LISTENER

Elizabeth

  • 3
  • reviews
  • 18
  • helpful votes
  • 19
  • ratings

Very funny and easy to dip in and out of

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

Reviewed: 26-05-14

What did you like most about Love, Nina?

That it's true! Well, I hope it is although I guess the author may have polished her letters a little bit. The book is a series of letters written by a nanny to her sister.

What fascinated me was how well Nina integrated into the family she was working for, as well as their friends and neighbours. She cared so well for the boys she was looking after and must have been great fun for them, more like an older sister. I was impressed how she wasn't deferential to Mary Kay etc. and I think it was because of this that she was almost perfect for their family whereas another family probably wouldn't have got on with her at all.

I particularly liked how she said she didn't worry about Sam's medical condition because his mother could do the worrying so she didn't have to, yet she was still closely monitoring his eyes when she wasn't putting him in skips, pushing him into the swimming pool etc. She just accepted the family as they were which was perfect. Some of her cooking stories made me laugh a lot, I wouldn't have fancied having to eat them.

What other book might you compare Love, Nina to, and why?

I can't think of anything I've ever read like it.

What three words best describe Nina Stibbe’s voice?

calm amused real

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

No but I don't think that's a criticism. I didn't want it to stop so almost dragged it out so I had snippets to look forward to.

Any additional comments?

I have the paper copy of this book which I'd already read but I was intrigued to hear the audio version because it's read by the author.

6 people found this helpful

Brilliant narrator but story too sensational

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

Reviewed: 26-05-14

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

I might recommend it but it would only be to hear Laura Brattan's narration as she was superb.

What will your next listen be?

I'm currently listening to 'All Change' by Elizabeth Jane Howard.

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

Laura Brattan really brings the characters to life. She acts all the parts rather than just read them. She changes her voice for all the characters using different accents and softening and hardening the tone.

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

I felt moved to irritation very frequently but I didn't feel moved to tears.

Any additional comments?

I found the story far too sensational and, although not an expert, the policing was totally unbelievable to the point of being irritating. Having said that it was pretty easy listening and would be good to have on in the background if you're clearing out your kitchen cupboards or something.

6 people found this helpful

Great story and beautifully read.

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

Reviewed: 26-05-14

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

I loved this book and have gone on to read the other volumes. Jill Balcon is a superb narrator who acts out the book giving the characters different voices and accents etc. so it's like listening to a radio play than a book reading.

It's quite a gentle story with a few shocking moments in it that take you by surprise.

I liked the way Elizabeth Jane Howard explores all the different characters so you begin to understand them and can see how the family fits together. I felt transported back in time and found the way that people then conducted their relationships very interesting. I wished my grandmother was still alive to discuss it with as she would have been about 20 at the time this book was set.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Impossible to choose as there are so many great characters. Possibly Christopher. I liked his conscientious objector views and the continuous debate in his head as he challenged his opinions on life and war etc. I could pick almost any character though.

Which character – as performed by Jill Balcon – was your favourite?

Again, very hard to choose. Perhaps Sid? I loved the way Jill deepened her voice slightly for her character. Jill was also great at reading all the child parts.

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

When Hugh was rushing to get to Home Farm for the birth of the twins. I felt quite panicked listening to that and very shocked about the cat. I was surprised that Radio 4 hadn't included this scene in their radio dramatisation.

Any additional comments?

I also have the paper copy of the book which has a family tree at the start of it which was very useful as I would have struggled to work out how all the characters fitted together without it.

6 people found this helpful