Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Barefoot by Elin Hilderbrand

It's summer, and even lovers of YA books need a beach read sometimes! I picked this up at my local public library because the cover was about worn out--proof it has been loved!

Three women arrive on Nantucket for the summer. Vicki needs to get away from home because she has lung cancer and needs to begin chemotherapy. She doesn't know how to handle it--but at least her two boys can play at the beach if she's at the family cabin. Brenda is running away--she was just fired as a university professor for sleeping with one of her lit students, even though he was older than her. She's hoping to write a screenplay and make her problems disappear. And, I guess, she is trying to help with her sister's kids. Melanie is there on a fluke--she found out that her husband is sleeping with a butch co-worker and doesn't want to stop cheating. Melanie, however, knows that after years of trying, she is now finally pregnant.

All three women have some stories to tell and I was fascinated. Josh, the boys' babysitter, adds in the romance/intrigue, but also has a great story to read about. All in all, this was the perfect poolside read--I'm going to add this author's other books to my Goodreads to-read list.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Dressmaker by Kate Alcott, Read by Susan Duerden

Tess isn't a maid, but she's trying to work as one. Her dream is to be a seamstress, and when she learns that the new ship Titanic is hiring workers, she escapes her dreary position and takes a chance on a new life. She's extremely lucky that the Lady Duff Gordon takes her on as a maid. Lady Lucille is a talented English seamstress headed to NYC for a clothing design show. Tess and Lucille have an interesting relationship--Lucille is a witch who demands servitude, while Tess is independent enough to be thankful of her new position, but secretly hoping that she can use Lucille to launch her own success.

And then the Titanic goes down. Both women survive, but Lady Duff Gordon is in an almost empty lifeboat. The media maelstrom attacks the Duff Gordons, and Tess is forced to take sides. If she shows support for her boss, she might go down with the ship. But if she breaks ties with Lady Lucille, she might lose her chance in the design world.

Of course, there's love in the air, too. Tess must choose between a handsome woodworker she met on the ship, and the divorced rich man who tries to woo her. Oh, decisions!

I loved this audiobook--just the type of romance I like. Lots of history thrown in, along with some independent women. The reporter Pinky Wade is a great supportive character--female reporter for the Times demanding a raise? Heck, yeah!

This is another audio performer that I will be looking for--I thought her accents were great, the speed perfect for me, and I wanted to keep listening when I stopped driving!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare, Narrated by Ed Westwick and Heather Lind

I've been listening to audiobooks for years now, and I believe I'm becoming quite the audio snob. I managed to listen to 6 disks of this before moving on. Why? I'm not sure. I've loved Cassandra Clare's works before, and couldn't get enough of the first book in this series, Clockwork Angel. But this one never grabbed me. I was bored with the plot, and the male narrator spoke so slowly that my eyes were getting droopy in the car--not a good thing! And then the voice of Jessamine was so high-pitched that I found myself wincing when she spoke! I just didn't like the narration, but I will have to try the print version of the book soon.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende, Performed by Blair Brown

Allende is an author I've heard a lot about, but I'd never read anything by her. I'm glad I did!

Eliza is an orphan raised by three siblings in Chile. Their life is fascinating--I loved the information given about how whites live in Chile in the early 1800s and how the locals are treated. Eventually Eliza falls in love with a man she shouldn't, and she leaves Chile for California to find him during the Gold Rush. Along the way, she has many adventures--stowing away in a ship, dressing like a man, learning medicine, and befriending a Chinese herbalist.

I love good historical fiction, and this one had me hooked. I wanted to keep driving so I didn't have to stop listening! Blair Brown was a great narrator, too. Her voice was very pleasing and didn't distract from the story at all.