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Decidedly, I am a fan of Carol Shields. This novel even has a bonus layer, a view into the protagonist's life as a writer and her process which I found illuminating.
But unfortunately I can only give three stars because of production issues. While Shields' precise and descriptive grasp of the moment and development of images never fail to deliver, the narration in "Unless" is uneven, starting out crisp and clear at each chapter's beginning and then fading away as the section progresses. I found myself having to constantly adjust the volume on long commutes. Additionally the narrator's voice seemed occluded, as though she'd swallowed a frog.
And then there is the issue of the background music which I thought was intrusive. I sometimes fall asleep during a listen - no, not while driving, although I did take a wrong exit once - and the too-loud piano interludes kept jolting me awake and ruining my nap!
So, to conclude, excellent book, mediocre listen.
10 of 11 people found this review helpful
This was a very gentle book with an underlying sadness over the choices of the oldest daughter. The unfailing love of her parents and sisters allows her to return in the end.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful