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Carry Me Home by Jessica Therrien, narrated by Maria Marquis was absolutely amazing! A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!!!! I literally could not put it down; I had to listen to it the entire way through because I would not have been able to stop thinking about these characters and their situations long enough to focus on anything else. This is the first book I have listened to from both the author and narrator.
Being that I only listened to the audio, I cannot speak too much about the written text of the book. However, I cannot imagine it being anything less than outstanding. Jessica Therrien is clearly a very talented author. Her descriptive and eloquent word choice right from the start had me hooked! Not only did she prove herself to be a master creator of super-engaging and intense plotlines, but she also showed she is awesome with character development and use of dialogue. She has discovered the secret to pulling in her readers and keeping them there to hang on her every word, thus, allowing them to feel a strong emotional attachment to the characters, separately and as a whole. With every new chapter, I felt more invested in each of their lives, the decisions they made, their actions, and reactions. My involvement was at an all time high, and like the characters, I was in too deep to ever turn back.
Because many potential listeners may not have had personal experieces similar to the characters in this audiobook, in order to make the characters and events real and meaningful, I feel the narrator had to be carefully selected. Maria Marquis was an excellent choice. Performing equally well in both English and Spanish, she helped me connect with the characters while playing an active role in each event as it unfolded. She clearly has a true understanding of human feelings and emotions and knows what it takes to bring life-changing events and stories to life.
The plot unfolds in chapters through the alternating points of view of a mother and her two daughters, Lucy and Ruth. I really enjoy books written in this format, and because the book had my complete attention, I did not get confused who was speaking in each chapter. However, I rated the performance 4/5 stars because I think it could have been made better if the voices of the three characters would have been read in a way that distinctly set them apart from one another. Even though their personalities, thoughts, and actions were different enough to know who was speaking, it still would have been nice to hear each of them with their own unique speaking voice, similar to the way the friends who spoke Spanish had their own accents or how the males in the story had their own voices. There were also various instances where you could faintly hear the stop/start of the recording. I think this was most noticeablea because of the abrupt stops at the end of each chapter. While these two issues did not take away from Maria Marquis' performance, as a whole, I did feel they were worth mentioning.
Carry Me Home by Jessica Therrien, narrated by Maria Marquis took me though a wide array of emotions and allowed me to look at, challenge, and redefine my own thoughts on love, in terms of self and family. Joining each character on her journey toward self-discovery, gave me the chance to think about my own life, in general. The decisions we make each day and the people we allow into our lives, not only contribute to who we are today, but they also affect loved ones and those closest to us. It is important we remember that. I highly recommend this audiobook to those who enjoy coming-of-age stories, thought-provoking reads, and themes surrounding the ideas of love, family, belonging, and self-discovery. I thoroughly enjoyed it! Every now and then a book comes along that sticks with you. This is one of those books you will not soon forget!
**Those sensitive to topics of drug use, sex, and gang violence must take note that they are included as the main part of the plot. However, none of it, except brief descriptions of drug use, is told in great detail. Everything is written in good taste and is necessary to the storyline.**
Thank you for reading my review. I hope it was helpful. :-)