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The tale is, in and of itself, absorbing. It's a fictionalized account of the life of a real person. The author apparently changed a lot of the events around in order to make a better story, which is somewhat unusual in historical fiction that tells the life of a 20th century person, but what she did mostly worked. I did listen to the book nonstop till it ended and I looked up some of the characters afterward; it was that entertaining and curiosity-provoking.
What I didn't like was the method of the telling. The author chooses words and situations that frequently make her characters look a little stupid and/or ingenuous. She also likes to employ exaggeration and repetition to make a point -- particularly when she is describing some kind of cruelty. There were times when I wished she would just shut up and move on to the next scene; it was that drawn out and unnecessary. Economy of style is not her strong suit. Also, she seems to have a thing about blood; you'll see what I mean if you buy the audiobook. The word "and" is used to excess.
The reader appeared to share the author's joy in wordiness and seemed to deliberately slow down and savor the reading whenever a lengthy description came up.
Still, with these warnings, it is a darn good story. I enjoyed it.
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