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Tail end (or tale's end) of the Tudor saga
This is apparently the last book the author will write on the Tudors and is about three Tudor sisters (cousins of Elizabeth 1), who sacrificed almost everything either for a religious ideal or for love. Because of the latter, I found the novel quite shallow and lacking in substance. I got quite bored with hearing how much two of the sisters loved their husbands. The book wasn't bad enough to abandon, but it was like drinking a very flat watered down Coke. Not at all satisfying after you were expecting something much fuller-bodied. Very disappointing.
As this was the fifth book in the series that I had listened to within a year, I found that certain phrases ( e.g.' the cold face'', 'showed his teeth' 'do you understand'), not to mention the descriptions of the battle scenes had gone beyond stale. This was definitely the weakest in the series and it wasn't helped by the narrator who made all the older characters sound like effete British aristocrats. His pronunciation of Hangzou was so off ( he called it "Hang zoo" that I winced every time I heard it. Overall though he had a very pleasant voice bar some overacting in the angry scenes.
If you have read the other books in the series, this one rounds them off well, but it is definitely not a great stand-alone novel.
Good narration but dreadful accents
The book was the usual absorbing Philippa Gregory historical 'faction', and on the whole was excellently narrated but the lead narrator's attempt at a Welsh accent sounded comically Indian and her child Henry's voice was annoyingly squeaky. It was a horrible note in an absorbing story and if narrators cannot create and sustain a plausible accent, they should just use their own voice. Especially when they have a pleasant one, as this narrator does.
Slow moving and tedious
I had to force myself twice to go back to this book and continue listening. The details of Nora Webster's life were so boringly ordinary, I couldn't imagine why the author had thought it a story worth writing in the first place.
The narrator was dreadful - especially in the men's characters. Her pitch was irritating, her tone inappropriate to the content of the speech and her stress quite unnatural.
I only bought this book as I had enjoyed Brooklyn so much, but I soon regretted it. Even my own life is more interesting than Nora Webster's and that is not saying much.
Recommend for those who get a special kick out of watching paint dry