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Summary

What happens when every parent's worst nightmare comes true - and when the past is unwilling to be the past? Some memories are too powerful to live only in the past.

During a ferocious storm, a red-haired stranger appears in the garden of a small farming cottage. Eliza and her parents take him in. But very soon, it's clear he has no intention of leaving.

A century later, Mary and Graham have experienced every parent's worst nightmare. Now, escaping their old London life, the memories and the headlines, they have found an idyllic new home in rural Suffolk. A cottage, a beautiful garden. The perfect place to forget. To move on. But in The Stopped Heart, the past never dies.

©2016 Julie Myerson (P)2016 Bolinda

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
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  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Alison
  • Nottingham, United Kingdom
  • 16-04-16

Haunting and amazing.

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

Yes. The story was great and gripping. The narrator brilliant and so good it was almost like listening to a BBC play.

Who was your favorite character and why?

All of them except (of course) James.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

Not so much a particular scene but the description and atmosphere was fantastic.

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

Impossible. I needed to have spaces between myself and the story as it is very dark and intense.

Any additional comments?

Yes. Huge credit to Katie Moore the narrator. So skillfully read. Not only did she have many different voices to change but ages too. Each time I listened, I knew who she was reading by her amazing talent with accents age and gender. Even sulky teen. All very subtle and not overpowering.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • B
  • 27-05-17

Poignant and beautiful (and very dark)

Any additional comments?

This is a tragic, haunting and beautiful book, dealing with loss, grief and the complicatedness of families, as well as the interplay of present and past. Katie Moore reads it very nicely, with well-differentiated voices for the characters. I found it extremely moving, and felt (appropriately enough) haunted by its characters for quite some time after finishing it. Myerson writes wonderfully about the way in which old houses can seem to soak up the atmosphere of what has previously gone on within them.

As other reviewers have pointed out, it is worth noting that this book contains several very violent and distressing scenes. While sensitively handled and beautifully written, it is certainly a very dark book and anyone going into it should be aware of that fact. This is not a light read! But it is (in my opinion) an extremely impressive and gripping one.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Captivating and beautifully read, but...

The story is unusual and captivating with its dark undertones and well-rounded characters.
For me, however, the narrative was spoilt by the over use of “what?” whenever there’s a conversation. It’s irritating from very early on and continues to grate throughout the book.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

What?

If every “What?” had been removed from this book it would have been about one third shorter. So annoying, random “what?”s dotted all over the place, hundreds of them I’m sure. The narration was good, except the gritted teeth of the very angry teenage girl. The historical story was far better than the current day one, but all the “what?”s drove me mad. Good narration overall, very poor writing.

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

gratuitous violence

did not enjoy did not realise it was going to be another story about children being gratuitously killed for fiction

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Gripping and moving with great narration

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

It was one of the best ones - I liked the story and the narrator was great.

What other book might you compare The Stopped Heart to, and why?

It's a psychological novel, exploring grief and family relationships, mixed with a ghost story and I've not read one which combines the two like this.

Which scene did you most enjoy?

The ones where Lottie described the future inhabitants of the house.

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

It was very gripping and well-paced so I wanted to listen more. The end was moving for me.

Any additional comments?

The only thing I didn't like was some of the dialogue. A character would make a statement and the other character would say,"What?" or "What do you mean?" even though it was obvious to me what they meant, It slowed down the pace but may just be Myerson's style. This is the only book by her I have read, so I can't compare. I would read others though based on this one.The narrator was great.

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One of the best

This is one of the best audiobooks I have listened to. Julie Myerson is a wonderful writer and the two strands of this story are equally compelling. The ending delivered everything I hoped and proves it isn't necessary to resort to complex plot twists (though there is a twist within a secondary strand of the story) to keep readers hooked. It is brilliant on grief, marriage and coming of age, too. Thoroughly recommended.

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Superb

Heart breaking story. Beautifully read. I loved it but it's so very sad and distressing

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

What a disappointment!

Overlong and repetitive. A clichéd story which lacks any tension or suspense. The dialogue is dreadfully stilted although the narrator tries her best with it. The characters are irritating and unbelievable; the dual narrative predictable. If you want to try a Julie Myerson go for The Story if You. That one will haunt you instead of leaving you bored and impatient with yourself for listening to the end.