I’m cursing myself for reading and not writing reviews…I don’t want to do a disservice to any of the books I read or listen to. These two audio books I listened to in December, beyond that they have nothing in common….but here we go!!
Written by: Alice LaPlante
Published by: Brilliance Audio July 2011
Length: 9 hours and 46 minutes
Narrator: Jean Reed Bahle
Source: Purchased from Audible
Dr. Jennifer White is a former orthopedic surgeon. She’s been forced to retire and is now in the early stages of Alzheimer’s Disease. Her husband has died and her daughter and son are taking steps to keep her in her home. They have hired a caregiver, Madelena, it appears that while Jennifer often forgets things from one moment to the next that all is well. When her dearest friend Amanda turns up dead, with her fingers expertly removed there are many questions, most by the police. Jennifer has no memory of hurting Amanda, most days she must be reminded that she is dead.
As the story and time move on Jennifer’s disease also progresses and her dementia and behavior becomes more erratic and sad. The police realize she will most likely not be able to stand trial, she can’t be held responsible for her behavior, mentally impaired. Her son Mark and daughter Fiona are not in agreement as to her next level of care. Mark has money problems and most decisions are left to Fiona. Deeper and deeper we travel with Jennifer, it’s sad as she wants so much to still be a surgeon, a woman in control of her own destiny and yet……….she has snipits of her past, and can she really have murdered Amanda?
This book was a well written account of a person’s spiral into dementia. The question of the murder was an interesting twist to anyone’s path to no memory. The eventual answer is much more demented and sad than what meets the eye. I gave this book 3 out of 5 stars. There were some slow moments, some history of Jennifer’s life that didn’t seem to have much impact on any outcome. I liked the narrator, but I wasn’t familiar with her work.
Written by: Maria Semple
Published by: Hachette Audio August 2012
Length: 9 hours and 39 minutes
Narrator: Kathleen Wilhoite
Source: Purchased from Audible
Bernadette is mother to Bee, wife to Elgin. She is also a once honored and revered architect now living in Seattle Washington. Elgin is in charge of a major division at Microsoft. Bernadette take care of Bee, their now 15 year old daughter. Bee was born with a heart defect and underwent numerous surgeries. She is much beloved if not a bit precocious. As Bee has completed her term with perfect grades she informs her parents she wants them to all travel to Antarctica during her winter break. Yes..where the penguins live! So begin plans and anxiety and a look back at the lives of Bernadette and Elgin and how they got to this place and time. Just as the departure date nears…Bernadette disappears.
I had read so many great reviews about this book I felt I had to read or listen to it. Available Audible credits are so enticing. This was a fun and interesting book. Bernadette is obviously having problems, she can’t seem to do a thing for herself except torture the other mom’s in the private school Bee attends. She hires an online assistant to do all the trip planning, even helping her locate the best sea sick preventative. The reader learns of her success in architecture, and her downfall too.
The audio production was very well done, loved the way Ms. Wilhoite used her voice to give character to each individual. I gave this book a 4 out of 5 stars, I really liked it. I listened to it just before the holidays and it was a perfect get away from the craziness in my life!