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What would have made My Fair Princess better?
A different narrator. The narrator kept giving the heroine, Gillian, and her mother an Italian accent, which drove me crazy and took me out of the story. Unless I misheard and misunderstood the story, her mother was born and raised in England of English parentage and was only called a "contessa" because she had married an Italian count. I questioned whether even Gillian would have had an Italian accent. While she was raised in Italy, her mother and grandparents, who had raised her, were all English so I think English would have been her first language, or at least she would have learned it at the same time as Italian, so I doubt she would have had such a strong accent. In fact, her grandmother mentioned how Gillian could speak French with hardly any accent, so why the heavy-handed accent in English? I've also heard a lot of female narrators do better men's voices. Even when she was just reading the main narrative portions, Crick sounded either disdainful or bored.
If you’ve listened to books by Vanessa Kelly before, how does this one compare?
This was my first audiobook of Kelly's, but I had read an ebook by her before and thought the plot dragged. I actually liked this one better although I felt it dragged in a couple of places in the middle. I really liked Charles' character but didn't find Gillian as endearing as the original Eliza Doolittle was. There were scenes where I really liked her and felt for her, but there were also scenes where I thought she acted like a petulant child.
Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Beverley A. Crick?
Ashford McNab or Elaine Claxton
What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?
I felt sadness because I felt sorry for Gillian, who'd had such a lonely existence and was punished for her mother's mistakes. Unfortunately, I felt annoyance every time she spoke because of the Italian accent. I just couldn't get past the poor narration.
Any additional comments?
I would give Vanessa Kelly another try because there were characters and parts of this I really enjoyed, but only if there were a different narrator.
I love these characters. Gillian is great! A pistol packing, knife wielding Sicilian heroine. The Duke is pretty okay himself.
The narration was perfect. Another win for Vanessa Kelly.