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Ushma

  • 4
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  • 5
  • helpful votes
  • 6
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  • This Secret We're Keeping

  • By: Rebecca Done
  • Narrated by: Kristin Atherton, Oliver Chris
  • Length: 14 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 91
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 82
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 82

Penguin presents the unabridged, downloadable audiobook edition of This Secret We're Keeping by Rebecca Done, read by Kristin Atherton and Oliver Chris. A pupil and a teacher. Is it ever right to break the rules? Jessica Hart has never forgotten Matthew Landley. After all, he was her first love when she was 15 years old. But he was also her school maths teacher, and their forbidden affair ended in scandal, with his arrest and imprisonment.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Incredible

  • By Miss on 07-06-16

This was fantastic.

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

Reviewed: 05-08-16

What made the experience of listening to This Secret We're Keeping the most enjoyable?

The fact that the novel was read by a female and male narrator gave it additional depth as it felt like I was literally hearing Matthew and Jess's stories. Both characters had a voice, and so seemed very lifelike.

What did you like best about this story?

I liked the fact that it's not your everyday run-of-the-mill romance. The novel explores a modern taboo, and asks if it's ever acceptable for a teacher to fall in love with an underaged pupil. after reading the blurb, I was determined not to like Matthew Landsley, but because the story of his relationship with Jess is told in his own words, I found it a challenge not to empathise with him, as he makes it seem so natural. The fact that my moral compass was offset throughout further added to my enjoyment, along with the twists and turns as the story unfolded.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The opening, when we're actually introduced to Jess and Matthew. In a few swift sentences, we're instantly aware of their mutual attraction for each other whilst also learning important details about each of their present lives.

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

Not sure about moving, but I actually found the ending satisfying as it would seem that Jess is in a better position while Matthew is quite literally left out in the cold.

Any additional comments?

I look forward to reading more novels by Rebecca done in the future.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The King's Curse

  • Cousins' War Book 6
  • By: Philippa Gregory
  • Narrated by: Bianca Amato
  • Length: 24 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 286
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 255
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 255

The riveting story of Margaret Pole, daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, and was one of the few surviving members of the Plantagenet dynasty after the Wars of the Roses. Plantagenet, once carried proudly by Margaret like a crown upon her head, is now, at the end of the 15th century, the most dangerous name in England...

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Irritating if you're english!

  • By Jane de Nagle Costello on 21-01-15

The Best Of The Series.

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

Reviewed: 29-07-16

If you could sum up The King's Curse in three words, what would they be?

Interesting, enlightening and perceptive.

What other book might you compare The King's Curse to, and why?

I'm tempted to compare it to "Wolf Hall". Although the writing styles are different, both books chart Henry viii's rapid decline from golden king to ruthless paranoid dictator.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Margaret Pole's description of Cromwell, "a stocky man", fighting with guards as he attempts to resist arrest.

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

Yes, the final moments when Margaret pole is on the scaffold; until that last secon, I'd hoped there would be a repreve.

Any additional comments?

I downloaded this book not expecting very much, as I thought it would be about yet another strong woman who was reduced to windging. I'm glad to say however, that I was proved wrong. Like all the other novels in the Cousins' War series, "The King's CURSE is written in the first person. Events are seen through the eyes of Margaret Pole, who is the last surviving member of the Plantagenet dinasty. Although she is an unreliable narrator, it is clear to see that Margaret Pole is not merely fanatical, but a woman forced to use her wits in order to survive in a world where everyone seems to be expendeble.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Children Act

  • By: Ian McEwan
  • Narrated by: Lindsay Duncan
  • Length: 6 hrs and 15 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 844
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 760
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 756

Fiona Maye is a leading High Court judge, presiding over cases in the family court. She is renowned for her fierce intelligence, exactitude and sensitivity. But her professional success belies private sorrow and domestic strife. There is the lingering regret of her childlessness, and now her marriage of 30 years is in crisis. At the same time, she is called on to try an urgent case: for religious reasons, a beautiful 17-year-old boy, Adam, is refusing the medical treatment that could save his life, and his devout parents share his wishes. Time is running out.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Who is the ultimate judge?

  • By Kaggy on 10-05-17

A compelling and insightful read

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

Reviewed: 27-07-16

Would you consider the audio edition of The Children Act to be better than the print version?

As I've only listened to The audio version, i can't make a comparison.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Children Act?

I'd say the beginning of the novel, when Fiona May's husband Jack, a professor in History, suddenly announces he wants to have an affair With a 28 year old statistician.

What about Lindsay Duncan’s performance did you like?

I liked her dilivery, and her ability to do male voices without sounding too silly.

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

Yes, the final few paragraphs. Without giving too much away, fiona May gets her chance of redemtion, although this is also rather frustrating as it is almost at Adam's expense.

Any additional comments?

This is the first time I've read anything by Ian McEwan, and I was impressed. What I liked was that the novel tackles some controversial issues whilst giving the reader an insight into the world of law. Fiona May is a high court judge who works in the family division. Her preoccupation with her career is invaded when her husband Jack announces he wants to have an affair. Just as her confidence in her work and herself are thrown into question, she is asked for an emergency court order: a teenage Johova's witness is lying ill in hospital, and is refusing a blood transfusion. The novel is written in the third person, and so the narrator is inside Fiona's mind, observing each and every thought. Rather than concentrating purely on the marriage crisis, mcEwan focuses on the legal technicalities of Fiona's world — everything is seen in terms of the law; this is quite possibly her downfall.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • The Strawberry Girl

  • By: Lisa Stromme
  • Narrated by: Jo Woodcock
  • Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 1
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1

It's summer 1893, and the Norwegian fishing village of Åsgårdstrand is preparing for the arrival of well-to-do guests and bohemian artists from the city. Local girl Johanne Lien dutifully gathers berries for tourists and poses barefoot for painters as 'The Strawberry Girl'. Johanne becomes a maid for the wealthy Ihlen family, whose wayward daughter, Tullik, recruits her as a go-between in her pursuit of the controversial painter Edvard Munch.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • The Strawberry Girl — an art lover's dream

  • By Ushma on 24-07-16

The Strawberry Girl — an art lover's dream

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

Reviewed: 24-07-16

Where does The Strawberry Girl rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

"The Strawberry Girl is quite possibly one of the best audio books I've listened to so far this year; I found myself unable to put the book down.

What did you like best about this story?

Firstly, I liked the way each chapter opened with a quote from Gerta's theeory of colour; it was rather like watching a verbal painting unfold, and it also meant that Johanne's character was given additional depths. The story itself was well crafted with an ending that wasn't too neat.

Have you listened to any of Jo Woodcock’s other performances? How does this one compare?

This is the first time I've listened to a performance by Jo Woodcock. Initially, I found her narration slightly dull, so it didn't necessarily do justice to Stromme's writing, although I was able to finish the book.

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

I found the book extremely moving. At times, I found myself getting slightly frustrated with Johanne (the narrator), as she was unable to stop herself from being embroiled in her mistress's wreckless schemes.

Any additional comments?

This was a brilliant debut novel; I'll definitely be reading more novels by Lisa Stromme in the future.