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Fiona

  • 11
  • reviews
  • 10
  • helpful votes
  • 25
  • ratings
  • A Christmas Feast

  • By: Katie Fforde
  • Narrated by: Rita Sharma, Jilly Bond
  • Length: 6 hrs and 56 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    3.5 out of 5 stars 52
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 47
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 50

A delicious Christmas feast of short stories from the Sunday Times number one best-selling author of A French Affair and The Perfect Match. Add some extra sparkle to your Christmas by joining Katie Fforde for a perfect romantic Christmas feast of short stories. Collected together for the first time and including one brand-new story. Make your Christmas wishes come true....

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An enjoyable listen

  • By mrsb2011 on 20-12-16

Very good for short stories

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

Reviewed: 04-02-17

Normally I hate short stories but these were great - light and good humoured just right for the Christmas season!

  • Under a Pole Star

  • By: Stef Penney
  • Narrated by: Cathleen McCarron, Thomas Judd
  • Length: 20 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 81
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 76
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 78

Follow the path to the freezing north. Follow your ambition. Follow your heart. Flora Mackie first crossed the Arctic Circle at the age of 12. Years later, in 1892, determination and chance lead her back to northern Greenland as a scientist at the head of a British expedition, defying the expectations of those who believe a woman has no place in that harsh world. Geologist Jakob de Beyn was raised in Manhattan. Yearning for wider horizons, he joins a rival expedition.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Too long winded

  • By fieldfare on 15-10-17

Another wonderful book from Stef Penney

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

Reviewed: 13-01-17

It is hard to believe that Stef Penney can keep producing books to the same high standard. Finishing the book felt like a bereavement from the characters and the landscape. A magical journey to the arctic lands with a wealth of description. The accents of the Inuits made the audiobook seem very authentic - as if we were in their igloos with them. Excellent performances from the narrators.

  • Barkskins

  • By: Annie Proulx
  • Narrated by: Robert Petkoff
  • Length: 25 hrs and 49 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 163
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 156
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 157

From Annie Proulx, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Shipping News and Brokeback Mountain, comes her masterpiece, 10 years in the writing - an epic, dazzling, violent, magnificently dramatic novel about taming the wilderness and destroying the forest, set over three centuries. In the late 17th century, two illiterate woodsmen, Rene Sel and Charles Duquet, make their way from Northern France to New France to seek a living.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • Very detailed story, but couldn't finish

  • By Scotch-writer on 24-12-16

A wonderful book

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

Reviewed: 10-11-16

Loved this book and will feel bereft now I've finished it. So many important issues covered with an excellent portrayal of the origins of modern days ecological disasters. Captivating story line, fascinating insight into the history of the timber trade. Cannot praise it enough!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Dominion

  • By: C. J. Sansom
  • Narrated by: Daniel Weyman
  • Length: 20 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,329
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,018
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,028

The Great Smog. London. A dense, choking fog engulfs the city and beneath it, history is re-written…1952. Twelve years have passed since Churchill lost to the appeasers and Britain surrendered to Nazi Germany after Dunkirk. As the long German war against Russia rages on in the east, the British people find themselves under dark authoritarian rule: the press, radio and television are controlled; the streets patrolled by violent auxiliary police and British Jews face ever greater constraints.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Dominion: Fantastic and Atmospheric Novel!

  • By David on 21-11-12

Another brilliant novel from C J Sansom

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

Reviewed: 29-07-13

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

Clever, visionary, gripping

What was one of the most memorable moments of Dominion?

The description of life during London smog was vivid and appalling.

Any additional comments?

So completely different from his other books yet just as good, a really scary vision of how life might have been if WWII had another outcome.....

Brooklyn cover art
  • Brooklyn

  • By: Colm Toibin
  • Narrated by: Niamh Cusack
  • Length: 8 hrs and 36 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 92
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 17

From the twice Booker-shortlisted author of The Blackwater Lightship and The Master comes a novel of devastating emotional power.

It is the early 1950s in the south-east of Ireland. Eilis Lacey is one among many of her generation who cannot find work at home. When a job is offered in America, it is clear to everyone that she must go. Leaving her family and country, Eilis heads for unfamiliar Brooklyn.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • An infuriating tale of a life lived for others.

  • By David on 27-03-10

A great read

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

Reviewed: 29-07-13

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

This is hard to say as I am unable to read print but I love Naimh Cusack's voice

What did you like best about this story?

It was a book I have been wanting to read for a long time and it did not disappoint.

  • Life After Life

  • By: Kate Atkinson
  • Narrated by: Fenella Woolgar
  • Length: 15 hrs and 28 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,894
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,708
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,689

What if you had the chance to live your life again and again, until you finally got it right? During a snowstorm in England in 1910, a baby is born and dies before she can take her first breath. During a snowstorm in England in 1910, the same baby is born and lives to tell the tale. What if there were second chances? And third chances? In fact an infinite number of chances to live your life? Would you eventually be able to save the world from its own inevitable destiny? And would you even want to?

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Intriguing story, beautifully told.

  • By susan on 02-05-13

A daring format but not too sure it works

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

Reviewed: 29-07-13

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I am a huge fan of Kate Atkinson and have loved all her other books that I have come across. This is a big departure from the style of her other novels and I am not convinced it works. I actually left the book unfinished which is a rarity for me. It is worth reading though for its unusual approach to a story whereby the characters live through alternative plots each one ending at a different point in time in the life of the main character.

What will your next listen be?

I will definitely get Kate's next book as soon as it comes out.

  • The Last Runaway

  • By: Tracy Chevalier
  • Narrated by: Laurel Lefkow
  • Length: 8 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 215
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 179
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 178

Laurel Lefkow reads the stunning new novel from the bestselling author of Girl with a Pearl Earring. When modest Quaker Honor Bright sails from Bristol with her sister, she is fleeing heartache for a new life in America, far from home. But tragedy leaves her alone and vulnerable, torn between two worlds and dependent on the kindness of strangers. Life in 1850s Ohio is precarious and unsentimental. The sun is too hot, the thunderstorms too violent, the snow too deep. The roads are spattered with mud and spit. The woods are home to skunks and porcupines and raccoons.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Bad accents!

  • By Matt Watson-Power on 21-05-13

A wonderful book with so many threads

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

Reviewed: 29-07-13

What did you like most about The Last Runaway?

Tracy Chevalier has a wonderful gift with words and her characters and landscapes are especially well drawn. She evokes an historical era excellently.

What did you like best about this story?

It was interesting from a historical point of view- many elements that I was previously unaware of both the slave trade, founding of new towns and the sailing of brides from England to the unknown. I loved the links with Dorset where I live.

Which character – as performed by Laurel Lefkow – was your favourite?

I thought they were all excellent but I was especially drawn to the hat maker!

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

It was a book that left me feeling bereft when I finished it as I had enjoyed it so much !

  • Inferno

  • By: Dan Brown
  • Narrated by: Paul Michael
  • Length: 17 hrs and 12 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 3,422
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 3,097
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 3,100

Dan Brown’s new novel, Inferno, features renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon and is set in the heart of Europe, where Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centred around one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces. As Dan Brown comments: "Although I studied Dante’s Inferno as a student, it wasn't until recently, while researching in Florence, that I came to appreciate the enduring influence of Dante's work on the modern world."

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • start was hard going. story good but over descript

  • By BD on 17-07-17

Another gripping mystery from Dan Brown

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

Reviewed: 29-07-13

What did you like most about Inferno?

Although his books are now somewhat formulaic what I especially enjoyed about this one was the art history and architecture of Florence and the literary links to Dante' s work.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It is hard to choose a favourite character as none of them especially lift off the page, the book's best part is the pace and action rather than thoroughly drawn in depth characters.

Any additional comments?

I enjoyed this as much as his other novels but I am not sure how many can succeed as best sellers if they are all going to be so similar in style. A good message about the future of our world.

  • Six Years

  • By: Harlan Coben
  • Narrated by: Kerry Shale
  • Length: 9 hrs and 16 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 693
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 611
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 606

Six years have passed since Jake Sanders watched Natalie, the love of his life, marry another man. Six years of hiding a broken heart by throwing himself into his career as a college professor. Six years of keeping his promise to leave Natalie alone, and six years of tortured dreams of her life with her new husband, Todd. But six years haven't come close to extinguishing his feelings, and when Jake comes across Todd's obituary, he can't keep himself away from the funeral.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Classic Coben

  • By Matty on 04-05-13

Another great mystery from Harlen Coben

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

Reviewed: 29-07-13

Would you listen to Six Years again? Why?

This was an entertaining read but now the surprise is out of the bag I would not want to read it again.

What other book might you compare Six Years to, and why?

Very similar to his other books, it is a good entertaining read but not a master work of fiction!

  • Instructions for a Heatwave

  • By: Maggie O'Farrell
  • Narrated by: Dearbhla Molloy
  • Length: 9 hrs and 52 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 268
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 230
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 233

The stunning new novel from Costa-Novel-Award-winning novelist Maggie O'Farrell: a portrait of an Irish family in crisis in the legendary heatwave of 1976.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Great book, brilliant performance

  • By ronx59 on 23-08-13

Perfect summer reading!

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

Reviewed: 29-07-13

Would you try another book written by Maggie O'Farrell or narrated by Dearbhla Molloy?

I have read all of Maggies O' Farrell's novels and found this one quite different in style and plot but it was nevertheless a good read.

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

As most of the characters are Irish the narrator's accent gave a genuine feel to the book though I found it irritating at times.

Was Instructions for a Heatwave worth the listening time?

Not the best of her books and in particular I was not drawn to any of characters which makes it hard to sustain interest in the plot unlike her other novels which I struggled to put down.

Any additional comments?

Fascinating information about the way Londoners dealt with the 1976 heat wave !

8 of 8 people found this review helpful