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I didn't realize that the setting for this book was England and listening to the narrator certainly wasn't much help in conveying it. The story had a few many twists and turns considering it's limited duration and seemed more convoluted than complicated. I liked the central character Samantha Smith, except when she was passive and/or cringing in the face of her abusive ex-boyfriend Dan. Derwena the drinking and drugging pop star was a "ripped from the headlines" twentysomething diva. I liked this one okay but I'm hoping subsequent books get better.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
This story is in the "ok" category, and the narrator does massive damage to the audio version. She is a reader, not an actor, a pause-in-the-wrong-place type, and does not vary her characters much. It's also hard to get a sense of place, since this is a Welsh story told by a slow reading (painfully slow at times) American with zero attempt at an accent. This makes for a serious disconnect when hearing colloquial phrases and terms. The editing is slightly lacking...mispronounced words, slurred or missed words, stress on the wrong words, and awkward hesitations on top of a strange and unlikely plot development were tough to listen to. The story had potential, but most of it dissolved by the middle of the book and was hastily strapped together in a vain attempt to end on a solid note. The irrationality of the main character's belief systems works against her to the point that she's unlikable.
Where does Sam's Song rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
Sam's Song ranks in my top five audio books because of the quality of the narration and the emotion within the story. In Samantha Smith, Hannah Howe portrays a likeable, believable character, a woman who has suffered in the past, but who is determined to create for herself a brighter future. The book takes the reader and Samantha on an emotional rollercoaster and the story stays with you after you have read the final page.
What other book might you compare Sam's Song to, and why?
I think people who enjoy the novels of Robert B Parker and Marcia Muller, and private detective fiction in general, will enjoy this book.
Which scene did you most enjoy?
I enjoyed the scenes with Woody, the guitarist, because of their humour, and the chapters featuring Samantha's ex-husband Dan. The emotion of the story comes across in these chapters and you realise how difficult it must be for someone to overcome the trauma of domestic violence. It is to the author's credit that she doesn't gloss over the difficulties Sam faced; indeed, you can see how those difficulties helped to shape Sam's determined personality.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
The book made me laugh out loud and brought a tear to my eye. I laughed at Woody's comments and behaviour, and at the jokes told by Sam's detective friend, 'Sweets' MacArthur. My emotions were stirred in the scenes featuring Dan; you sense that Sam is a decent, honest person, trying to do the best job she can, while Dan is manipulative and doing everything he can to undermine her. In these chapters you feel for Sam as she wrestles with her inner demons. I think these chapters give you a great insight in Sam's character and help you to understand why she became a private eye.
Any additional comments?
I think Sam's Song is a wonderful book, beautifully narrated. Suzan Lynn Lorraine captures the emotion within the story and puts feeling into every line. I like books that stay with me after I have read the final page and Sam's Song is such a book.
1 of 2 people found this review helpful