R Griffiths

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1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 15-10-19

I did finish this but expected it to be much better. The story is weak. It has two time lines. In the modern sections an angst ridden young woman goes to Paris to find out about the life of her grandmother who was a seamstress during the occupation. There seems to be a current glut of similar stories of people trying to discover family wartime secrets - I never realised how secretive families can be! This story line is unoriginal and tedious, young person trying to find out who she is and understand herself etc etc.
The other time line held out more promise being set in the occupation with three seamstresses being involved in the Resistance. However parts of this are barely credible. For example the Gestapo capture a radio operator and her friend and are known to be watching the address where they lived. Despite this the Resistance decide to use the place as a safe house. I feel this just would not have happened. Also there is little detail about what the Resistance network actually did, none of the excitement one would expect in novels with this setting.

I agree with the first reviewer about the weakness of the narration. Both voices sound wavery and croaky and not easy to listen to.

Mixed feelings

3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-10-19

Kate Furniall is a great story teller and while I enjoyed this overall I didn't feel it met her usual standard. The story started well but dragged and lost impetus in the middle. The two main characters were well established but many others were not defined clearly enough and I found myself forgetting who they were. There were many great moments of suspense but these were not developed and lost impact.

The narrator's voice was clear but she tended to over dramatise which became irritating by mid book. And I wanted to scream at the never ending repetition of "Paree" The book is written in Englsh so why does Paris have to be pronounced "Paree" literally every few minutes - and I do mean every few minutes. The main character is for ever being told to go back to "Paree" or reminding us that in "Paree" she did or heard xyz!! At one point I did actually yell at my tablet to tell her to go to Marseilles or Tours or Wigan, any where but Paree! Do books not have editors any more? Good editing would have corrected this annoying repetition which really mars the book.

I also found some of the animal content distressing and over done. I am sure the author felt this important to the story but for me it was too much. The feelings of danger to the family could have been aroused in other ways or at least handled more sensitively. Animal lovers beware, parts of this story are nasty.

Despite all this I did finish the book but did not enjoy it as much as the author's earler works.


5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 27-08-19

This has everything. An interesting imaginative, exciting story with characters you feel you know, terrifying villains, humour, compassion and the ability to move the reader/listener to tears. The narrator is superb and Aaronovitch's writing shows more skill than all the Booker prize winners put togther.

Great story let down by weak narration

4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 26-05-19

One of Mary Stewart's best loved stories with great characters and a wonderful sense of place. The meal in Marseilles makes me rush to the fridge every time!
Other listeners have liked the narration but I am the dissenting voice - I find it irritating. Fox handles the greater part ok but the dialogue is grim. Charity sounds too girlie and feeble and the French and German men are dreadful, like characters from 'allo 'allo. Early on in the book, Richard Byron could be Bill Sykes in Oliver.
Overall though, it's so good to have this and many other Mary Stewart books available on Audible and I'll be saving credits for the next batch.

Great story, excellent narration

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-05-19

It's so good to see these Mary Stewart books available on Audible. This is one of her best, re-recorded with excellent narration. Thank you Audible

1 person found this helpful

Great audio book

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-04-19

Totally addictive book. Great story, wonderful characters and very well read. I think this is classed as being for young adults. Well I'm over 70 and I loved it and have bought the sequel.


1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 19-09-18

I bought this having read excellent reviews but found it very hard going. It is written in the present tense, a literary affectation that I found extremely tedious and irritating, especially when written in two timelines. There are numerous characters, none are sufficiently well established so I really didn't care what happened to any of them. I got about half way through and gave up - possibly it improves later on but I have better things to listen to.

16 people found this helpful

Compelling story

5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-08-18

I thoroughly enjoyed this. It's an unusual story, part thriller, part romance and part time travel. The time travel is cleverly done, believable, and doesn't detract from the other aspects of the book. The narration is excellent.


2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-07-18

I hoped to enjoy this but I didn't.

The events set on Mars were great but most of the book is about the lead characters earlier life which was depressing and unpleasant.
The narrator has a whiney voice which grated after a while and the whole book, even the neverending flashbacks, is written in the present tense which is intensley irritating. Overall I wish I hadn't bought this.

3 people found this helpful