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Marie D.

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  • 10
  • helpful votes
  • 12
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Touching and endearing.

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

Reviewed: 03-02-20

I adored this book! An excellent story line, first class narration by Jim Broadbent and several twists and turns, all served to keep me hooked. It's an unlikely sounding tale to enthral; a newly retired, 65 year old non-walker, decides to walk the length of the country. Yet enthral it does. Harold Fry is an endearing character, a genuinely good guy, whilst his wife, Maureen, seems harridan-like and initially unlikable. Both reveal hidden sides and the story keeps one gripped to the end. I finished it much too quickly and was compelled to then listen to the follow-up book, the equally excellent, 'The Love Song of Miss Queenie Hennessy'. Listen to both, you won't be disappointed!

Exceptional, as always!

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

Reviewed: 17-11-19

I loved this book! Whilst Sandi always makes me laugh, and this book was no exception in that regard, I also cried as she described her ostracism during her university days. This is truly a book that will take you through every emotion available, and then some! I laughed out loud many times, not least when she described what and why she would name any 'women's only' club she might establish! A true delight if you're after more than just a bog standard "I was born and then this happened" autobiography!

Definitely going to buy the book now!

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

Reviewed: 23-09-19

I was wavering. This book has been in my wish list (which is really my "I'm *thinking* of buying this book" list) for quite some time now. Listening to this short podcast has confirmed that I do indeed need to listen to it!

Worst book I've read/listened to ever!

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

Reviewed: 17-09-19

I really feel for the Dowler family, and this was a story that should be told. Unfortunately the wrong person told it, and the wrong person narrated it! It was so bad I had to return it. It's written by the daughter who was 16 when Milly was taken. The start of the book was aptly written and narrated in the style of a 16 year old child. The problem is that as Gemma (apparently) grows up, the style of the book and narration doesn't. The book is written in a totally infantile style throughout and is narrated the same way, which becomes extremely wearing after the first few hundred chapters (OK, there was *only* 80+ chapters, it just felt like a lot more. And I didn't even get to the end!). This takes me to the next problem. Apart from being very badly written and narrated, it's far, far too long and very repetitive. It definitely needed the work of a decent editor! The title, "My Sister Milly", is a misnomer because it's more about Gemma than anyone else. She doesn't come across as a particularly nice person, and using Milly's murder as an excuse for her appalling behaviour doesn't wash. I was left feeling extremely sorry for the parents for not only having lost Milly in such a devastating way, but for then having to cope with Gemma's self-serving dramatics. Not a book I would ever recommend!

4 people found this helpful

Terrible narrator totally ruined the book!

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

Reviewed: 19-04-19

I found the actual story very interesting and tried my very best to get past the horrendous narrator but I just couldn't. Audio books are supposed to be relaxing but I just got more and more wound up by the narrator! Most male characters (and a few female ones too) spoke the same soft, irritatingly slow, sardonic voice, most female characters spoke in a nasely, whingy, whine (including the heroine, at times) and it totally ruined the story. I'm going to have to read the actual books instead because I really want to know what happens! If I were the author I'd be very upset at what's been done with my book!

1 person found this helpful

I found it enthralling!

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

Reviewed: 08-12-18

I'm not into motorcycle racing in any way, shape or form. I ride a custom motorbike but can't stand sports bikes. So on the surface I'm not the sort of person you'd think would listen to this book. However, I've seen Guy on various rebuilding shows and they fascinate me. He seemed like a normal, down to earth bloke so I thought I'd give this book a chance and I'm glad I did! He gives an incite into a world alien to me (hasn't turned me into a racing fan though) and he comes across as the type of bloke anyone would want as a friend or in their corner. His work ethic is second to none. It's definitely well worth listening to! The narrator does a good job, not quite 'Guy' but then, who is? Someone else said it should be a Yorkshire narrator but I'm not sure why when Guy is from Lincolnshire! Download this book, you won't be disappointed. I'm off to get the rest of his books now....

3 people found this helpful

Didn't want it to end!

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

Reviewed: 15-02-18

This was another fantastic book from Dawn French! Totally gripping right from the start with plenty of 'oh my goodness' moments! It was narrated and acted brilliantly, each character fully rounded and believable. I'd thoroughly recommend this book. I'm only sorry it wasn't twice as long!

A slow burner

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

Reviewed: 24-07-17

This started off a little slow and I stated to become a bit bored but it was well worth staying with it as it finished excellently. Definitely worth your time and money!

1 person found this helpful

Wow!

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

Reviewed: 22-09-16

If you could sum up Leaving Time in three words, what would they be?

Exceptional
Riveting
Unexpected

What did you like best about this story?

I don't think I could narrow it down. This story rates as one of Jodi Picoult's best. I was totally immersed in the story and the finale was as shocking as it was gripping.

What does the narrators bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

The nuances and inflections in speech make listening to a story much more rewarding and entertaining than reading one. The narrators, generally, were excellent, though I personally found 'Alice's' voice a little monotonous.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

It was but I initially forced myself to keep to my 'only listening in the car' routine, until I was around half way, two third through, then I couldn't help myself, I HAD to know what happened!

Any additional comments?

This book, like every other Jodi Picoult book I've ever read/listened to, was thoroughly researched and passionately written. The characters were fully rounded and totally believable.

Amazingly honest and totally absorbing.

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

Reviewed: 22-09-16

Would you consider the audio edition of Mixed Fancies to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version but I would say that it has to be. To hear Brenda Blethyn's words, said exactly as she intended them to be, with the emotion of the moment evident in her voice, is something that one couldn't come near to experiencing whilst reading the print version.

Who was your favorite character and why?

As it was an autobiography this seems a redundant question. My favourite character was obviously Brenda. Though having said that, her father was quite a character too!

What does Brenda Blethyn bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Hearing her read her own words brought so much more meaning to them. Hearing her chuckle when recalling a funny incident or her voice break as she describes the loss of her parents makes it real, makes it less of a 'life story' and far more a 'life lived'. That wouldn't come across were someone else to narrate the book.

Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I both laughed and cried whilst listening to this book.

Any additional comments?

Brenda Blethyn is a natural story teller, she's open, honest and funny. Listening to this I learnt that she's got a natural talent for accents, that she's extremely self depreciating, very family focused and that we have something in common (a love of puzzles). This book pulled back the curtain on a much loved actress and revealed a wonderfully warm and truly lovely person.