For Your Listening Pleasure-Mini Audiobook Reviews

July 1, 2016 audiobook 2

I love a good audio book!  I listen when I clean my house, as I get ready for my day, sometimes when I drive and maybe when I walk, which is never enough.

Here are a couple that are relatively new and have been receiving many reviews in print.  If I haven’t received an advance copy of a much anticipated book and my reading time is limited I’ll often turn to my Audible account and purchase the book.  I usually sample the narration and look for a review or two.  Audible is also very generous in returning an audiobook that doesn’t work out for their listeners.

Millers Valley
  • Narration by: Brittany Pressley
  • Published by: Brilliance Audio
  • Length: 8 hours 8 minutes
  • Purchased via Audible

This story begins in the 1960s, and explores how Mimi Miller comes of age, over and over again.

As a young girl in Miller’s Valley, an ordinary farming town that may be facing its final days, Mimi is observing adults, selling corn, growing up and changing, and watching the world around her change, too.

As the years go by, the unthinkable starts to seem inevitable. Anna Quindlen’s novel takes us through the changing eras of Mimi and her family, as secrets are revealed, and the heartbreaks of growing up and falling in love with the wrong man are overcome.

A deeply moving, inspiring story of a young woman learning to love and leave, the place and family from which she comes.

I loved everything about this book.  The story itself is classic coming of age and I enjoyed learning the history of Mimi’s family, her brothers, her parents, her reclusive aunt.  There was also the story of the land she lived on and the town itself.  It’s a well written tale wherein the location is it’s own character, and this book doesn’t disappoint.  There is a sadness when we see a once thriving community changing, perhaps dying off because of an economy or in this case a very different reason.  You’ll need to listen to or read the book to learn more.

This is a remarkable book by Anna Quindlen, and the narration was very well done.  The narrator was new to me, but she made the story come to life.  I highly recommend Miller’s Valley.

The Nest
  • Narrated by: Mia Barron
  • Published by: Harper Audio
  • Length: 11 hours, 6 minutes
  • Purchased via Audible

A warm, funny and acutely perceptive debut novel about four adult siblings and the fate of the shared inheritance that has shaped their choices and their lives.

Every family has its problems. But even among the most troubled, the Plumb family stands out as spectacularly dysfunctional. Years of simmering tensions finally reach a breaking point on an unseasonably cold afternoon in New York City as Melody, Beatrice, and Jack Plumb gather to confront their charismatic and reckless older brother, Leo, freshly released from rehab. Months earlier, an inebriated Leo got behind the wheel of a car with a 19-year-old waitress as his passenger. The ensuing accident has endangered the Plumbs’ joint trust fund, “The Nest”, which they are months away from finally receiving. Meant by their deceased father to be a modest midlife supplement, the Plumb siblings have watched The Nest’s value soar along with the stock market and have been counting on the money to solve a number of self-inflicted problems.

Melody, a wife and mother in an upscale suburb, has an unwieldy mortgage and looming college tuition for her twin teenage daughters. Jack, an antiques dealer, has secretly borrowed against the beach cottage he shares with his husband, Walker, to keep his store open. And Bea, a once-promising short-story writer, just can’t seem to finish her overdue novel. Can Leo rescue his siblings and, by extension, the people they love? Or will everyone need to reimagine the futures they’ve envisioned? Brought together as never before, Leo, Melody, Jack, and Beatrice must grapple with old resentments, present-day truths, and the significant emotional and financial toll of the accident as well as finally acknowledge the choices they have made in their own lives.

This is a story about the power of family, the possibilities of friendship, the ways we depend upon one another and the ways we let one another down. In this tender, entertaining, and deftly written debut, Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney brings a remarkable cast of characters to life to illuminate what money does to relationships, what happens to our ambitions over the course of time, and the fraught yet unbreakable ties we share with those we love. (Publisher summary)

The next is  one of those books that has been getting a lot of chatter, I read a few reviews and decided that listening was the way to go.  While it’s a book I enjoyed and would recommend it’s also a book full of characters I loved to roll my eyes at and dislike.  I found the Plumb children, and they are all adults, to be spoiled and entitled.  I kept waiting for each of them to show me they had a different side, and while there were some nice surprises, this book is also full of narcissistic adult behavior, the kind that does seem to change.

The narrator was again new to me, but she did a very nice job telling this story.  Interestingly I found the twins daughters of Melody to be the most refreshing characters, but youth can appear to be a simpler way of life.

A book worth listening to or reading, The Nest will leave you entertained, and perhaps wanting to smack a few trust fund babies!

2 Responses to “For Your Listening Pleasure-Mini Audiobook Reviews”

  1. litandlife

    Loved Miller’s Valley in print and thought it was worth a reread but since I got it through Netgalley, that’s not a possibility. But maybe I need to go the audiobook route for a reread since it’s well done and that would add something new.

Leave a Reply