Okay. 3 3/4 stars. First, I'll rate the narrator. 5 stars as Piper. 1 Star as Ned. I've listened to many female narrators who are able to carry off thOkay. 3 3/4 stars. First, I'll rate the narrator. 5 stars as Piper. 1 Star as Ned. I've listened to many female narrators who are able to carry off the male voice quite well. Not this female narrator. Her male voice sounded like Ned was stupid... just a low, soft voice without any personality. Bummer. I liked Ned.
As for the story-- it took me a while to get into it. Then it all came together. Piper has given up her baby at a very young age. She's now a writer. She's writing a journal to her daughter "Amanda", telling her about her family history, and Piper's life. Ned, is her new neighbor with an annoying girlfriend. Piper and Ned become very good friends. His girlfriend-- not so much.
The last fourth of the book elevated to five stars. Yes, I got misty eyed at the very end. Mushy, in fact.
I guessed at what the ending would be-- and I was right. However, the way things came together was well done, and not quite what I had guessed.
If you're a weeper, then have a box of tissues on hand. Good read....more
I liked the story. Didn't love it anywhere close as "The Outlander". I had hoped for more history, but I didn't get that. We begin with a battle sceneI liked the story. Didn't love it anywhere close as "The Outlander". I had hoped for more history, but I didn't get that. We begin with a battle scene at Falkirk. Sir Cortez de Bretagne, King Edward’s garrison commander at Sherborne Castle promises his dying friend that he would take care of his wife. As in marry her. Oh, this is going to be good, I'm thinking. Let's guess, now. She doesn't want to marry him. He's honorable, and so he must. She fights him. Do they fall in-love? It's not too hard to guess.
I did like Cortez's character. He was honorable, and I liked how tender and kind he was to Diamantha's daughter. There's a little sex, but nothing over the top.
I found myself frustrated with Diamantha . C'mon. She can't be happy unless her husband's body , who is buried under mud and deader 'n a door nail is found and returned home for a proper burial?! On top of that, she wants her 3 year old to accompany them on this dangerous journey. Woman! How stupid can you be?!
I calmed down as the tail end of the story gave me an unexpected twist. Good show!
I didn't hate the book. I didn't love the book. It's just more romance than history. That's the part I found a little disappointing....more
Agnostics and atheists, most likely, will not like this book. I'm a Christian, and I do believe in heaven, so I did like the book. Very much, actuallyAgnostics and atheists, most likely, will not like this book. I'm a Christian, and I do believe in heaven, so I did like the book. Very much, actually. With that out of the way, I actually liked the author's own narration of the story. I did find myself wondering why would God allow a select few to be able to contact their loved ones by phone? C'mon, really? I found myself intrigued with why Sully Harding was just released from prison. He didn't believe in God. Would his dearly departed wife call him? Would this make him a believer? The way the story wrapped up happened very quickly, though I felt some of the characters were left with loose endings. For example, what about the police chief's attraction to Kathryn? Did I miss something there? I enjoyed the story. Books on religious always leave the haters open to writing scathing reviews. Four stars, well deserved....more
First, I want to say that I did not consider this book to be a Young Adult book, contrary to someone's review. I bought this audible book on sale, andFirst, I want to say that I did not consider this book to be a Young Adult book, contrary to someone's review. I bought this audible book on sale, and I'm glad that I did. I give five stars to the narrator of this book. She was excellent with all the different accents and characters. I do enjoy books about the South, and this story kept me interested from the very first minutes of listening to it. We have Mattie, who is a slave. She becomes the wet nurse to Lisbeth, on the day she was born into a well-to-do family of slave owners. I'm not one to give away the story or offer spoilers, and I won't write a synopsis of the book since you can easily read it for yourself. I will say that the story did become a bit predictable. Still, I enjoyed the book and the characters. There isn't any graphic sex... just a little, but it's very brief. The ending was bittersweet. Anytime I read a book about slavery, I'm so thankful that this is no longer happening in our country. ...more
I had this book on my "to read" list for a very long time. The mixed reviews made me hesitate reading it. I took a leap of faith, and I'm glad that II had this book on my "to read" list for a very long time. The mixed reviews made me hesitate reading it. I took a leap of faith, and I'm glad that I did. Five stars to the narrator, who did a fantastic job and kept me totally engrossed in the story. This book has a little of everything, and yet it is such a simple story. I'm very careful to not give away spoilers, so I have to refrain from talking about Ove and his adventures in great detail. As Ove's past is slowly revealed, I began to understand why he was such a grumpy man (I don't exactly think of 59 as being OLD). I felt compassion for him. The cat. I read mixed reviews on the cat, and found myself annoyed at Ove's initial rotten treatment of it. But, then his neighbors move in and that's when the hilarity ensued. I got myself laughing out loud at the way Ove and the woman bickered back and forth. This is such a simple story, really. Yet, it's one that made me realize that behind a grumpy person there is a story. The ending... it made me smile, and then of course I was sad that there was an ending. If you've saved this book to your "to read" list, just do it. It was a refreshing story to enjoy....more
I want to preface this review by saying the five star rating is for the very personal way that Emeril talks about his life, his family and his experieI want to preface this review by saying the five star rating is for the very personal way that Emeril talks about his life, his family and his experiences. I haven't made any recipes, yet...however, I have made (and blogged) several of his recipes. They all turned out perfectly, and so yes-- I am a big fan of Emeril Lagasse. Just the other day, I was lamenting that I really miss Emeril Lagasse's Food Network show. That was back in the day, when the Food Network actually had great chefs who taught you how to cook. Unfortunately, FN let him go because of how much he was being paid, and because they felt he was dated. Dated, Schmated. FN lost one of it's shining stars, and that show has gone downhill ever since. He's a classically trained chef, and I really like his recipes. I put him in a similar category to Tyler Florence-- both professional chefs, who develop recipes that are sophisticated, but written so that someone like me believes I can make this, too.
This is not a cookbook for someone who is learning to cook, by any means. I consider myself to be an amateur, but experienced cook and baker. So, when I saw that Emeril had just released this cookbook, I immediately downloaded it into my kindle. I was not disappointed! I was so anxious to see all the recipes, that I skimmed past the preface, speed reading about Emeril's life, his mother's influence and all kinds of great cooking tips (I will return to that later). This cookbook is loaded with so many recipes, that I bookmarked at least half of them-- probably more. For the appetizer section, Emeril presents a few recipes that uses both truffle oil and truffle butter. At least he understands that the average Joe Schmo can't afford to buy real truffles! The portobello-truffle emulsion sounds amazing, and I think this will go on our Christmas Eve party menu. The House-Smoked Salmon Cheesecake with Parmesan-Panko Crust and Chieve Creme Fraiche looks a bit fussy, but one I'm totally willing to tackle. When I read the directions, it's explained well, and I'm confident I can do this. Oh, there are step-by-step photos, too that I found to be very helpful throughout the cookbook. There are cocktail recipes...soup recipes like double chile spiked tortilla soup that sounds delicious. There are MANY entrees that I want to make. The grouper chowder has my name all over it. The Barolo-Braised short ribs with mascarpone polenta...come to mama! (If I can't find Barolo, Emeril gives substitute ideas. Nice.) The Roy-Choi-Inspired Korean-Style Pot Roast Tacos sound doable with ingredients I won't have to drive to San Francisco China Town to find. There are so many recipes with Asian, Indian, Creole, French influence... Rack of lamb, turkey roulade, Spicy Buttermilk Fried Chicken with Pepper Jelly Drizzle, Lousiana-Style Cassoulet...oh, and how to make your own chicken confit, or duck confit! Oh, yes! There are plenty of crab and shrimp recipes to choose from, too. Risottos...potatoes, sweet potato souffle, Lemon-Garlic crusted Cauliflower, Cheddar, Bacon, Apple and Pecan Spoonbread... good grief I my taste buds were working overtime with longing. I love it when a chef likes to bake as well. Emeril has some beautiful desserts to try-- some very unusual, some his twist on classics. Blueberry Beignets, Portugese Doughnuts, Banana Cream Pie with Caramel and Chocolate Drizzles (I was dying at the full color picture of that dessert), Portuguese Custard tartlettes (these are high on my priority list to make). The Mile-High Icebox Chocolate-Peanut Butter Pie... I'm not the biggest fan of peanut butter in desserts, but this recipe definitely has a bookmark on it! The triple coconut cake with seven-minute coconut frosting...classic Southern, and one I need to try (already blogged 3 other coconut cake recipes, why not one more?) I like the way Emeril shares a short story about a fellow chef, how that person influenced him and then a recipe he developed in honor of that person. The photos of each dish are well done-- not over-the-top food styled, but definitely done in such a way that you want to make that recipe. I'll be reading this one from the beginning all over again. ...more
Five stars to Reese Witherspoon's EXCELLENT narration of this book. The rest of the story.... it wavered between three and four stars. I found myselfFive stars to Reese Witherspoon's EXCELLENT narration of this book. The rest of the story.... it wavered between three and four stars. I found myself laughing at Scout's stories about her childhood. That was the best part. But, the conversation between Scout and her Uncle often left me thinking....what??? What is the point? Even at the very end, I was left thinking-- what the heck was this really all about. It's not fair to compare this book to To Kill A Mockingbird (which is one of the few books I've read more than once). They are just so very different. It was an okay read/listen, but definitely not one of my most memorable books....more
I don't want to bash this book as much as some readers have. I listened to the audio version, and the narrator gets 5 stars. It's a tough act to folloI don't want to bash this book as much as some readers have. I listened to the audio version, and the narrator gets 5 stars. It's a tough act to follow from Me Before You (which I read and loved). I've read other books from JoJo Moyes, and really enjoyed them. This one... hmmm. Personally, I'm drawn to characters who are strong and courageous. People who are indecisive, and "weak" are very hard characters for me to identify with. Louisa annoyed me a bit, in this sequel. I almost found her pathetic and depressing. I wanted to say "snap out of being a victim for cripes sake!" Her family is as dysfunctional as it gets, but this time I didn't get as much of the humor that the author usually interjects. I rather liked Luisa's sister, who really told her off for basically screwing up every opportunity she's had to make a better life for herself. Tell her, sister! Lilly. She's an interesting character who only added to my frustration with Louisa. Allowing a 16 year old to crash at her flat, drinking and smoking? Seriously, Luisa? Are you really helping her? I wanted to call Child Protective Services, I just hated this part of the story. I hated Lilly's mom and wanted to see her lousy parenting have some sort of straightening out. I digress... I'm not saying who Lilly is, so I don't give an early spoilers. It's revealed early enough. I began to understand Lilly's reckless behavior, and felt sorry for her. Why in the world did Luisa stick with that dreadful job? Why did she jump to conclusions so easily? I can't stand it when a character does that, and then just cuts someone off. Good grief, woman. Why presume someone has done something terrible? Why can't you have the courage to ask? See what I mean? The story left me feeling kind of flat. I liked Sam's character and I had hoped for a different ending. The ending... yeah, that one. It just left me feeling like this wasn't much of a sequel at all. If I have anything revelations to share on this story, it's about learning to move on with your life and shedding any guilt that those who are left behind tend to have. That's really about it. ...more
Five stars to the audible version of this book. Great narration with good accents for the different characters. As for the story, this is a saga afterFive stars to the audible version of this book. Great narration with good accents for the different characters. As for the story, this is a saga after my heart. I was swept from India to England, back and forth-- between palaces and estates and poverty in two different centuries. I don't write reviews that have a synopsis of the story because there already is one, so I'll skip that part. I found the story riveting. I love a female protagonist who is strong, and Anahita delivered in a good way. This is a love story that parallels between the Indian caste system and the "Society/Blue-Blood" society in the early 20th century. The story begins in the present time (21st century) and reveals Anahita's story that she has written for her grandson to read. After much reluctance, her great-grandson finally decides to go to England to find out if her son really died or not. )Ani has a gift, and she is convinced that he didn't die as a young boy, and has never stopped saying so.) Her story is fascinating, from her childhood where she makes her lifelong friend, Indira. There is also a present day story with Rebbecca, who is beautiful American actress. She finds herself filming a movie from the same period as the original occupants of the magnificent estate where Anahita once spent time. I found myself wondering how all of these characters from the past and present would twine together. Towards the very end of the book, I found myself literally burning the midnight oil. I just HAD to know if Anahita was right. Did her son really die? What was Rebecca's role in all of this? Would there be a happy ending? The story tied things up pretty well. It's a bittersweet story of love between two people from completely different backgrounds. I really enjoyed the story very much....more
Two stars only for the narrator. I was really looking forward to listening to this audible book, but the narrator was awful-- wooden, monotone... I coTwo stars only for the narrator. I was really looking forward to listening to this audible book, but the narrator was awful-- wooden, monotone... I couldn't imagine listening to 30 hours of his voice. I don't recommend this as an audible book at all. Fortunately, I can return audible books and get my credit back. ...more
I absolutely loved listening to the narrator of this audio book. Ora Lee, how I loved your inner character. This is a woman after my heart. This storyI absolutely loved listening to the narrator of this audio book. Ora Lee, how I loved your inner character. This is a woman after my heart. This story remind me a bit of Fried Green Tomatoes, with a dash of To Kill a Mocking Bird, and a sprinkle of The Help. I love stories that are centered in the South. This story takes place in the 70's and racism is still happening, but some positive changes are slowly taking place. Ora Lee is a widowed white woman who doesn't see color. She's a strong-willed woman, who has a compassionate heart. I loved the narrator's southern drawl that was spoken in a soothing voice, laced with honey. When Ora Lee would stand up against people who are racists, I applauded her. She was funny. She was clever. She loved Blanche and her children and didn't give a hoot what anyone else thought of her relationship with this black family...and of course, the Pecan Man. Ora Lee was faced with keeping a lie, in order to protect those she loved. Her conscience suffered for it, and there were consequences. It's a very short listen (or read), and I was sorry that the story was coming to an end. There are endearing characters, some laughs and certainly some sad events. The end tied up with an unexpected twist. This is one of my favorite audible books I've ever listened to-- the narrator, the story and the moral character of Ora Lee made is worth the read....more