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The setting, the characters, the family dynamics, and the sweetness of the young heroine, all contributed to my pleasure in listening to this story. When I heard that the author, Susan Gabriel, was also narrating, my initial response was, frankly, oh no! But as I listened, I came to appreciate that her plain voice was perfect for her young heroine, and the simple presentation, perfect for the story’s setting and time. A sweet and tender story.
This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?
This is a character-driven coming of age story that I am told reads well. It's a real chore to listen to it.
What didn’t you like about Susan Gabriel’s performance?
Her voice is not well suited to the task at hand. She sometimes seems unfamiliar with the text (and she wrote it). The performance is monotonous and drains the story of color. A better recording might have screened out her audible respiration, sighs, stumbles, traffic noise, and the odd break when she says "beeeeeeep" and can be heard walking away. Why wasn't this edited out?
Any additional comments?
After reading the negative reviews about the narration, I was hesitant to invest in it, but I needed to read this for a book club. The book itself is well reviewed nationally, and my book club members who read the book (as opposed to listening to it) loved it. As an audiobook it is one of the most annoying things I've had to listen to. Another narrator would have rounded out the main character (as it is, she sounds like Eeyore) and made this a much better listen. Spoiler alert: readers should be aware the plot revolves around a brutal attack and sexual assault on a 13 year old girl in the mountains of Tennessee.