

  • By Mrs on 30-07-12

Over zealous editing.

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

Reviewed: 07-05-19

I’ve no problem with the storyline jumping around, but the editing was so tight that it often seemed to jump from present day to Anglo Saxon times within a sentence!

  • The Secret Keeper

  • By: Kate Morton
  • Narrated by: Caroline Lee
  • Length: 19 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 360
  • Performance
    3.5 out of 5 stars 281
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 277

England, 1959: Laurel Nicolson is 16 years old, dreaming alone in her childhood tree house during a family celebration at their home, Green Acres Farm. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and then observes her mother, Dorothy, speaking to him. And then she witnesses a crime. Fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress, living in London. She returns to Green Acres for Dorothy’s 90th birthday and finds herself overwhelmed by memories and questions she has not thought about for decades. She decides to find out the truth about the events of that summer day....

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • The Narrator ruined it for me!

  • By Linda on 28-12-12

Accents a go-go

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

Reviewed: 11-03-19

This is a fantastic story with a great twist, but bloody hell. I had to persevere through earlier parts of the book where I wasn’t sure if the characters were supposed to be Caribbean, Welsh or Australian. There’s plenty of mentions of Coventry, but the closest accent to that is a random West Country one that shows up half way through a sentence.
I’d rather no accents than this state because it confuses the story and takes away from the picture I was building in my mind.

  • Can You Keep a Secret?

  • By: Sophie Kinsella
  • Narrated by: Gracie Thomas
  • Length: 10 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,734
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,322
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,319

Nervous flyer Emma is sitting on a turbulent plane. She really thinks that this could be her last moment. So she starts telling the man sitting next to her all her innermost secrets, including how she once threw a troublesome client file in the bin. She survives the flight, of course, and the next morning the famous boss of the whole mega corporation she works for is coming for a look at the UK branch. As he walks around, Emma looks up and realises ­ it's the man from the plane.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • This book is very funny

  • By Matthew on 10-08-08

Has not aged well...

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

Reviewed: 21-12-18

I could go on forever with this, but I have to say something about how awfully characters were written in this - when you want to slap the lead character, it’s enough, but I was so distracted by the writing of “Lissy”. A lawyer who is never at work, can’t figure out the simplest of things and thinks she has to move because someone has a dream about her? Never mind the fact she’s never at work. I’m afraid the performance lost a star because of the whiney voice that was used.
Listened to the end in hope of the “secret” being good.
It wasn’t.

  • Long Road from Jarrow

  • A journey through Britain then and now
  • By: Stuart Maconie
  • Narrated by: Stuart Maconie
  • Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 139
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 131
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 131

In the autumn of 1936, some 200 men from the Tyneside town of Jarrow marched 300 miles to London in protest against the destruction of their towns and industries. Precisely 80 years on, Stuart Maconie walks from north to south, retracing the route of the emblematic Jarrow Crusade. Following history's footsteps, Maconie is in search of what modern Britain is really like today.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fabulous, edgy recreation of the Jarrow March

  • By Mr SA Lambe on 27-08-17

Should be required reading...

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

Reviewed: 12-10-18

Well, listening. If only more people had this consideration when deciding things. If you want to understand not only a major part of recent social history and how it has reflections in our country today, get this!

  • Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls

  • By: David Sedaris
  • Narrated by: David Sedaris
  • Length: 6 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 653
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 595
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 595

A guy walks into a bar.From here, the story could take many turns. A guy walks into a bar and meets the love of his life. A guy walks into a bar and finds no one else is there. When this guy is David Sedaris, the possibilities are endless, but the result is always the same: he will both delight you with twists of humour and intelligence and leave you deeply moved. In Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, Sedaris remembers his father's dinnertime attire (shirtsleeves and underpants), his first colonoscopy (remarkably pleasant), and the time he considered buying the skeleton of a murdered Pygmy. The common thread? Sedaris masterfully turns each episode into a love story: how it feels to be in a relationship where one loves and is loved over many years, what it means to be part of a family, and how it's possible, through all of life's absurdities, to accept oneself. With Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, David Sedaris shows once again why he has been called 'A humorist par excellence, he can make Woody Allen appear ham-tongued, Oscar Wilde a drag' (Observer).

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • funny and often disturbing

  • By Marcus on 17-07-13

Unnecessary musical interludes

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

Reviewed: 03-07-18

Why??? The music was distracting at best and not what I listen to audiobooks and David Sedaris for.

  • The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry

  • By: Rachel Joyce
  • Narrated by: Jim Broadbent
  • Length: 9 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,479
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,935
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,930

When Harold Fry nips out one morning to post a letter, leaving his wife hoovering upstairs, he has no idea that he is about to walk from one end of the country to the other. He has no hiking boots or map, let alone a compass, waterproof, or mobile phone. All he knows is that he must keep walking - to save someone else's life.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Gentle but engaging

  • By Ms on 17-06-12

Fantastic

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

Reviewed: 07-12-17

Beautiful story, beautifully read - Jim Broadbent has a wonderful tone and would be perfect casting for Harold Fry!

  • The Throwaway Children

  • By: Diney Costeloe
  • Narrated by: Anne Dover
  • Length: 17 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 834
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 744
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 745

Rita and Rosie Stevens are only nine and five years old when their widowed mother marries a violent bully. Under pressure from her new husband, she is persuaded to send the girls to an orphanage. It is not long before the powers that be decide to send a consignment of orphans to their sister institution in Australia. Among them, without their family's consent or knowledge, are Rita and Rosie, the throwaway children.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A wonderful novel, beautifully narrated.

  • By Elizabeth on 28-02-17

Oppressive but beautifully told.

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

Reviewed: 29-09-17

Whilst this is a work of fiction, stories like this from real people need to be told. Heartbreaking.