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Would you listen to My Beautiful Enemy again? Why?
As I stated in the headline, this was my least favorite of Sherry Thomas's books, but it was still a very well written story. It is difficult to know if I would have enjoyed the book if there was a different reader. The reader was very poor which reduced my enjoyment many fold. She mispronounced words, accented the wrong syllables. I was disappointed. I won't get another book where she is the narrarator.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I've said it before, I believe Sherry Thomas is a master when it comes to angst and clever wording. As with many of her previous novels, Thomas uses time as a tool to create and intensify the heart-ache between characters. In this story, Catherine Blade, who is half British, half American and trained in martial arts, has just come to England for the first time searching for a coveted stone tablet. She is shocked to run into Leighton Atwood, a man whom she met and supposedly killed eight years earlier. The prequel of this book, The Hidden Blade covers both her, as Ying-ying, and Leighton's separate childhoods.
We learn of her and Leighton's intense relationship in alternating chapters from eight years earlier during their travels in Chinese Turkestan when they were disguised as a Persian merchant and Kazakh boy. Their meeting and travels together are beyond entertaining. The intense wording and drama had me riveted.
The present day chapters revolve around the awkwardness of Catherine and Leighton as he now has a fiancé and his wedding date approaches, along with the mystery of the tablets and the true enemy stalking her.
Although I found this story to be exceptional, I did not feel the narrator, Charlotte Anne Dore, was the right one for this book. Her voices (or rather her lack of variety in her voices) puzzled me a bit. I wondered why there weren't differentiations in voices between Ying-ying when she was pretending to be a Kazakh boy, when she was in China, and then when she was in England. Her voice in all locations was the same. This can also be said of Leighton's voice when he was a Persian merchant-his voice wasn't any different than when he was in England. Had there been distinct variations, this audiobook could have been amazing.
I also noticed that Dore often took unnatural pauses while reading and that was at times very distracting. I did like the overall sound of her voice-a bit gravelly, which could fit the hidden strength within Catherine/Ying-ying. I didn't think she did this story justice. Had I just read this story, and not listened to it, I would have easily given it 5 stars.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful