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For me, the value of a book is whether it stays with you long after you've finished reading it. Okay, maybe that's not entirely true--lots of fiction books are entertaining and worth reading/listening to. But very few has stuck with me like this one.
Not wanting to spoil anything, I must be a bit cryptic. But wow! I can see hollywood picking this up. From the get-go it holds our attention (although the reader was super slow and I had to listen to it at 2x speed).
This book is less historical fiction and more fiction with a backdrop of history. And can't we all picture at least one of our grandparents (or parents) in the guise of the main character? From the beginning, the scene is set as to why the narrator is as she is...the tragedy of her life as a child is heart-wrenching. The realistic marriages without the all-too-familiar "love at first sight" is welcoming and (again not wanting to give anything away) the story of love, murder, survival (as the title states) renders this story to be well-written, well-narrated, and mesmerizing. It makes me realize just how great the generation (the "Greatest Generation"?) was....
That said, I guess I should allow some of my criticisms to creep into this review. The first is less a criticism in general than one merely from me: I don't really like realism as much as romanticism. This seemed to be what life really is like, rather than a happily ever after story. Okay, so that shouldn't be a criticism, but it is. And secondly, she starts this narrative stating that she is going to explain to her grandkids why she is not like "normal" grandparents. She does explain this to a large degree, but it felt like since it ended when it did, a lot was left out and I still don't understand why she is why she is. Our trials make us who we are.... I could certainly picture my own grandmother in this narrative as I, too, had a grandmother that was "not like other grandmothers."
Wow, so maybe those criticisms are petty. Because this is a tremendous book. Not exciting like a James Bond novel, nor as graphic as Ken Follett (thank goodness!), but tasteful, exciting, heart-wrenching, mesmerizing, and all the other adjectives you can think of. So do yourself a favor and read/listen to this book.
This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBoom dot com
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I had to contemplate where to start my review with this book because it is definitely not for the faint of heart. The story tells the life journey of Victoria who lives during the time of the Great Depression. She is a gutsy lady who perseveres despite horrible circumstances. Her life is so heartbreakingly sad BUT she endures through everything. This is the kind of book that makes you appreciate your life. No matter how complicated, hectic, or even miserable you think your life is there is always someone who is worse off.
This book is written and narrated beautifully. Don't let the sadness of the book put you off from listening to it. Yes, it is heart wrenching but it is very captivating and worth a listen.
This audiobook was given by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review via Audiobook Boom.
11 of 14 people found this review helpful