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Editor reviews

Nocturne, narrated with refined British class by Deidre Rubenstein, is the poignant war-torn romance, set in Warsaw in 1939, that follows the passionate relationship of Elzunia, a starry-eyed teenager who dreams of an idealized life, and Adam, a brooding young pilot who makes the heroic decision to join the Polish resistance at the onset of war - but at what great personal cost?

This gripping story, whose plot perhaps gives a nod or two to Hemingway’s For Whom The Bell Tolls, is about the delicate balance between love and passion with duty and honor.

Summary

From the best-selling author of Winter Journey, Mosaic and The Voyage of Their Life - all published in audio by Bolinda.

It is Warsaw, 1939, and Elzunia is an indulged teenager who longs for a heroic life filled with romance. But the outbreak of war shatters all her dreams. As bombs fall, she meets Adam, a taciturn airman whose fate becomes entwined with hers. In despair over the occupation, Adam joins the Polish resistance, then flies bombers for the RAF.

Forced into the Warsaw Ghetto, Elzunia learns that even children must create their own rules to survive. When the Ghetto defies the invaders, and later the entire city of Warsaw rises up, Elzunia finds strength in ways she never imagined. Nocturne is a powerful and inspiring testament to resilience and courage in the face of cruelty and betrayal.

©2008 Diane Armstrong. (P)2009 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant

Moving and stunning story with plenty of heart stopping moments all made believable because of the excellent narrator - highly recommend

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Margaret
  • Nieuwerkerk a.d. IJssel, Netherlands
  • 26-02-13

fantastic

this book is fantastic and at the same time frightening. It gives an account of not only the Jewish horrors in Warsaw but Polands terrible time during the war. It is so real that at times I felt I was there in the ghetto and in the hospital. The only problem I had was the narrator who (I think) over did it - at times shouting the story at you - the author writes so well and sets the atmoshpere so realistically that you do not need the extra decibels to carry you into the horrors that are happening.

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Annie M.
  • 06-08-16

The narrator ruined it for me

I read Armstrong's superb novel "Winter Journey. That book made me want to read more by this author. Unfortunately Nocturn did not work for me on two levels… The first is the coincidental reading of "The Book of Aron," a novel based on the true story of a heroic priest and life in the Warsaw ghetto.

The two books are so similar in terms of subject manner. And Armstrong's book suffers and comparison, primarily due to the narrator.

Deirdre Rubenstein is a extremely good narrator when she's not making up voices. I know that she was trying to interpret her characters, but every time she did this it just annoyed me tremendously. I found the characterizations alternately shrill, growly, and just so annoying In the way they pulled me out of the story, not deeper into it.

I like this author so much, and actually like Rubenstein's narrative work when she plays it straight. She has a lovely voice, and excellent cadence. She could have read this straight and I would've loved it.

As it is I couldn't finish the book.b

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Caroline H.
  • 20-02-11

Blech

I can't decide if I like the book or not because the narrator is horrible. The first part of the book is riddled with overwrought, irritating exclamations - where was the director? I have gritted my teeth and suffered through Part 1 as I've already trashed two books recently that the narrator ruined for me. In future, I will make a practice of listening to a sample before I buy - good narration is paramount for a successful listening experience.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Daryl
  • 12-02-13

Haunting, gritty, romantic...

This book had passages of gritty realism and unbelievable coincidences. The descriptions of the Warsaw ghetto, the freedom fighters, the blood in the streets made me cringe with their realism. The passages of romance were more soap opera than my taste, but also captured realistically the maturing of a young girl, so I can't fault that.

Coincidences abound, but provide hope in the midst of a novel detailing one of the most painful periods and locales the world has known in the last century.

The narrator had a good voice and projected feeling - sometimes overly so - into her depictions of shock and panic.

This book is worth the read, due to its insider view of Warsaw during the war, as well as the pain of Poles abroad who felt neglected by the allies. The romance is, for the most part, juvenile, but may just be because one of the main characters is a teenager during this book.

Cautious recommendation.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • IrekKsiazek
  • 08-04-18

true and improbable fiction

Where does Nocturne rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

It's definitely in the top 3 of my audiobooks (maybe even number one).

What was one of the most memorable moments of Nocturne ?

There are many memorable moments. Maybe the most memorable will be the story of the old clock.

What about Deidre Rubenstein’s performance did you like?

Almost perfect. Even the difficult Polish names are pronounced correctly (almost all of them). Just beautiful.

Any additional comments?

Don't be deceived by 'editorial review' - this is not ' is the poignant war-torn romance'. This story i much more. And even the romance is not the main plot (but still one of the important treads of the novel).

I was hesitate if the story should get 5 or 4 stars - some twists seems quite improbable. Then I recalled that the real live can create even more bizarre coincidences.

Regardless that it is fiction it is not purely imagination of the author. It is created based on really good research of the reality of WWII and all the stories could really happened (many of them were created based on the real, historical events/records).

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Solbakken
  • 17-03-17

Overly dramatic narrator

The story of this book was very interesting… Sometimes it was hard to listen to because of the yelling and screaming by the narrator