Audiobook Review: The Soulmate by Sally Hepworth
Author: Sally Hepworth
To Be Published: April 4, 2023
Audiobook: 7 hours 44 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: March 20-23, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 3.5 stars
There’s a cottage on a cliff. Gabe and Pippa’s dream home in a sleepy coastal town. But their perfect house hides something sinister. The tall cliffs have become a popular spot for people to end their lives. Night after night Gabe comes to their rescue, literally talking them off the ledge. Until he doesn’t.
When Pippa discovers Gabe knew the victim, the questions spiral…Did the victim jump? Was she pushed?
And would Gabe, the love of Pippa’s life, her soulmate…lie? As the perfect facade of their marriage begins to crack, the deepest and darkest secrets begin to unravel.
Secrets and lies is what most of this book is about! It is also a book dealing with mental health and family drama. It is seemingly being advertised as a thriller, but it is not, and I mostly enjoyed it throughout. From the book description sounding intriguing and having read several of Hepworth’s previous novels, I was ready for this one.
We have Pippa and Gabe who recently moved to this cottage on the extreme edge of a cliff with their young daughters. They are in for more than they bargained for since people seem to like to commit suicide on this cliff! Gabe has a knack of talking potential jumpers out of what they are doing until one lady shows up and jumps. Later on Pippa finds out that Gabe knew the woman who jumped and many questions start to come to mind.
We have both Pippa and Amanda as our narrators. Amanda’s narrations take place before and after her jump. Through both narrators the reader/listener find out all kinds of connections that come to a head. Some are unexpected: but remember its all about secrets and lies!
Part of the climax really wasn’t, it was more of a letdown. Ultimate motives really did not work for me. But the ending was ultimately satisfying as everything came together despite everything that occurred.
I did have some issues with the narrators. Their voices seemed so similar for me that it was hard to distinguish between Pippa and Amanda at times. For this particular book, I would say read it. I think I would have enjoyed it more that way.
So far this is the weakest novel by Hepworth for me, but she is still enjoyable and I look forward to reading more by her!
Many thanks to the publisher Macmillian Audio for granting me an audio arc to listen to and review.
Audiobook Review: The Four Winds by Kristin Hannah
The Four Winds
Author: Kristin Hannah
Narrator: Julia Whelan
Published: February 2, 2021
Audiobook: 15 hours 2 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: March 2- 8, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
“My land tells its story if you listen. The story of our family.”
Texas, 1921. A time of abundance. The Great War is over, the bounty of the land is plentiful, and America is on the brink of a new and optimistic era. But for Elsa Wolcott, deemed too old to marry in a time when marriage is a woman’s only option, the future seems bleak. Until the night she meets Rafe Martinelli and decides to change the direction of her life. With her reputation in ruin, there is only one respectable choice: marriage to a man she barely knows.
By 1934, the world has changed; millions are out of work and drought has devastated the Great Plains. Farmers are fighting to keep their land and their livelihoods as crops fail and water dries up and the earth cracks open. Dust storms roll relentlessly across the plains. Everything on the Martinelli farm is dying, including Elsa’s tenuous marriage; each day is a desperate battle against nature and a fight to keep her children alive.
In this uncertain and perilous time, Elsa—like so many of her neighbors—must make an agonizing choice: fight for the land she loves or leave it behind and go west, to California, in search of a better life for her family.
The Four Winds is a rich, sweeping novel that stunningly brings to life the Great Depression and the people who lived through it—the harsh realities that divided us as a nation and the enduring battle between the haves and the have-nots. A testament to hope, resilience, and the strength of the human spirit to survive adversity, The Four Winds is an indelible portrait of America and the American dream, as seen through the eyes of one indomitable woman whose courage and sacrifice will come to define a generation.
This was a book club selection and most likely one I would have never picked up otherwise. It was my first novel by Kristin Hannah and it will not be my last!
I never really learned about The Dust Bowl in school and never had to read The Grapes of Wrath in school, but now I think I need to. Not knowing about The Dust Bowl, when I read the book description I wasn’t interested in this one, and it was quite the surprise for me!
Hannah is so descriptive and fully brings you into the story and you feel like you are there experiencing everything with these characters! I could picture so much of what was going on while listening to it! And Julia Whelan is the narrator and she is one of my ‘will listen to’ narrators so I enjoyed this novel 1000%!
This is not an easy novel to read/listen to because life was extreme during this time. And Hannah didn’t hold anything back either! The reader sees all aspects of life on the farm and what the farmers go through. We also see Elsa’s growth as a woman and her life experiences. She’s a character that you won’t easily forget. I became so attached to Elsa as she matured into the woman she became. And she has a mother-in-law to just fall in love with!
After The Four Winds became such an unexpected ‘enjoyable’ read (it’s hard to say enjoyable with the harshness of life the characters experienced) I will be looking into Hannah’s large backlog of novels to choose from. After listening to this one, you really see how hard it was back then with the depression first and then the dust bowl, we really do have it easy these days! Women were so much tougher back then and underestimated by the men of the time! The Four Winds makes you appreciate what you have.
Audiobook Blog Blitz: Love, Loss and Life in Between by Suzanne Rogerson
Today I am taking part in the Audiobook Blog Blitz for Love, Loss and Life In Between by Suzanne Rogerson. It was narrated by Sandie Keane. This audiobook was released in January and I am sharing my review.
About the Audiobook:
This collection of short stories gives a glimpse into life, love, loss, and the inexplicable in between. Includes themes of grief, finding hope, second chances, facing the consequences of your actions, and getting help from the unlikeliest of places.
- As Cecilia helps the dying, she questions what happens to their spirits. But is she ready to find out?
- Can a mother’s race through the New Forest save her son?
- Will visiting a medium bring Christina the closure she needs?
- Can an intruder help an old lady with her loneliness?
- Will the start of another wet and miserable Monday morning end with Maeve’s happy ever after.
Love, Loss, and Life in Between
Author: Suzanne Rogerson
Narrator: Sandie Keane
Published: January 17, 2023
Audiobook: 2 hours 13 minutes (83 pages)
Reviewed By: Jessica
Date Read: March 1, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
I enjoy short stories, and had the opportunity to go on the blog blitz for this one, so I signed up! This is an audiobook blog tour and I listened to it over the course of one day.
There are 10 short stories, ranging from around 5 minutes long to up to nearly 20 minutes. It is perfect if you don’t have a lot of time for reading. As the title suggests the listener deals with several parts of life: love, loss, and life in between. Several of the stories deal with death and moving on. Rogerson did a great job with capturing the emotions of a story in just a few words!
The narrator Sandie Keane did a good job with her narration of the short stories.
I’m sure the reader or listener will find a story or two that stays with them! I did!
About the Author:
Suzanne lives in Middlesex, England with her husband, two teenagers, a crazy cocker spaniel and an adopted cat that thinks she’s the boss.
Suzanne’s writing journey began at the age of twelve when she completed her first novel. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.
Now an author of four novels including the Silent Sea Chronicles trilogy and her debut, Visions of Zarua, plus three short story collections, Suzanne hopes the dreaded ‘W’ word will never rear its ugly head again!
Suzanne collects books, is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles and old ruins whilst being immersed in the past. She likes to combine her love of nature and photography on family walks, but most of all she loves to escape with a great film, binge watch TV shows, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.
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About the Narrator:
Having attended Drama school in Liverpool as a teenager Sandie moved into a variety of jobs varying from Hotel Management/Merseyside Police/Motherhood to name just a few but for 25 years she taught worldwide as a Pilates Tutor Trainer.
During lockdown Sandie’s interest turned to Audiobooks and it was from there she embarked on her own journey as an Audiobook Narrator.