This audiobook is not beautifully written, but two accomplished narrators do everything they can to make it gripping listening. Granted, it is not easy to make the calculations of relativistic physics (around which much of the story revolves) exciting, but there is a great deal of chasing around western Russia in 1914. Plummer, narrating the chapters from female points of view,... Read More
This novel shifts in time from the steel-boom era of 1918 to 1962, offering the perfect stage for narrator Christina Delaine's voice, which can be smooth as dark chocolate or sharp as a razor. Her husband's position as head of Collier Steel requires that Joanna and their kids move to the Collier family mansion in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. There, she will assist her... Read More
Listeners feel the streets of eighteenth-century Spitalfields, London, come alive through the stunning performances of narrators Esther Wane and Shiromi Arserio. In this fictional account of the challenging world of the silk trade, Esther Thorel is the bored wife of a master silk weaver. Sara Kemp is trapped in a brothel and desperate to get out. Esther believes she is saving... Read More
Once again, Simon Vance is in the wheelhouse with another strong performance of an expansive novel. Kay's fantasy seems less concerned with creating new worlds and more concerned with adding elements of freedom and imagination to whispers of history. The result is an engrossing tale full of drama and intrigue. Vance's voice is regal and enthusiastic, leaping into the spirit of... Read More
Listeners will be richly entertained by this historical audiobook, set in early 1920s Hollywood. Irene, Millie, and Henry meet on the burlesque circuit and head to Hollywood, where they help each other deal with obstacles in their personal and professional lives. Narrator Lisa Flanagan infuses each character with a compelling personality as she keeps the pace of the story... Read More
This fictional but plausible memoir features a lesbian mulatto servant who is accused of killing her master and mistress in 1825 London. Sara Collins narrates her own novel in a voice filled with resignation; her voice sounds upper-class English with Caribbean intonations. Frannie's terrible suffering is clear--she was once a slave on a Jamaican sugar plantation who was forced... Read More
How splendid that the audiobook celebrating the titular character, who is a storyteller, is offered to us by two talented narrators. Cynthia Farrell and Timothy Pabon share the narrative responsibility here, and the result is outstanding. Farrell's performance is richly textured and brimming with enthusiasm. Her voice has a resonant quality that gives it depth; her narration of... Read More
In 1940, thousands of Jews in France tried to escape the Holocaust, their flights financed by wealthy American Jews. Edoardo Ballerini narrates this fictional account of Varian Fry, the real-life American journalist who bravely orchestrated the journeys of thousands of European Jews from France. The intensity of actual events is beautifully reconstructed in the author's... Read More
Narrators Lisa Flanagan and Daniel Oreskes transport listeners to twentieth-century Paris in a haunting audiobook that infuses war and romance with magical realism. It's 1989, and Sylvie is mourning the death of her husband, Julien. She accidentally finds an envelope that leads her on a search for Julien's long-lost niece, who may or may not have survived the roundup of Jews in... Read More
Each of the narrators delivers this story of love and friendship from an individual character's perspective. The novel involves the Russian Revolution of 1914-1917 and the upper classes of New York during that period. Tavia Gilbert adopts a passionate, sometimes strident, voice for Eliza Ferriday, New York socialite and protector of White Russian emigrés. Kathleen Gati uses a... Read More
AudioFile Golden Voice Barbara Rosenblat brings her inimitable style and incredible range to Benjamin's roman à clef based on an actual couple who were resistance fighters during WWII. Claude Auzello, manager of the famous Ritz Hotel in Paris, meets outrageous American Blanche Ross and pursues her so persistently that she marries him. Problems arise almost immediately. Claude... Read More
In an unvarnished performance, JD Jackson captures the inevitable aftermath of America's buried legacy of racism and violence. Elwood Curtis was headed for college when he was sentenced to Nickel Academy, a segregated reform school. Inspired by the burgeoning Civil Rights movement, Elwood aims to defy the system and survive with his ideals intact. It's clear-eyed Turner,... Read More
Listeners can expect tears to well up when Anne Dover narrates this heartbreaking story of two English sisters who are abandoned by their mother and raised in an orphanage, where they are bound together by sorrow and suffering--and love. Dover reads this WWII novel with passion and precision, portraying the characters expertly. Listeners won't forget the woeful voice of little... Read More
In this audiobook, the author imagines a year in the young life of poet Elizabeth Bishop, with Madeleine Maby offering an able performance. The narrative unfolds in loosely chronological episodes that recount Bishop's 1937 visit to Paris with friends from Vassar. Some details are examined minutely and others breezed over or left ambiguous. The effect is sometimes beautiful and... Read More
Narrator Cassandra Campbell masterfully creates, sustains, and switches among a wide array of accents from the British Isles. Her skill produces authentic-sounding dialogue from the generous number of characters in this historical romance. The primary character, an Irish immigrant in nineteenth-century New York, works as a lady's maid to an upper-class Yankee, drinks at the... Read More
Against the backdrop of postwar London, a time when many were piecing together shattered lives, Sidney Chambers faces his own battles as he attempts to rebuild his life following his wartime experience. Narrator Peter Wickham injects warmth and feeling into Sidney's journey as he embarks on the twisting road to the priesthood. He skillfully brings the protagonists to life with... Read More
Saskia Maarleveld narrates this dual-time-period audiobook with care and empathy. With the help of well-placed connections, 13-year-old Romy Bernfeld and her parents, who are Jewish, flee Nazi-occupied Austria for Shanghai, one of the few places in the world where no visa is required for entry. The contemporary story concerns Romy's granddaughter, Alexandra, who travels from... Read More
Jayne Entwistle's flawless narration brings to life a small English village, the city of London, and the many memorable characters in this WWII novel. When bossy Mrs. Braithwaite is "fired" from her volunteer job, she decides to visit her daughter, Betty, who's doing war work in London. There, Betty's timid landlord, Mr. Norris, who is artfully portrayed, confesses that Betty... Read More
A new series from Philippa Gregory is always a chance to do a happy dance. Louise Brealey's exceptional narration gives this title the life it deserves. In 1648, after his defeat in England's Civil War, King Charles is exiled to the Isle of Wight. Superstition and religious persecution permeate the tiny town and desolate tidelands of the region. One of the inhabitants is wise... Read More
Narrator Lauren Ezzo brings depth and tension to this historical paranormal tale. When pernicious rumors destroy the Montrose family's social standing in early-nineteenth-century Boston, Lydia, along with her parents and sisters, is forced to relocate to their country home, Willow Hall. Lydia is only beginning to understand the powers she has inherited, but as lies, mysteries,... Read More
Narrator Lisa Flanagan paints completely believable portraits of the three women at the heart of WUNDERLAND. Best friends Ilse and Renate become progressively entangled in the ever-growing web of Nazism in 1933 Berlin. In 1989, Ava, Ilse's daughter, receives a package containing her mother's ashes and a packet of unsent letters written by Ilse to Renate. Flanagan is just right... Read More
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