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Katharine

United Kingdom
  • 21
  • reviews
  • 24
  • helpful votes
  • 34
  • ratings
  • Katherine

  • The classic historical romance
  • By: Anya Seton
  • Narrated by: Diana Bishop
  • Length: 24 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 249
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 185
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181

Katherine comes to the court of Edward III at the age of 15. The naïve convent-educated orphan of a penniless knight is dazzled by the jousts and the entertainments of court. Nevertheless, Katherine is beautiful, and she turns the head of the King's favourite son John of Gaunt. But he is married, and she is soon to be betrothed. A few years later their paths cross again and this time their passion for each other cannot be denied or suppressed.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Please give us more Anya Seton!

  • By C on 07-09-12

Revisiting an old favourite

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

Reviewed: 08-08-17

I first read and loved this book as a teenager and was a little concerned as to whether revisiting it 40 years later was a good idea but I need not have worried as this is a historical novel that really stands the test of time. Anya Seton made the story of Katherine Swynford and her relationship with John of Gaunt really come alive and her recreation of the 14th century is still convincing. As a teenager I was immersed in the romance but this time round Katherine's spiritual journey seemed just as important to the story. The narrator did an excellent job and I was gripped throughout.

  • Watership Down

  • By: Richard Adams
  • Narrated by: Ralph Cosham
  • Length: 15 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 546
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 453
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 458

Fiver could sense danger. Something terrible was going to happen to the warren; he felt sure of it. They had to leave immediately. So begins a long and perilous journey of survival for a small band of rabbits. As the rabbits skirt danger at every turn, we become acquainted with the band, its humorous characters, and its compelling culture, complete with its own folk history and myths.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • great book

  • By Rory on 10-06-16

Still a wonderful story

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

Reviewed: 28-01-17

I've lost my physical copy of this so haven't reread it for many years. I was a little concerned about whether it would still be as good as my memories of it but I needn't have worried as I found the story still as involving and exciting as ever. Listening to it rather than reading it brought out the beauty of Richard Adams's writing about nature and the lovely descriptions of the English countryside seen through the eyes of the rabbits.

Overall I was quite happy with the narration but the one point where I thought the narrator fell down was in his voicing of General Woundwort, who came across more as an elderly British General nearing retirement rather than the terrifying rabbit who imposed order and discipline on his fellow rabbits through force of personality. It didn't spoil my enjoyment of listening but it did grate a little. Otherwise highly recommended.

  • Wild Strawberries

  • By: Angela Thirkell
  • Narrated by: Hilary Neville
  • Length: 7 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 14
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 14
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 14

Pretty, impecunious Mary Preston, newly arrived as a guest of her aunt Agnes at the magnificent wooded estate of Rushwater, falls head over heels for handsome playboy David Leslie. Meanwhile Agnes and her mother, the eccentric matriarch Lady Emily, have hopes of a different, more suitable match for Mary. At the lavish Rushwater dance party, her future happiness hangs in the balance....

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfection

  • By Tab on 15-04-15

Delicious social comedy

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

Reviewed: 15-11-16

This grew on me as I listened to it. There is no real plot to speak of but the social comedy is delicious as the author shows up the foibles and foolishness of her characters from the very camp social climbing gardening expert to the beautiful woman entirely obsessed by her children. There is also a rather touching romance, undertones of sadness as parents remember their eldest son killed in World War I, and some teenage French Royalists. I went from slightly underwhelmed to entirely charmed in the course of listening, helped by the really excellent narration.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Falling Angels

  • By: Tracy Chevalier
  • Narrated by: Eve Matheson
  • Length: 7 hrs and 59 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 47
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 31

January 1901, the day after Queen Victoria's death, two families visit neighouring graves in a London cemetery. The Waterhouses revere the late Queen and cling to Victorian traditions; the Colemans look forward to a more modern society. To their mutual distaste, however, the families are inextricably linked when their daughters become friends behind the tombstones.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great audio

  • By Stephanie Jane on 29-11-11

Slow start, strong finish

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

Reviewed: 17-07-16

It was a little difficult to get into this story to start with due to the multiple characters speaking in the first person. The narrator did a great job of differentiating them but it was a confusing beginning. As time passed and the characterisation was clearer the story became more involving as it moved from the death of Queen Victoria to the death of Edward VII with lives and characters changing in large ways and small. By the end I was sorry to leave the story and wanted to know what happened next to some of the people I'd spent time with.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Place For Us

  • By: Harriet Evans
  • Narrated by: Gabrielle Glaister
  • Length: 17 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 78
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 71
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 71

The house has soft, purple wisteria twining around the door. You step inside. The hall is cool after the hot summer’s day. The welcome is kind, and always warm. Yet something makes you suspect life here can’t be as perfect as it seems. After all, the brightest smile can hide the darkest secret. But wouldn’t you pay any price to have a glorious place like this?

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Kept me entertained

  • By Gill on 19-04-15

Complicated family saga starts to grip

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

Reviewed: 06-06-16

This got off to a slow start and I nearly gave up but imperceptibly it began to grip as the complexities of the Winter family became more obvious. By the end I was enjoying it enormously though I felt that some storylines were more complete than others despite the epilogue rounding the story off well. I was sad to leave the company of the Winters and the world of Winterfold and glad I had persisted with the story.

I thought the narrator did an excellent job of keeping the story and character voices clear even with multiple narrators and the fact that the story goes backwards and forwards in time.

  • Madensky Square

  • By: Eva Ibbotson
  • Narrated by: Juanita McMahon
  • Length: 11 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 23
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 22

Susanna Weber is the best dress maker in Imperial Vienna. Through skill and hard work, she now owns her own dress shop, looking out over the beautiful Madensky Square. To do so, she has left her past behind, if not without regret, at least resolutely. Looking around her, at her customers and friends, Susanna is aware that she has more than most - but a few small changes cause her to realize just how precarious her situation is.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Viennese delight

  • By Katharine on 20-04-16

Viennese delight

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

Reviewed: 20-04-16

Life in Vienna in 1911 through the eyes of dress shop owner Susanna Weber. This is a lovely listen and Juanita McMahon really brings the story alive through her reading. On the surface this is a warm and gentle story in which nothing very much seems to happen but it is shot through with moments of darkness and the bitter knowledge of the looming 1914-18 war. The story is episodic and it did slow a little in the middle, but I cared so much about all the characters that spending time in their company was a pleasure.

  • A Song for Arbonne

  • By: Guy Gavriel Kay
  • Narrated by: Euan Morton
  • Length: 19 hrs and 39 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21

A Song for Arbonne is Guy Gavriel Kay's critically acclaimed fantasy of love, both courtly and forbidden, and of kingdoms endlessly opposed - one dominated by male rulers and their male god, the other guided by women and their goddess.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Lyrical story

  • By Katharine on 23-03-16

Lyrical story

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

Reviewed: 23-03-16

As a fan of Guy Gavriel Kay I am used to his style of building up a story through different viewpoints and jumps backwards and forwards in time, so I didn't find the beginning of the novel as confusing as some people might. As the story went on it gripped more and more and in the end I was sad to leave this world and these characters. The narrator has slight problems with voicing the women, but overall I thought he did an excellent job with this complex novel, and the singing was a wonderful bonus, particularly important for this story. An excellent listen.

  • The Secret Countess

  • By: Eva Ibbotson
  • Narrated by: Davina Porter
  • Length: 9 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 84
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 51

Rupert, the young Earl of Westerholme, returns home from the war - and Anna, a housemaid, falls hopelessly in love with him. But they can never be together - Rupert is engaged to the snobbish and awful Muriel. And anyway, Anna is only a servant. Or so everybody thinks.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Easy Listen

  • By JAJ on 21-02-09

Georgette Heyer meets Downton Abbey

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

Reviewed: 14-01-16

Delightful romance set just post World War I when an impoverished Russian aristocrat takes a job as a maid in an English stately home. The romance is fairly predictable but the sometimes saccharine aspects are offset by the sheer nastiness of the villainess and her extremely disturbing interest in eugenics. The subsidiary characters are very well done and the narrator does a good job with the quite large cast and differing accents. A very charming listen.

  • Over Sea, Under Stone

  • Book 1 of The Dark Is Rising Sequence
  • By: Susan Cooper
  • Narrated by: Alex Jennings
  • Length: 7 hrs and 20 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 119
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 107
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 106

On holiday in Cornwall, the three children discover an ancient map in the attic of the house that they are staying in. They know immediately that it is special. It is even more than that: it is the key to finding a grail, a source of power to fight the forces of evil known as the Dark. And in searching for it themselves, the Drews put their lives in peril.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great in-car listening

  • By Northern Mummy on 25-07-15

Exciting beginning to classic series

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

Reviewed: 27-12-15

I read this as a child many years ago but it was a much more exciting story than I remembered it being, largely thanks to Alex Jennings' excellent narration. It's a less obviously magical story than later books in the series, but serves as a very good introduction to the battle between the Dark and the Light. There are some lovely descriptive passages and the final chapters are thrilling. I really enjoyed revisiting this as an adult and have only one question - why isn't the second book in the series available?

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • A Royal Pain

  • By: Rhys Bowen
  • Narrated by: Katherine Kellgren
  • Length: 8 hrs and 57 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 83
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 77

The Queen of England has concocted a plan in which penniless aristocrat Lady Georgie is to entertain a Bavarian princess and conveniently place her in the playboy prince's path, in the hopes that he might finally marry.

But queens never take money into account. Georgie has very little, which is why she moonlights as a maid-in-disguise.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Good read.

  • By G. Faye Page on 27-08-17

Sparkling fun

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

Reviewed: 08-12-15

Delightful romp with an excellent narrator. Lots of twists, turns and shocks in the plot held my interest and the heroine is delightful. My only criticism would be that I thought the ending was a little rushed but otherwise it was a very enjoyable listen.