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I love Agatha Christie, so of course I’d be interested to listen a story “in the style” of Christie. NOT EVEN CLOSE! This is not Death On The Nile. More like Death Of Eleven Hours Of Your Life! There is no mystery in this story. The characters are vapid, shallow and under-developed. The main character, Lily, is as dumb as a box of hair. She inserts herself into every aspect of every character in the book. Murder, abortion, disappearance - she’s there, front row seat, and not in a good way. A friend goes missing ON A CRUISE SHIP so Lily just goes to sleep then tours the port city the next day. She is in love with one man but gets caught about to have sex with the husband of a companion under the tarpaulin IN ONE OF THE UNDEPLOYED RESCUE BOATS! No moral compass at all.
The author spends a lot of time with flashbacks of Lily’s life in England. But it’s unconnected snippets which are hard to follow. More importantly, I thought the book was about Europeans going to Australia to start anew. There’s too much focus on the impending World War II that makes no sense. So - enter Stage Left - a Jewish woman fleeing Nazi Austria.
As I endured a day-by-day account of weeks on this ship, I felt like I was in labor - waiting for a baby that never comes. There’s no plot here, no compelling story, no interesting characters. What’s worse is that Lily is supposed to be based on a real character in the 1930s who sailed from England to Australia. The failure of this story is stretching it to 11 hours of the most boring saga ever! Download at your own risk!
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
This intriguing, character driven story is based on real people and actual events. The fact that it takes place on an ocean crossing during the xenophobic buildup to WWll reminded me of Katherine Anne Porter’s “Ship of Fools;” but this book is far more intimate and compelling, in part due to the narrative point of view, as well as the content of the story and the finely developed cast of characters. Ms. Manners’ narration is superb. I am so sad that this binge listen is over. I absolutely will return to this stellar new classic!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful