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Elizabeth

  • 8
  • reviews
  • 19
  • helpful votes
  • 10
  • ratings
  • The Long Weekend

  • By: Veronica Henry
  • Narrated by: Anna Bentinck
  • Length: 11 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 674
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 620
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 619

In a gorgeous quay-side hotel in Cornwall, the long weekend is just beginning...Claire Marlowe owns 'The Townhouse by the Sea' with Luca, the hotel's charismatic chef. She ensures everything runs smoothly - until an unexpected arrival checks in and turns her whole world upside down.And the rest of the guests arrive with their own baggage. There's a couple looking for distraction from a family tragedy; a man trying to make amends for an affair he bitterly regrets...and the young woman who thinks the Cornish village might hold the key to her past.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Perfect escapism

  • By Saffy on 24-05-14

Solid escapism, nothing groudbreaking but fun.

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

Reviewed: 11-12-14

Would you try another book written by Veronica Henry or narrated by Anna Bentinck?

I might, but this is the second book I've heard Anna Bentinck narrate and she seems to have only a handful of character voices so each book contains the same voices which aren't always well matched to the characters.

If you’ve listened to books by Veronica Henry before, how does this one compare?

This is the first Veronica Henry book I've listened to.

How could the performance have been better?

A better understanding of the characters by the narrator. It wasn't awful, just a little wet.

Was The Long Weekend worth the listening time?

In the end it was, it took me a while to separate all the characters and to care sufficiently about their lives but once I did, I wanted to know the outcome.

Any additional comments?

This is a perfectly pleasant book, it didn't move me, it's not particularly original and I didn't learn much but it was an easy listen and I enjoyed the escapism.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Bonkers

  • My Life in Laughs
  • By: Jennifer Saunders
  • Narrated by: Jennifer Saunders
  • Length: 8 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,335
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,216
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,216

Jennifer Saunders' comic creations have brought joy to millions. From Comic Strip to Comic Relief, from Bolly-swilling Edina in Ab Fab to her takes on Madonna or Mamma Mia, her characters are household names. But it's Jennifer herself who has a place in all our hearts. This is her funny, moving, and frankly bonkers memoir, filled with laughter, friends, and occasional heartache - but never misery. Bonkers is full of riotous adventures.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer Saunders is comedy genius

  • By Vicuña on 20-10-13

Trotted along ok but not remarkable

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

Reviewed: 10-07-14

Is there anything you would change about this book?

Jennifer Saunders seemed reluctant to reveal too much about herself and glossed over much of her life. It was more a series of anecdotes, which is fine but I don't feel I know her any better after listening to this.

If you’ve listened to books by Jennifer Saunders before, how does this one compare?

It is the first I've listened to.

Which character – as performed by Jennifer Saunders – was your favourite?

The character voices (particularly Joanna Lumley) were excellent as expected. Autobiographies are always enhanced read by the author.

Did Bonkers inspire you to do anything?

No

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Mercy

  • By: Jodi Picoult
  • Narrated by: Alyssa Bresnahan
  • Length: 17 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 30
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 12
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars 13

When his cousin Jamie arrives at the police station with the body of his wife and the bald confession that he's killed her, Cam immediately places him under arrest. The situation isn't as clear to Cam's wife, Allie. While she is devoted to her husband, she finds herself siding against Cam, seduced by the picture James paints of a man so in love with a woman that he'd grant all her wishes. Even the one that meant taking her life.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • An interesting story, but not the author's best

  • By Kirstine on 14-11-10

Good, but not one of Picoult's best.

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

Reviewed: 07-07-14

Would you try another book written by Jodi Picoult or narrated by Alyssa Bresnahan?

I have listened to a lot of Jodi Picoult's books and this is easily the most disappointing. It wouldn't put me off listening to more books by her though, as I know she can and does do better.

What will your next listen be?

I'm going to try 'The Storyteller' next as it has excellent reviews.

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

She keeps the book evenly paced (her Scottish accent is very comical as it's so bad - you wouldn't get that in the book!)

If this book were a film would you go see it?

Probably not

Any additional comments?

This is not representative of Picoult's work so don't let it put you off her as an author if it's your first experience of her. The plot is confused, the two storylines don't mix well and it's hard to like or care about any of the characters. I did listen to the whole thing but was glad when it was finished. Usually I think about Picoult's books long after I've finished them, this one, I was happy to leave behind.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Scarlet Ribbons

  • By: Emma Blair
  • Narrated by: Eve Karpf
  • Length: 16 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

Sadie Smith would love to do the things that other children can, but a degenerated hip prevents her from walking. On her way to a Dr Barnardo's home, her mother buys her a pair of scarlet ribbons which bring Sadie solace in the difficult years ahead.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent performance

  • By Elizabeth on 09-06-14

Excellent performance

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

Reviewed: 09-06-14

Would you consider the audio edition of Scarlet Ribbons to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version.

Would you be willing to try another book from Emma Blair? Why or why not?

I would try another Emma Blair book, I like the saga and that we stay with the characters for a long time throughout their lives.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

It's an easy listen, there isn't anything challenging here and there is an element of predictability about the plot, but I enjoyed the ride. It was interesting to learn a bit about Dr Barnados and the plight of young children.

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

I enjoyed it very much, nothing to complain about.

Any additional comments?

Eve Karpf's narration was excellent. She managed to change Sadie's accent so subtly throughout that you barely noticed her change from Scottish to Canadian, but by the end of the book she was transformed.

  • Survivor

  • By: Lesley Pearse
  • Narrated by: Alison Dowling
  • Length: 16 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 323
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 278
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 277

London, 1939: Eighteen-year-old Mari is defiant, strong-willed and selfish. She has craved independence her entire life and now, with the World on the brink of war, Mari has finally escaped the sleepy fishing village of her childhood in New Zealand. After passionately falling for Morgan, the cockney steward aboard ship on her voyage to England, she hastily dismisses him in favour of being taken out by handsome young pilots in the glamorous West end. But, without warning, the Blitz blows her new life apart. Now Mari has the chance to make a difference but can she learn from her mistakes in time?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A really good story

  • By Heidi on 13-03-14

Lesley Pearse back on form

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

Reviewed: 11-03-14

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

It's a good story which follows on from others although knowledge of the previous books isn't necessary. Lots of historical background and brings the war to the life of the ordinary. A touching saga that spans the world.

What did you like best about this story?

The reader gets to fully immerse themselves in the characters and over a long period of time.

What three words best describe Alison Dowling’s performance?

Compassionate, clear, adequate.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

One woman's battle, one world's war.

Any additional comments?

Lesley Pearse thrives in historical drama, her last book (Forgive Me), was contemporary and weaker than her epic history novels. I very much enjoyed this book, it was engaging and the story ticked along nicely. A few 'co-incidences' which weren't altogether plausible didn't ruin the narrative and the journey we take with the main character is interesting both as a book and historically. It's the third in a trilogy, but don't be put off if you've not read the others, this book stands alone perfectly well.
I'm not keen on the narrator but as the book is so good, it wasn't distracting.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • The Goldfinch

  • By: Donna Tartt
  • Narrated by: David Pittu
  • Length: 32 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,399
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,138
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,152

Aged 13, Theo Decker, son of a devoted mother and a reckless, largely absent father, survives an accident that otherwise tears his life apart. Alone and rudderless in New York, he is taken in by the family of a wealthy friend. He is tormented by an unbearable longing for his mother, and down the years clings to one thing that reminds him of her: a small, strangely captivating painting that ultimately draws him into the criminal underworld.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Narrator Hand Picked By Tartt- Outstanding!

  • By Tara Mcgrath on 02-12-13

Outstanding performance by David Pittu

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

Reviewed: 14-02-14

What made the experience of listening to The Goldfinch the most enjoyable?

The narrator was sublime. His representation of each character was incredible, it was as if each one was in the room by simply hearing their 'voice'.

What did you like best about this story?

The story was engaging and spanned many years so you felt you really knew the characters well.

What about David Pittu’s performance did you like?

His ability to adopt so many characters effectively, without it sounding forced. Male, female, old and young, all utterly convincing. The best audiobook narration I've ever heard.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The relationship between Theo & Boris was complicated but very moving.

Any additional comments?

A great book but a little self-congratulatory, especially at the end. I would have preferred to hear more about the fate of each character than the long philosophical monologue.
However, a clever plot that seldom dragged and brought to life excellently by David Pittu.

  • The Water Meadows

  • By: Emma Blair
  • Narrated by: Eve Karpf
  • Length: 17 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 7
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6

It is May 1926. Glasgow is crippled by the General Strike and the future looks bleak for John Forsyth. Made redundant from his factory job and with no prospect of employment, he and his family only hold together through the determination of his ambitious wife, Madge. Even though this means a dramatic move to the farthest reaches of England - to Devon.As the family begin a new life in the village of Atherton, their fortunes change.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fantastic

  • By Gillian on 13-04-15

Once it got going, was very engaging.

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

Reviewed: 20-01-14

What did you like most about The Water Meadows?

I liked that the story was spread over such a long period of time, you really got to know a lot about the characters lives, rather than just a snapshot.

What other book might you compare The Water Meadows to, and why?

It reminds me of the Lesley Pearce Sagas (although not as good).

Which character – as performed by Eve Karpf – was your favourite?

Carensa, she seemed to be truest and best represented by the Narrator. The different accents were attempted with conviction so that each character had their own 'voice'.

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

The book didn't emotionally affect me, it felt like fiction, at no point did I believe the characters actually might have existed, however, I enjoyed the easy escapism.

Any additional comments?

At first I wasn't sure about this book, however, once the family had moved, it became much more engaging. The book wasn't particularly 'blockbusting' but it trotted along and maintained interest and I found I cared more and more about the characters as the book went on. The quantity of affairs was quite amusing, and the sympathy on the characters who had them but it was a good easy read with an unchallenging plot that I enjoyed.

Change of Heart cover art
  • Change of Heart

  • By: Jodi Picoult
  • Narrated by: uncredited
  • Length: 15 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 93
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 49
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 50

June's first husband was killed in a car crash. Against all the odds, her daughter was uninjured and, in another miracle, June found love again with the policeman who rescued them. But now June's second daughter is dying without the new heart she so urgently needs.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Thought-provoking and engrossing

  • By Kirstine on 13-01-11

Thought provoking

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

Reviewed: 05-12-13

Where does Change of Heart rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

I would say it lies in the top third.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the twists and turns in the story, the fact it is told from different viewpoints and that it makes you think about issues.

Which character – as performed by the narrator – was your favourite?

Father Michael was probably my favourite as he seemed the most human.

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

It made me think and contemplate how I'd react in various situations.

Any additional comments?

Sadly, the English accent attempts by two of the narrators were terrible and a little distracting as a consequence. However, it didn't hamper my enjoyment too much.