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Thornwood House

Narrated by: Eloise Oxer
Length: 16 hrs and 25 mins
4 out of 5 stars (6 ratings)

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Summary

When you're all that stands between the murderous past and the fate of those you love, how far would you go to save them?

When Audrey Kepler inherits an abandoned homestead in rural Queensland, she jumps at the chance to escape her loveless existence in the city and make a fresh start. In a dusty back room of the old house, she discovers the crumbling photo of a handsome World War II medic - Samuel Riordan, the homestead's former occupant - and soon finds herself becoming obsessed with him. But as Audrey digs deeper into Samuel's story, she discovers he was accused of bashing to death a young woman on his return from the war in 1946. When she learns about other unexplained deaths in recent years - one of them a young woman with injuries echoing those of the first victim - she begins to suspect that the killer is still very much alive. And now Audrey, thanks to her need to uncover the past, has provided him with good reason to want to kill again.

©2013 Anna Romer (P)2014 Bolinda Publishing Pty Ltd

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Profile Image for Nancy F.
  • Nancy F.
  • 08-08-15

Five Stars With a Caution

My reaction after the first hour of this book: Narrator's voice was irritating and insipid. I was drifting off, probably because of boredom or at least a very slow plot. Wondered if I should return the book for a credit refund.

My reaction after finishing this book: Wow! What a story!! Didn't want it to end. I'm on to Anna Romer's next book immediately and I'm delighted that Eloise Oxer is the narrator.

My caution: Don't give up until you've given this book a chance.

Now to the review. This is a complex story covering 3 generations' stories. The consistent thread is a string of murders, an enchanting family home and property, and the enduring relationships of mothers and daughters. Romer's descriptive talents are almost poetic, bringing the outdoors to life in a way that lets you see, hear and smell what she is describing. She has created intriguing and very human characters that I honestly felt I knew after a few hrs. Oxer is the exactly right narrator for this tale. Close to the end when very pivotal (and dangerous) events were occurring, Oxer's pace picked up with so much tension communicated that I actually could feel my heart racing.

This book wants the listener to have faith that all will become clear, which is to say that not all explanations are immediately forthcoming. I ended up liking that approach very much, feeling an even stronger connection to the story as the explanations were revealed. I recommend this book without reservation -- and just the one caution.

182 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Maria
  • Maria
  • 29-11-14

I absolutely adored this book! One of my faves!!

I just love, love, love stories about old houses, family secrets, mysteries surrounding diaries, and connections between the past and the present. This novel has it all! I almost listened to it straight thru, but stopped myself about 5 hours from the end and began listening to it in half-hour chunks here and there just to make it last longer. This was seriously one of those books that I didn't want to end. If you love Kate Morton or Kimberley Freeman, you absolutely have to listen to Anna Romer. I loved this even more than Lyrebird Hill (and I loved Lyrebird Hill). Eloise Oxer is the perfect narrator, too. One of the things I love most is the author's detail about nature and the animals -- but it's not so much that it distracts or annoys. Plus, her character descriptions and multiple "mini-twists" and mysteries keep the storyline flowing so well. I can't praise this book enough. I very much look forward to the next book by Anna Romer (and I hope it involves a beautiful old house with rambling gardens, secret rooms and mysterious family secrets!).

145 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Kathy
  • 07-11-14

Love, Love, Love this book!

Great story, Wonderful performance!
Loved the detail. Description of the scenery and landscape made you feel like you were there. The plot twists kept you thinking.
Highly recommended.

47 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for S. G. Schadowsky
  • S. G. Schadowsky
  • 01-12-14

Great story and setting

Any additional comments?

A intriguing mystery and well woven story. My only complaint is the beginning drags a bit, the story could have been about 20-30 percent shorter. Narration is good.

46 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Mccangus
  • Mccangus
  • 14-06-15

Spectacular imagery, thrilling tale

I stumbled upon the is book, and I was captivated from start to finish. I can't wait to read more from this author/reader team!! Highly recommended.

36 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Laura L. Johnson
  • Laura L. Johnson
  • 25-02-15

Started out slow...

...but picked up and kept on rolling. Good story and nice reading of it. Going to check out more books from this author.

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 17-11-15

Drama

Too dramatic with too many descriptive, flowery phrases for my taste. More like period romance. Just not my style. The Performance is very good though.

28 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Scott
  • 25-03-15

Good story

This was an interesting story line. I kinda saw where this was going half way through, although this did not lessen my interest in the story. Worth a credit for sure. I like the narration and found her voice pleasant and the different characters distinguishable from one another. I will be looking for more of this authors work.

32 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Catalina Ortiz
  • Catalina Ortiz
  • 06-11-15

extremely descriptive

Any additional comments?

The story was intriguing but I found quite annoying it went over descriptive on every single detail of objects, places and thoughts. I honestly had to skip some parts of endless descriptions to get to the point of the story which I found completely unnecessary.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for Marina
  • Marina
  • 30-07-15

Trying Too Hard

Would you try another book from Anna Romer and/or Eloise Oxer?

Probably not. The writing was very cliche and boring at times. The story was intriguing at first, I usually love modern/ historic mysteries (Kate Morton is one of my favorites), but Anna Romer is no Kate. Her language is so over done that I find it more annoying than affecting.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

The ending was the worst. I really can't stand when authors make the heroin out to be some whiny, over excited person who can't function in high stress situations. It's so played out. I would just ONCE like to see a woman character be written in a way that doesn't make her seem hysterical and over emotional.

Could you see Thornwood House being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

Sure, a Lifetime movie with some great soap opera stars would definitely fit the writing. Lots of opportunities for audible gasping and hysterical crying.

Any additional comments?

This book could have been 6 hours easily. The story drags on so much, even after the "shocking" ending is very clear. The characters are annoying, especially the main woman. The narration is good, cant fault her for having to read silly, unrealistic dialog...

7 people found this helpful