Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris

Midnight Crossroad by Charlaine HarrisMidnight Crossroad by Charlaine Harris
Narrator: Susan Bennett
Series: ,
Published by Recorded Books on 5/6/14
Genres: Mystery, Paranormal

Story: B
Narration: A

Publisher’s Blurb:

“From Charlaine Harris, the best-selling author who created Sookie Stackhouse the world of Bon Temps, Louisiana, comes a new, darker world – populated by more strangers than friends. But then, that’s how the locals prefer it.

Welcome to Midnight, Texas, a town with many boarded-up windows and few full-time inhabitants, located at the crossing of Witch Light Road and Davy Road. It’s a pretty standard dried-up western town. There’s a pawnshop (someone lives in the basement and is seen only at night). There’s a diner (people who are just passing through tend not to linger). And there’s new resident Manfred Bernardo, who thinks he’s found the perfect place to work in private (and who has secrets of his own). Stop at the one traffic light in town, and everything looks normal. Stay awhile, and learn the truth….”

My Thoughts:

Charlaine Harris culls two characters from other series she’s written and drops them in the town of Midnight, TX.  Manfred Bernardo – a young psychic who makes a living providing scam readings over the internet interspersed with true psychic visions – moves from the Harper Connolly series to this new trilogy. Bobo Winthrop – on the run from a family legacy of racism and violence covered in depth in the Lily Bard series – lands in Midnight and seems to have found his place in the world. Of course, there’s a host of other residents in town who weave into the story and each one is unusual. Bobo’s tenants: pale Lemuel who only comes out at night and the drop-dead gorgeous Olivia Charity are as deadly as they are mysterious. Across the street from the pawnshop Bobo runs is Fiji Cavanaugh – the proprietor of a new-age shop offering occultist paraphernalia and self-discovery workshops – who is a witch with unexpected power and and amusingly named pet cat: Mr. Snuggles.

This book is a tightly woven combination of mystery and paranormal with the cast of a small-town cozy. As a standalone, it works very well. As someone familiar with the characters from her other series, I had a very hard time adjusting. The Harper Connolly and Lily Bard series always struck me as straight contemporaries, despite Harper’s psychic abilities. To find characters from that world thrown into a small Texas town with vampires and werewolves was jarring. Other than the genre change speed-bump, they actually work really well as characters here and anyone unfamiliar with their pasts should find their presence seamless to the story.

As Manfred learns more about the town and its residents, Bobo’s ex-girlfriend’s body is discovered and he’s the primary suspect in her death. To compound his situation, white supremacists who believe he is in possession of his dead grandfather’s weapons cache are eager to do whatever it takes to get their hands on it. The story moves at a nice clip and I found myself entirely engaged throughout. It was only after it was over that I felt the lack of character building. There’s a thin layer of background for each person and an emotional depth (or lack) that’s primarily comprised of longing and unrequited love but with nothing for a reader to really sink her teeth into.

That kind of perceived flaw is usually a significant issue for me but the story was a lot of fun and it was such a nicely paced plot with a well-blended mix of genres and character types that, in conjunction with an audiobook narration that gave so much vocal depth to characters that it masked much of their actual lack of depth, I ended up enjoying this audiobook immensely and recommend it.

The Narration:

This was my first experience with narrator Susan Bennett and part-way through I stopped to look at what other books she’s done with the intent to pick some up. I was very impressed with her performance. First and foremost was the delightfully dry delivery she brought to the humor; she nailed all the amusing lines without missing a beat. Her character interpretations were excellent, giving me fully-voiced personae with clearly transmitted emotional nuances and varied speech patterns. Her voicing of the eventually-revealed villain of the story was excellent and surprisingly hackle-raising in its ability to reveal shifting glimpses of the evil hiding behind a… well, I’ll let you discover that for yourself.

The story opens with a third-person present tense narrative, a la Pushing Daisies, and Ms. Bennett provides the vocal equivalent (via voice tone) of a camera slowly spiraling in on the little town of Midnight as the omniscient narrator lands us in the story underway. With the switch to third-person past, the sense of being present in every moment is nicely delivered and the narration was perfect for my tastes: lightly burnished with a down-home flavor in terms of accents and laconic delivery and sweeping me into the story without distraction.

Every Day by David Levithan

Every Day by David LevithanEvery Day by David Levithan
Narrator: Alex McKenna
Series: Every Day #1
Published by Listening Library on 8/28/12
Genres: Science Fiction, Young Adult

Every day a different body. Every day a different life. Every day in love with the same girl.

There’s never any warning about where it will be or who it will be. A has made peace with that, even established guidelines by which to live: Never get too attached. Avoid being noticed. Do not interfere.

It’s all fine until the morning that A wakes up in the body of Justin and meets Justin’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. From that moment, the rules by which A has been living no longer apply. Because finally A has found someone he wants to be with—day in, day out, day after day.

Story: C-
Narration: B-

Quick Review:

Although the premise was intriguing and provided a clever framework for a discussion of gender identity, sexual orientation, and the politics of gender expression, there was a such a lack of depth to the primary relationship (that was, ostensibly, the primary motivation for all of the protagonist’s actions) that the story seemed far less of a stimulating philosophical exercise or a plot driven book and more of an excuse for thinly veiled moralizing. The narration was likely what sustained me enough to finish the book.

*Note: this review contains a mild (possible) spoiler*

My Thoughts:

I enjoyed several things about this book but the longer it went on the more irked I became by what I perceived as a weakness in how the story was constructed and in the dilution of some very interesting social issues caused by the sheer variety of them. When “A” – the only true name we know the protagonist by — hops into the body of a high school boy, she (he? A seems to be gender neutral but I’ll use “she” since the audiobook narrator was female) makes an immediate connection to her host’s girlfriend, Rhiannon. This instant attraction/love is what drives the rest of the book as A migrates from body to body on a 24 hour schedule, each day trying to find her way back to Rhiannon.

We know the transition happens at midnight and that the sex of the host doesn’t matter. A seems to body jump to someone who is the same age (she grew up — literally and figuratively — jumping) she is chronologically and the hosts seem to be in the same general geographic location (within the same state) she is. By the end, though, I was left with a lot of unanswered questions about the how and why of A’s ability to switch bodies. While that would have worked for me if the book held steady to a philosophical/social issues bent, it became a niggling issue for me when the end of the story seemed to try to straighten itself into a more conventional plot-driven spec-fic book by introducing another body jumper and starting A on the path to discovering who else like her was out there and how she could better control her jumps. I do have to take part of the blame for the frustration those unanswered questions caused because I formed an expectation that this was a stand-alone book rather than part of a series and it seems pretty clear it’s intended to be the first in a series.

The impression we get is that Rhiannon is beaten down by her relationship with Justin and that she’s desperately unhappy but there’s little to no in-depth interactions that establish that. A also doesn’t seem to identify any character traits in Rhiannon that drives the intense attraction; she just decides Rhiannon is “the one” and then keeps showing up wherever Rhiannon is, wanting to forge a connection. This lack of solid background and character development makes Rhiannon seem like little more than a placeholder and a very tenuous anchor with which to tether the story of A’s body jumps. It also made A seem like a bit of a stalker since there was a large disparity in the level of feeling Rhiannon and A had for each other for much of the book.

Those body jumps then end up seeming issue driven: the lesbian host, the host who is a bully, the undocumented worker, the goth girl suffering from depression who plans to kill herself, the obese host, the transgender host, etc. When this method of illuminating a social or psychological issue works, it can be very moving for the listener (the suicidal host was particularly well-written and I found myself wishing the story would completely branch off there and permanently hop to that side-story) but the quick jump to the next issue (especially if it was less than successfully portrayed as was the case with the obese host) made it feel like a cheap “throw it all at the wall and see what sticks” parlor trick rather than in in-depth consideration of gender or sexual identity or mental health or… you get the point.

Also problematic for me was the disregard A ended up showing for the host bodies after initially seeming to respect that she was just visiting. Once Rhiannon entered the picture, A was fine with making the host bodies do whatever was necessary to get close to her. Mid-way through there was a moment of “this body has never had sex so I don’t feel right having sex with you while I’m in it” but that seemed a pretty spurious moral decision considering her out-of-character (for the host) actions before and after that scene — including being responsible for one host body getting beaten up. This felt more like inconsistency in characterization rather than an attempt to delve into how Rhiannon influenced A’s existing moral compass or a cautionary tale about how crazy love can make someone act. On the other hand, a discussion I had with someone about this book also pointed out to me that kind of inconsistent behavior and indecision is a pretty typical teen characteristic.

Where this book did succeed for me (yes, it did on some levels) was the manner in which A was made convincingly gender-neutral. Although I would have been just as happy with a specifically female or male A swapping bodies and engaging in romantic interactions with both sexes, that would be preaching to the choir and the gender neutral A worked well to emphasize the universal nature of love — regardless of the sex of the object of affection. I also found the premise exceedingly clever and it was an excellent framework that could have been used to either dig deeply into one or two social issues (rather than callowly skimming over many) via the vehicle of very accessible fiction or to cleverly twist listener expectations until the brittle ones break.

Overall it was a book that started well for me but kind of fell apart as it went along. I didn’t hate it and the aspects that failed for me might very well be exactly what appeals to a teen reader struggling with their sexual or gender identity

The Narration:

Alex McKenna has rough/craggy voice (more so in this audiobook than in the other audio samples of her work I listened to) that my ear needed to adjust to. Although the character voices were easily distinguishable, the persistence of a very noticeable vocal characteristic like that across all the characters, many of who are high school kids, wasn’t ideal in terms of allowing each character to seem real and unique. It was ideal for creating a relatively gender neutral voice for A that helped maintain my connection with her character without being jarred by the changes in the sex of her host bodies. I’m also going to hypothesize that it might also subconsciously mitigate some of the immediate outrage some listeners might feel based on the diversity of sexual/gender identity covered. Ms. McKenna delivered the text with thoughtfulness and she inhabited the characters fully. The dialogue was natural sounding and overall, the narration ended up working pretty well for me.

Best of 2013 Audiobook Blog Hop

Best-of-2103-Blog-Hop

January 1st kicks off the Best of 2013 Audiobook Blog Hop hosted by The Book NymphoHot Listens, and Geeky Bloggers Book Blog and I’m excited to join in and share my top listens from the past year.

Even as I write this I can imagine all the audiobooks in my TBL queue muttering about how they could have been one of my top three listens of 2013 if only I’d stopped continuously adding to the pile and actually listened to more of them. I feel a little guilty picking favorites when there were so many I never got to. That’s one of the things I like about “Best of…” blog hops, though: not only does it point me toward something I might not have tried otherwise, it reminds me of what I might already have but have been ignoring. I look forward to what you might have to share as your favorites but in the meantime and in no particular order, here are my top three listens of 2013.

Best of 2013 Audiobook Blog HopThe Woman Upstairs by Claire Messud
Narrator: Cassandra Campbell
Published by Random House Audio on 4/30/13
Genres: Literary Fiction
Format: Audiobook
four-half-stars

 

How much success do you have when you venture outside your usual listening tastes? My reading habits this year altered somewhat and this book was partially to blame. I don’t read a lot of literary fiction and after I finished The Woman Upstairs, I had to ask myself why. Beautiful use of language, pages and pages of highlight-worthy lines, complex characters, and intricate emotional dynamics can be found in this story of a woman who – like most of us already have or will do at some point – questions what she’s done (or more importantly, hasn’t done) with her life.  The listener knows that the steps she takes to push beyond her quiet and secure life are bound to end in disaster but I could only watch in fascination as it all came together and then fell apart. Cassandra Campbell turned in an excellent performance with her narration of this audio and her delivery let me experience the content of this book very differently than I would have if I’d read it, to my clear benefit.

Thirteenth ChildThirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede
Series: Frontier Magic #1
Read by: Amanda Ronconi
Length: 9 hrs 30 mins
Published by Audible, Inc. on 6/5/13

 

Although I chose not to review this one on the site, it was one of my favorite 2013 listens. I’d read the book several years ago but was hesitant to try the audio for a re-read because I associate the narrator, Amanda Ronconi, so closely with Molly Harper’s books. I consider Harper/Ronconi to be one of the best pairings in audio and I wasn’t sure if her voice and delivery style could make the transition from goofy romantic snark to alternate-history frontier America YA. Foolish me – that’s a narrator’s job, after all.

This coming of age story uses the emotional impact of being unable to work magic and being thought of as an unlucky thirteenth child as stand-ins for the emotional uncertainties of adolescence. There’s vivid and creative alternate-world-building where magical creatures occupy the American West – held back from the civilized territories by a magical barrier that follows the Mammoth river – and it’s the ever expanding westward march of settlers that gives Francine “Eff” Rothmer a chance to shed her thirteenth child reputation and find out who she really is. Ronconi settles into the personalities, voices, and accents of a large cast of characters with ease and perfectly captures the sibling dynamics of the very large Rothmer family as well as all the emotional nuances of Eff’s transition from insecure adolescent to mature adult. This is the first in an immersive audiobook trilogy.

The Sea of TranquilityThe Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay
Read by: Candace ThaxtonKirby Heyborne
Length: 13 hrs 10 mins
Published by Simon & Schuster Audio on 6/4/13

 

Angst, trauma, drama, romance, high school, family conflict, fitting in… it sounds like a stereotypical YA book, right? This one stands out from the crowd in oh so many ways for me. The tragedy that drives the protagonist happens prior to the opening of the story and the listener witnesses both the slow unfolding of Nastya’s past and how she deals with that damage in the present. Nothing happens quickly in this book: no insta-love, no magic boy or healing sex that makes everything better. It’s a story with some pretty solid psychology in character motivations and actions and it’s a slow process for both Nastya and Josh to work their way back to functional, let alone “normal.” Despite that (or perhaps because of it) each scene still manages to contain enough character reveal or emotional tension to drive the story forward and engross the listener.

Kirby Heyborne gives Josh a (character appropriate) almost detached mien for much of the book which left me unprepared for the emotional impact of that mien shattering. Candace Thaxton wowed me with a conversational and intimate delivery that alternated between Nastya’s brittle protective facade and glimpses of the fragile house of cards that was her coping mechanisms. The combined power of the story and the narration caught me by surprise and this one rounds out my top three listens of 2013.

If you’re not participating in the blog hop, I’d love to hear about your favorite listens of the past year in the comments.

 

The blog hop hosts are giving away a six month Audible.com membership (entry form just below). In addition, I’ll gift an audiobook of your choice to one random commenter on this post. The winner must be able to redeem a gift audiobook at either Audible.com or Audible.co.uk and will be drawn on 1/15/14 and notified via e-mail. 

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Don’t forget to check out the other blog hop participants:

Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor

Night of Cake & Puppets by Laini TaylorNight of Cake & Puppets by Laini Taylor
Narrator: Kevin T. Collins, Khristine Hvam
Series: Daughter of Smoke and Bone #2.5
Published by Hachette Audio on 12/5/13
Genres: Fantasy, Romance

Story: A
Narration: A-

Quick Review:

Adorable! An amusing and romantic short story set in the generally more serious universe of Daughter of Smoke and Bone. The dual narration was unexpectedly perfect. Honestly? Don’t bother with the review, just go buy the audio.

Publisher’s Blurb:

In Night of Cake & Puppets, Taylor brings to life a night only hinted at in the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy—the magical first date of fan-favorites Zuzana and Mik. Told in alternating perspectives, it’s the perfect love story for fans of the series and new readers alike. Petite though she may be, Zuzana is not known for timidity. Her best friend, Karou, calls her “rabid fairy,” her “voodoo eyes” are said to freeze blood, and even her older brother fears her wrath. But when it comes to the simple matter of talking to Mik, or “Violin Boy,” her courage deserts her. Now, enough is enough. Zuzana is determined to meet him, and she has a fistful of magic and a plan. It’s a wonderfully elaborate treasure hunt of a plan that will take Mik all over Prague on a cold winter’s night before finally leading him to the treasure: herself! Violin Boy’s not going to know what hit him.

My Thoughts:

I think I’m pretty much onboard to read anything Laini Taylor wants to write but when I heard that there was an upcoming novella about Zuzana and Mik – characters from the fantastic Daughter of Smoke and Bone series – I… er… I may have squeed aloud. A little bit. And pestered @HachetteAudio to find out if there would be an audio version. Some of my favorite scenes in Daughter of Smoke and Bone and Days of Blood and Starlight contain Zuzana. As the perfect humorous foil for the darker material in the book, she got most of the funny lines and I glommed onto her like a raft in the emotional storm that was Karou’s life. I was pleased to discover that this novella lived up to my expectations.

Although we get a short glimpse of the early friendship between Karou and Zuzana, the story is primarily about Zuzanna as she plots her first date with Mik and leads him on a treasure hunt to get to it. Unexpectedly, we also get to hear Mik’s perspective on this adventure. Both characters speak directly to the listener which is a conceit that can sometimes be a bit problematic for me when it’s overdone or seems too clever. In this case it worked perfectly and made me feel like I was overhearing a conversation in a coffee shop the day after a first date.

In addition to the magic of romance, there’s a little of the real magic that inhabits the DoSaB world and they blend together well. As in the full-length novels, Prague comes alive in the story and the atmosphere of one snowy night in that ancient city is a vivid construction in the listener’s imagination. The imagery is beautifully rendered and the phrasing is well-written. This is a sweet, adorable, and laugh-out-loud funny story that’s a perfect companion to the series or a lovely stand-alone listen when you’re in the mood to be charmed.

I was going to include some quotes of the amusing or well-worded parts of this novella but then I realized I’d been cutting and pasting practically the entire book and decided…perhaps not. As a short précis of Zuzana, though, I can’t resist:

“I mean, who would I be if I’d been raised on milquetoast bedtime stories and not forced to dust the glass prison of a psychotic undead fox Cossack? I shudder to think.

I might wear lace collars and laugh flower petals and pearls. People might try to pat me. I see them think it. My height triggers the puppy-kitten reflex – Must touch – and I’ve found that since you can’t electrify yourself like a fence, the next best thing is to have murderer’s eyes.”

and a bit later…

“Anyone with an older brother can tell you: Cunning is required. Even if you’re not miniature like me – four foot eleven in a good mood, as little as four foot eight when in despair, which is way too often lately – morphology is on the side of brothers. They’re bigger. Their fists are heavier. Physically, we don’t stand a chance. Hence the evolution of ‘little-sister brain.’

Artful, conniving, pitiless. No doubt about it, being a little sister – emphasis on little – has been formative, though I take pride in knowing that Tomas is more scarred by years of tangling with me than vice versa. But more than anyone or anything else, it’s Deda who is responsible for the landscape of my mind, the mood and scenery, the spires and shadows. When I think about kids (which isn’t often, except to wish them elsewhere and stop just short of deploying them hence with my foot), the main reason I would consider…begetting any (in a theoretical sense, in the far-distant future) is so that I can practice upon small, developing brains the same degree of mind-molding my grandfather has practiced on us.”

As for Mik…the cat analogy… oh, the cat analogy. It was brilliant and amusing and so well voiced by Kevin T. Collins that I’m not going to quote it but only suggest you listen to it yourself. This novella is well worth a listen and likely several re-listens.

The Narration:

I was concerned when I saw that this novella was going to be voiced by dual narrators. I was please to see that Khristine Hvam would be narrating – after all, she does such a great job with the full-length books in the series – but why did we need another voice? Well, aside from the fact that the story is actually broken out into “Her” and “Him” alternating sections, as it turns out, Kevin T. Collins was awesome as Mik.

Each narrator brings personality and individualization to the characters: from the squeak when Zuzana gets excited about what she’s saying to the tentative uncertainty Mik displays and the way in which Mr. Collins leverages perfect inflections to build the character and his mood and personality in my mind, this pairing was audio gold.

Why the “-” to the A” grade? I heard a little inconsistency in Zuzana’s accent and Mr. Collins uses a lot of breath(iness) to push out Mik’s lines. These were very minor issues as the narration was above average and makes audio the way to go with this story.

The Translator by Nina Schuyler

The Translator by Nina SchuylerThe Translator by Nina Schuyler
Narrator: Kirsten Potter
Published by AudioGO Ltd. on 7/1/13
Genres: Literary Fiction
Source: Audiobook Jukebox

 

 

Story: B
Narration: B+

Quick Review:

I liked this book quite a bit. The overall concept, the design of the protagonist’s character/story arc, the parallels between Hanne’s translation ability and how she related to people… all of that held a strong intellectual appeal for me. From the perspective of my internal emotional reader, it took me a long time to fall in sync with what was taking place in the story and although the emotional distress experienced by the characters felt realistic, I neither connected to it personally nor did I have much sympathy for Hanne or her daughter or Moto. That doesn’t make it a bad book (far from it) it just means I had two distinct experiences while listening but I consider it time well spent.

Publisher’s Blurb:

When renowned translator Hanne Schubert falls down a flight of stairs, she suffers from an unusual but real condition — the loss of her native language. Speaking only Japanese, a language learned later in life, she leaves for Japan. There, to Hanne’s shock, the Japanese novelist whose work she recently translated confronts her publicly for sabotaging his work.

Reeling, Hanne seeks out the inspiration for the author’s novel — a tortured, chimerical actor, once a master in the art of Noh theater. Through their passionate, volatile relationship, Hanne is forced to reexamine how she has lived her life, including her estranged relationship with her daughter. In elegant and understated prose, Nina Schuyler offers a deeply moving and mesmerizing story about language, love, and the transcendence of family.

My Thoughts:

Although there are no sudden revelations in this book that will take a listener by surprise, I’m throwing out the spoiler flag at the start of this review because there is a slow build in learning about the protagonist and the story took a path that I wasn’t initially anticipating. That was part of what made this book enjoyable for me and I’m going to talk about some of those aspects of character revelation in the review.

As the motivation for a protagonist’s flight from her existing life into one that forces her to re-evaluate her relationships and how she perceives the world, losing the ability to communicate via your primary language is an intriguing and clever catalyst for a novel’s arc. When Hanne Schubert is suddenly unable to speak any language other than Japanese, she begins a journey that brings her to a point where she is forced to confront the fact that, for her entire life, her ability to seamlessly move from language to language – deriving full meaning from each one – is the polar opposite of how she relates to people and personalities that differ from hers. Hanne’s daughter, Brigitte, whom she has always viewed as too sensitive and as someone who needs to develop resiliency in order to be successful or survive in life, is set adrift by her mother’s inability to understand her.

The book opens with Hanne translating a book from Japanese to English. She develops an obsession with the main character, Jiro, and constructs what she thinks is a deep and full knowledge of who the character is – to the extent that he features in her fantasy life. When Hanne is accused by the book’s author of completely misunderstanding who Jiro is and botching the translation, she seeks out the person rumored to be the inspiration for the character – a Noh actor named Moto – and starts down the painful path of realizing that not only has she mistranslated the book, she’s been “mistranslating” her daughter all her life with disastrous consequences. Moto is similar in personality to Hanne’s daughter: mercurial, emotional, and sensitive. Once the smallest crack in her perceived ability to translate develops, finding herself in the orbit of someone so similar in personality to her daughter but with an adult-to-adult power dynamic leads to a painful series of personal revelations.

It took me a long time to be anything more than intellectually engaged by the writing. Part of that is a resistance to third person present tense as a method of connecting to characters (despite its putative sense of immediacy) and the story seemed weighted more towards “tell” expository rather than “show” descriptive. We spend a lot of time with Hanne and her thoughts and for that reason alone I was surprised it wasn’t in first person. It wasn’t written as an objective narrative and was limited in terms of the narrator’s knowledge and I sometimes had a sense of objectivity or scientific observation in the authorial voice.

Where it did work particularly well for my readerly sensibilities was in the tightly constructed way in which the depth of Hanne’s character was slowly uncovered. Although by the end I disliked the perspectives of both mother and daughter, how they reached that point was completely understandable and even if I thought Hanne was a horrible mother (FYI, I didn’t…exactly) I understood her and what motivated her parenting style. None of that understanding was conveyed to me via a wordy bat upside the head but was explained by simply allowing me to observe Hanne going about her life day-by-day with visibility to the reminiscences that would flit through anyone’s mind.

There’s a lot of food for thought in this book and for that alone it’s worth the listen.

The Narration:

My first thought in describing the narration is that if you’ve heard one Kirsten Potter narration you’ve heard them all but that might leave you with a negative impression. What I mean is that Ms. Potter is the most consistent narrator I’ve listened to in terms of delivering narrative in a measured and clearly articulated manner, character differentiation, point of view, emphasis, and back-and-forth dialogue from book-to-book. If you like her voice and narration style, which I do, then you know all you need to know if you’re deciding whether to go with the audiobook version or a text version because there won’t be any surprises for you in the narration.

Much of the novel takes place in Japan (well, most of it takes place in Hanne’s thoughts but…) and rather than utilize a Japanese accent per se, she simply adds a bit of formality to the delivery of native Japanese characters and that worked well for me. The passion Hanne feels as she goes about translating a novel is evident in the delivery and each character is uniquely presented. The third person present tense narrative has a first person presentation style which works well given the amount of time we spend with Hanne’s thoughts and musings. Overall, a good narration that gives full weight to the author’s words and intent.

 

 

Disclaimer: I received this audiobook without cost from AudioGo via the Solid Gold Reviewer program at Audiobookjukebox.com