Mini #AudioBookReviews – liar, liar, tongue on fire!

The Last Wife audio

whats-it-about-2

Two women. A dying wish. And a web of lies that will bring their world crashing down.

Nina and Marie were best friends-until Nina was diagnosed with a terminal illness. Before she died, Nina asked Marie to fulfill her final wishes.

But her mistake was in thinking Marie was someone she could trust.

What Nina didn’t know was that Marie always wanted her beautiful life, and that Marie has an agenda of her own. She’ll do anything to get what she wants.

Marie thinks she can keep her promise to her friend’s family on her own terms. But what she doesn’t know is that Nina was hiding explosive secrets of her own…

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

star three and a half

I read Karen Hamilton’s debut novel The Perfect Girlfriend in 2017 as one of the first and I couldn’t shut up about it at the time so it went without saying that I had to read – or listen to – her next novel. It did take me a while to get into the story but it was worth pushing through. I like revenge stories but sometimes it grows old to read about an obsessive jealous protagonist. Marie, the main character, seems calculated, wanting nothing else than Nina’s life who seems to have all her ducks in order. Nina has a wonderful relationship with Stuart and two children, a boy Felix and a girl Emily, until she dies. Cue Marie who sees an opportunity there… but while I thought I knew how this story was going to go it veered into a completely different direction and the past that I had overlooked at first, plays a much more important role than I initially thought and I saw literally everyone in another light by the end of the novel.

The narration of Marie’s and Camilla’s (the other woman in the picture who Marie rather want to see going than coming) voices were quite pleasant to listen to but I didn’t really like Stuart’s. The narrator (Michelle Ford) made his voice croak and he sounded much older than he should be in my head, he also spoke rather slowly, making me feel that he was a bit simple minded. It’s a small qualm but still. I know I was wrong about him though, he’s not a dumb ass and neither is Marie. My opinions about her changed greatly and I even felt sorry for her (the one I called the bitch in my head I have to admit) at a given point. She tries so hard to have Nina’s life and when she finally almost has it, only then does she realize that Nina had quite a few secrets and now she’ll have to make her own decisions if she wants to keep the secrets too. Personally, I think I’d give this 4 stars if I had read it, it had quite a few suspects and twists involved in the second part of the novel, there’s only a teensy bit more love for this author’s debut that had me hooked right away.  

Line

HowNotToDieAlone audio

whats-it-about-2

Andrew’s been feeling stuck.

For years he’s worked a thankless public health job, searching for the next of kin of those who die alone. Luckily, he goes home to a loving family every night. At least, that’s what his coworkers believe.

Then he meets Peggy.

A misunderstanding has left Andrew trapped in his own white lie and his lonely apartment. When new employee Peggy breezes into the office like a breath of fresh air, she makes Andrew feel truly alive for the first time in decades.

Could there be more to life than this?

But telling Peggy the truth could mean losing everything. For twenty years, Andrew has worked to keep his heart safe, forgetting one important thing: how to live. Maybe it’s time for him to start.

amazon uk amazon com

review-2

5_Star_Rating_System_3_stars_1457015858_81_246_96_2

First of all, the narration was performed by Simon Vance and we hit it off right away, I loved the fast tempo in which he told the story. He sounded a bit on speed, going a hundred words an hour, but I liked it. You had no choice but to pay attention, there’s not a single chance that you risk a wandering mind when listening to this one. Peggy’s accent was rather special to my ears, I don’t know where she was from. It was still understandable so there were no worries but let’s just say Andrew’s voice was easier.

Secondly, I really liked Andrew’s job. He works for the city council and he has to investigate dead people’s homes, looking for evidence of next of kin in the form of letters, cards, any contact details, and also see if there are any financial statements or official documents lying around that can shed a light on their finances. I was intrigued and interested in witnessing what he came across when entering someone’s home.

I know this might sound weird but I had already thought about this before this audiobook and I actually think this could happen to me when I’m old. I think that’s why I also connected quite well with Andrew, we are actually pretty much alike. For one, he’s also in the same situation as the people of the houses he visits, he lives a very solitary life and he also happened to have told a little white lie about having a family. A white lie that is hard to keep up and is going to get him into trouble, especially as his boss is insisting at organizing dinner’s at everyone’s homes. Where is he going to find a wife and two kids in a fortnight so to speak? 

I found the story itself rather slow and not all of the characters were equally interesting or fleshed out enough. I liked the friends Andrew had online and the plotlines revolving around them, and I liked how understanding Peggy was but I didn’t care for his other colleagues or his boss at all. In the end you know how this is going to end and while the journey towards the end is just as important, I felt was just not quite so memorable as I would have liked and for once I liked the narration more than the story itself. 

24 thoughts on “Mini #AudioBookReviews – liar, liar, tongue on fire!

  1. I see you haven’t given up on the audioformat yet? Sry, you didn’t get on better with these two. I wonder to what extent the audioformat influenced that? It must be a sad job, looking into dead people’s home to find evidence of next of kin. Besides from dealing with the concept of mortality on a daily basis, you probably also come across a lot of sad destinies.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No I haven’t given up yet because it fills time that I can’t read (walking to the train station is so much more enjoyable when you can distract yourself by listening, and I still listen on the train as well). The trouble is I’m a perfectionist and the narration has to be perfect too, it’s easier if it’s written so I do think it has a serious influence. Maybe I should listen to a novel I already read and loved, although the first impression will probably be dominant anyway.
      I think the job is indeed sometimes sad, sometimes it takes weeks or longer before people are found, but Andrew gets a lot of satisfaction if he can find a relative and let them know, he does feel like he makes a difference. I never read about this job yet in a novel and I was curious, it was enjoyable to read about the different scenes.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Yvonne! I think there’s a lot of getting used to as well, like food you have to try a few times before you like the taste of it :-). It might have been different if I had read the novels so maybe I shouldn’t try this with my favorite authors’ books in case it does influence me in a negative way. Or it could be the opposite and no matter who narrated it, it would be brilliant.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Fab reviews Inge! I’m glad you enjoyed the story of The Last Wife but what a shame part of the narration wasn’t so good! Some narrators are brilliant at male and female characters and some can only do their sex. I’ve particularly found that men aren’t so good at women, they make them too high pitched or too soft. Sometimes it better to have multiple narrators but I know not every publisher can afford it. xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Oh no, what a shame, I loved, loved this book so much. It was in my top 5 best books read last year, but I read it – maybe that made the difference? Although you say you liked narration more than the story. The publication I read had the title Something to Live For. I just thought it was the saddest book – but with humour threaded through too.

    Like

    • I’m so so sorry I didn’t feel the same! It is possible that reading it would have been different. I like the other title, Something to Live For too, it’s kind of a different focus :-). I felt for Andrew too while I was reading but I just knew there would be some sort of positive outcome in the end!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Aw, don’t apologise, each to their own, be a funny world if we all liked the same thing. I know what you mean though about happy endings, I think it’s what publishers think we readers want, but sadly happy endings aren’t real life, so yes it would be nice if stories weren’t quite so predictable.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m glad that you found a friend in Andrew, Inge! It’s a wonderful and relatable thing to have the similar traits with the characters we are reading! Great review Inge!
    .
    By the way, in case you didn’t know, I’ve received your kind email and is working on it to reply to you soon! But my emails are having a minor issues so I think it might take a while for me to really send it to you😅

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Links I’ve Enjoyed This Week – 18/10/2020 #WeeklyRoundUpPost 🔗📆 🔗 #SecretLibraryBookBlog – Secret Library Book Blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s