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Editorial Reviews

Do you love Downton Abbey but find yourself wishing it were more…Canadian? Try Jalna, the first in Canadian author Mazo de la Roche’s 16-book series about the endless dramas of the Whiteoak family. The first in de la Roche’s hugely popular literary soap opera, Jalna spans 100 years of stormy Whiteoak family history on Jalna, the Ontario estate named after the town in India where the Whiteoak paterfamilias was once stationed as a British officer. Narrator Steven Cooper brings vigor and playfulness to portrayals of the Whiteoak family, inhabiting young cads and 99-year-old grandmothers alike.
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Publisher's Summary

First published in 1944, The Building of Jalna is one of sixteen books in the Jalna series written by Canada's Mazo de la Roche. In The Building of Jalna, Adeline, an impulsive bride with an Irish temper, and her husband, Captain Whiteoak, select Lake Ontario as the site of their new home. De la Roche chronicles their trials and tribulations during the building of the house, the swimming and skating parties, and the jealousies and humourous events that arise.
This is book 1 of 16 in The Whiteoak Chronicles. It is followed by Morning at Jalna.
©2006 The Estate of Mazo de la Roche and XYZ Publishing (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Tawnee Amos on 01-01-17


I found some of the characters to be unbelievable, one-dimensional and frankly boring. The narrator was OK but not the greatest--at least for this book. The plot was fairly well thought out...I just think the bones weren't well-fleshed out.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Amanda on 12-03-13

A great book spoiled!!

What did you like most about Jalna?

I have loved the Jalna books since my early teens for the fascinating and different characters that are portrayed

Who was your favorite character and why?

I have always found it impossible to choose one character over the others as my favourite

Would you be willing to try another one of Steven Cooper’s performances?

However I would not listen to another Jalnabook that was narrated by Stephen Cooper. His narration is stilted and monotone and does nothing to bring out the characters from the book. The turmoil,passion, fear and love that is inherent in the characters are all dealt with by the narrator in his monotone and unappealing voice and had I not read the Jalnabooks before I would not have been able to relate to any of the cardboard characters that he portrays. I don't think I have ever listened to an audiobook massacred by the narrator as badly as Stephen Coooper does this book; as I listened to the words in his monotone voice I mentally replayed them in my mind with some feeling in order to be able to get through this recording

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

There were no emotional or moving moments in this book only becasue of the way the narrator treated every emotion in the same monotone way. If I were to answer the question as to what moment particularly moved me after reading the book myself rather than listening to this narration, my answer would have been very different.

Any additional comments?

If you love the Jalna books save yourself some agony and don't purchase this audiobook read by Stephen Cooper because he truly ruins an amazing book

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7 of 7 people found this review helpful

1 out of 5 stars
By D. Baird on 04-15-16

an awful narrator

I bought this audiobook in good faith not realising how awful the reader/narrator is. It is impossible to listen to, money wasted. I read all Jalna books and was looking forward to listen but ....

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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