Thursday, July 30, 2015

The Truth According to Us by, Annie Barrows narrated by, Ann Marie Lee & Tara Sands (and various)

The Truth According to Us by, Annie Barrows narrated by, Ann Marie Lee & Tara Sands (and various)

It’s funny I never even read the description for this book I just knew I wanted to read it because I loved her Guernsey book so much, so imagine my surprise when this book was not set in Britain but in the American south, I know authors don’t write about the same place all the time but I guess I assumed the authors of Guernsey were British. I also didn’t realize the author writes the children’s series Ivy & Bean, so now that I’ve admitted to being a bad librarian I will get on with my review of this fabulous book.

Layla Beck a senator’s daughter is being taught a lesson and is sent away by her father to work for the WPA, a writer’s project that is part of the New Deal, she is sent to write a history of the town of Macedonia, West Virginia. She ends up in a rooming house run by Jottie Romeyn who lives there with her nieces Willa and Bird and their divorced father Felix.

Between Layla’s research for her book and Willa’s snooping no secret is safe in this small town and those secrets will affect everyone at the Romeyn boarding house and beyond. When Layla starts falling for Felix, Willa gets involved because she wants her parents to get back together and no one is good enough for her father, but is Felix as good of a man as these two think he is?

The characters in this book are at times eccentric and some are sad and lonely ( Jottie) but she keeps that sadness bottled up so everyone thinks she is just fine and when you come to understand the reasons for that sadness you will wonder why she let it go on as long as she did. But, family loyalty is important to the Romeyn’s even though some members of the family are holding back important details of the night that changed their entire life it seemed like the right thing to do. Ah, but secrets have a way of wiggling to the surface and when these secrets come to light this family will never be the same.

I really enjoyed this story and the characters and will read anything this author puts to paper!

Read by Ann Marie Lee, Tara Sands, and Julia Whelan, with additional readings by Cassandra Campbell, Danny Campbell, Mark Deakins, Kimberly Farr, Kirby Heyborne, Lincoln Hoppe, Paul Michael, Linda Montana, and Arthur Morey. The narration was very well done with the main narrators being Ann Marie Lee and Tara Sands who both did a fantastic job at bringing this book to life. The other narrators read letters and histories which I found interesting and thought it added credence to the letters.

I highly recommend this one on audio.

5 Stars

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Flying Circus by, Susan Crandall, Narrated by, Jacques Roy

The Flying Circus by, Susan Crandall, Narrated by, Jacques Roy

Another great book from Susan Crandall.

All three of these people are flawed and affected by the First World War; these three are so different yet form a family of sorts. There were times Cora bothered me because she had to push and push but she was so far ahead of her time that she had to because no one ever listened to a woman or talked about anything serious to her she may get the vapors( insert sarcasticon here). And there were times it felt like she was playing Henry and Gil and other times I thought she was just naïve. Gil was a flyer in WWI but doesn’t like talking about his time at war, Henry lost his brother in the war and lost the rest of his family he ended up an orphan until Mr.Dahlgren took him in over his wife’s objections but things went terribly wrong there and now Henry is on the run from the police. Cora’s mother and father were rich NY socialites until the money was gone, her father died and she lost a brother to the war too. Cora rides her brother’s motorcycle and invites herself along with Gil and Henry, these 3 lost souls setting out on an adventure. All 3 are also keeping a secret and the reveal of these secrets is a slow burn and makes for a great story.

I truly enjoyed this book, I didn’t know much about barnstorming and how they got crowds and how much traveling they did and inner workings of PR in the 1920’s was interesting, this is not the age of viral videos and Facebook events, most of the time they couldn't even afford posters and would just show up do a few tricks and hope people would show up willing to give their hard earned money for a chance to ride in a plane.

I came to care about these three people and was completely attached to them so when secrets started getting out and things happened I was so involved that my heart hurt for them! Susan Crandall has a knack for writing characters that you care about so much and it is hard when the book ends because you don’t want to let these people go. I can’t wait to see what she writes next!

Narrator Jacques Roy is a new to me narrator however I am now a fan, I thought he did a great job with male, female, different accents and general storytelling. I would definitely listen to another book narrated by him.

5 stars

I was fascinated by the descriptions of the bi-plane Jenny and of barnstorming I did some research and found these fun videos.

Mid Air Repair Gladys Ingles…. This could be Cora!

Vintage Barnstorming Clips

Curtiss JN4 Jenny Montage

Stock Footage - Roaring 20s - Biplane Wing Walker Daredevil

And this website: