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Emma

Merseyside
  • 7
  • reviews
  • 9
  • helpful votes
  • 11
  • ratings
  • Small Island

  • By: Andrea Levy
  • Narrated by: Andrea Levy
  • Length: 17 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 300
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 274
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 271

Andrea Levy's acclaimed Small Island is a delicately wrought and profoundly moving novel of empire, prejudice, war, and love. It was awarded the 2004 Orange Prize for Fiction, the 2004 Whitbread Book of the Year Award, and the 2005 Commonwealth Writers Prize. It is 1948, and England is recovering from a war. But at 21 Nevern Street, London, the conflict has only just begun.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A breath taking saga.

  • By Dolly on 01-10-15

Best read in years!

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

Reviewed: 11-12-18

I read this in print format years ago but it is much, much better in audio form. Hearing the Jamaican accents of Gilbert and Hortense really brought the characters to life.

  • Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant

  • By: Anne Tyler
  • Narrated by: Suzanne Toren
  • Length: 13 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 48
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 48

Through every family run memories that bind it together - despite everything. The Tulls of Baltimore are no exception. Abandoned by her salesman husband, Pearl is left to bring up her three children alone - Cody, a flawed devil; Ezra, a flawed saint; and Jenny, errant and passionate. Now as Pearl lies dying, stiffly encased in her pride and solitude, the past is unlocked and with it, secrets. A classic novel from one of America's greatest living novelists, now available as an audiobook.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Tyler's own favourite

  • By Mr. Jw Perks on 10-01-15

Depressing

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

Reviewed: 17-08-18

Beautifully written with well-formed characters and the narrator was good. However, it was incredibly slow and depressing. Had to force myself to finish it.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • A Ladder to the Sky

  • By: John Boyne
  • Narrated by: Richard E. Grant, Laurence Kennedy, Richard Cordery, and others
  • Length: 11 hrs and 32 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 195
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 182
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 181

If you look hard enough, you can find stories pretty much anywhere. They don’t even have to be your own. Or so would-be writer Maurice Swift decides very early on in his career. A chance encounter in a Berlin hotel with celebrated novelist Erich Ackermann gives him an opportunity to ingratiate himself with someone more powerful than him. For Erich is lonely, and he has a story to tell. Whether or not he should do so is another matter entirely. Once Maurice has made his name, he sets off in pursuit of other people’s stories. He doesn’t care where he finds them - or to whom they belong - as long as they help him rise to the top.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Stunning start which descends onto silliness

  • By the typist on 25-08-18

Impeccably written as usual

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

Reviewed: 17-08-18

Having read all of Boyne’s books, I was excited to start this one. I deliberately didn’t read the blurb so I had no idea what it would be about. The story was very original and whilst I found the first part a bit hard to get into, the rest was easy to listen to continuously (over 2 days.) Sadly it didn’t have the humour that I so loved in Crippen and The Heart’s Invisible furies and it was very hard to find anything to like about the main protagonist or even any of the other characters. That said, I enjoyed it and Boyne remains one of my favourites.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Affair

  • A shocking story of a schoolgirl and a scandal
  • By: Amanda Brooke
  • Narrated by: Avita Jay
  • Length: 13 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 57
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 53
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 53

When Nina finds out that her 15-year-old daughter, Scarlett, is pregnant, her world falls apart. Because Scarlet won't tell anyone who the father is. And Nina is scared that the answer will destroy everything. As the suspects mount - from Scarlett's teacher to Nina's new husband of less than a year - Nina searches for the truth: no matter what the cost.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • SLOW

  • By Emma on 21-03-17

SLOW

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

Reviewed: 21-03-17

It's not like me to leave a bad review but I'm struggling to find much I enjoyed about this book. The narrator really spoiled it for me. She seemed to be reading at half-pace and the voice she used for the men was creepy and menacing. The story was boring and drawn out and none of the main characters were likeable.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • The Roanoke Girls

  • By: Amy Engel
  • Narrated by: Brittany Pressley
  • Length: 10 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 174
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 162
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 160

Lane Roanoke is 15 when she comes to live with her grandparents and fireball cousin at the Roanoke family's rural estate following the suicide of her mother. Over one long, hot summer, Lane experiences the benefits of being one of the rich and beautiful Roanoke girls. But what she doesn't know is being a Roanoke girl carries a terrible legacy: either the girls run, or they die. For there is darkness at the heart of Roanoke, and when Lane discovers its insidious pull, she must make her choice....

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Up to chapter 18 and I gave up.....

  • By L. russell on 23-03-17

Unexpectedly good

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

Reviewed: 21-03-17

From reading the synopsis and some reviews online I didn't think I'd enjoy the book but felt like a change and was intrigued. I was refreshingly surprised. The narrator was excellent, after I'd got used to her Mid-west drawl. The story was pretty predictable but well written and addictive. It is a dark and sordid subject matter treated sensitively and with great insight.
Whilst it isn't in my top favourites,
I'd read more by this author.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • This House Is Haunted

  • By: John Boyne
  • Narrated by: Alison Larkin
  • Length: 8 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 61
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 59
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 59

When she arrives at the hall, shaken by an unsettling disturbance that occurred during her travels, she is greeted by the two children now in her care, Isabella and Eustace. There is no adult present to represent her mysterious employer, and the children offer no explanation. Later that night in her room, another terrifying experience further reinforces the sense that something is very wrong. From the moment Eliza rises the following morning, her every step seems dogged by a malign presence that lives within Gaudlin's walls.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Unusually good ghost story

  • By Mary Ann von Radowitz on 22-01-18

Brilliant Victorian Gothic Novel

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

Reviewed: 16-03-17

I absolutely loved this book. John Boyne is incredibly talented and diverse in his styles. This felt very much like reading a Henry James (yes it's a tiny bit like Turn of the screw but that's no bad thing) but it was much more accessible. Beautiful, atmospheric and entertaining. Frustrated that others have marked it down because it isn't the same as Crippen! It's an entirely different book, deliberately written like a Victorian ghost story. Boyne is fast becoming my favourite author.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Heart's Invisible Furies

  • By: John Boyne
  • Narrated by: Stephen Hogan
  • Length: 21 hrs and 19 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 2,450
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 2,293
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 2,294

Cyril Avery is not a real Avery, or at least that's what his adoptive parents tell him. And he never will be. But if he isn't a real Avery, then who is he? Born out of wedlock to a teenage girl cast out from her rural Irish community and adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple via the intervention of a hunchbacked Redemptorist nun, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only tenuously by his heartfelt friendship with the infinitely more glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Phenomenal

  • By Kerri on 19-02-17

Incredible

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

Reviewed: 03-03-17

Wow, I cannot recommend this book highly enough. One of the best books I've ever read and absolutely the best Audible book. Found myself laughing out loud frequently and in tears occasionally. All of the characters are so well-formed and likeable. Clever, witty and poignant; I can't wait to read another by Boyne. The narrator was outstanding. Do not hesitate to buy this book.