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The Guessperts are undecided as to whether the phrase “may you live in interesting times” is a blessing or a curse. Regardless, I am officially over these current interesting times, and I think we are all ready for more of the mundane right now. While venturing out cautiously and wearing a mask, I still had time to listen to a couple of stellar new releases from two of my favorite authors – best work ever IMO for both Nora Roberts and Elin Hilderbrand! I also had time to listen to a work of historical fiction populated by real-life characters. It’s an excellent way to learn and makes me feel justified in my weakness for psychos which I satisfied by listening to a book featuring the nanny from Hell!
If you love history, but you find history books dull reading, Mrs. Lincoln’s Sisters by Jennifer Chiaverini will tell you the story of one of America’s most fascinating First Ladies, Mary Todd Lincoln, without putting you to sleep. Written from the perspective of Mary Lincoln’s sisters as they try to deal with her mental status following the assassination of her husband, the book is filled with historical details presented as the story of the Todd sisters with all their heartache and drama set against the background of our country during a time even more tumultuous than the one we’re living in right now. 4 Stars to the author for capturing the essence of a large and complex family and 5 Stars to Cassandra Campbell for giving a voice to each of the many characters.
The Nanny is one of those books that will keep you guessing until the very end as to who is who, who is alive, and who is dead. Narrators Clare Corbett, Patience Tomlinson, and Ben Eliot give excellent performances. The voice of Lady Holt was done especially well. Could there possibly be anything more despicable than a psychotic nanny? Just imagine unwittingly entrusting the care of your child to a psychopath! There is very little innocence among these characters with the child Ruby being the only one who isn’t up to some kind of no good, and even she has her moments when she seems a bit possessed although in her case it’s excusable. 4 Chilling Stars to author Gilly Macmillan who knows her psychos!
I loved listening to Hideaway! I think it is the very best of Nora Roberts as both a writer and a storyteller. Combine that with a 5 Star performance by narrator January Lavoy and you have one of my two 5 Star reads for the month. There is a mystery. There is drama. Of course, there is a love story. And, as icing on the cake, the female protagonist, who comes from a long line of actors and actresses, embarks on a career as a voice artist! Cate Sullivan has endured a childhood trauma that leads her to shun the limelight her family has enjoyed for years, but her innate gifts as a performer call her to use her talents in a new way that will afford her privacy . . . or so she thinks. Those who live for revenge are diabolically tenacious and won’t rest until no one who has crossed their path is left standing.
OK ladies, have you ever in your wildest dreams wondered what it would be like to have a “Same Time, Next Year”, one weekend a year affair that goes on for decades? No need to answer out loud . . . just go download 28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand and live vicariously through the years of ups and downs and machinations Mallory Blessing and Jake McCloud go through to make this happen. Why would someone do that, you may wonder, and the answer is that trite phrase “ love of my life.” So you might ask next, “why aren’t they married?” The answer to that is “it’s complicated.” You may speculate it must all work out in the end, and I would say “no spoilers” but have the tissues handy. I’m going to pay this story the highest compliment I can pay any book. I have missed these characters every day since I finished listening! 5 Stars and the Golden Kleenex Award to the author and to narrator Erin Bennett!