23 April 2012

The Language of Flowers

The Language of Flowers is not something I would have chosen for myself. It is for the most part sad, slow moving, and quite frankly I spent a good portion of the story wishing I could shake some sense into Victoria. But then I had an ah-ha moment and from that point forward I began to sympathize with her. My fascination and annoyance turned into hope. You see, up until that point, I had been listening to this story like one might listen to a tragic retelling of a train wreck. I shook my head a lot and marveled at the deep sadness and anger. But after what the story reveals near the end of part two, I found myself on baited breath for Victoria and all those around her that she had harmed. I found myself wishing desperately for peace, forgiveness, redemption, and perhaps even joy. The ending doesn't disappoint. Some reviewers say she walks away from what had previously mattered so much to her and that the ending was too neat. I respectfully disagree. I believe Victoria merely takes a break to concentrate on what is really important and the ending promises that while the road won't be easy, it will get easier with time and perseverance. So while I only listened to The Language of Flowers for a book club meeting I missed, it did make an impression on me, I enjoyed it, and I do look forward to seeing the film.

The Language of Flowers was written by Vanessa Diffenbaugh, narrated by Tara Sands, and consists of 9 discs (10 hours and 50 minutes). Narrator Tara Sands does an excellent job as distant icy Victoria. She even does a good tone for Grant (the only male character) and Renata (her employer, a Russian immigrant). This was my first time listening to Tara and I will seek her out again. 

15 April 2012

What We've Been Listening To...

Mama Whimsy has been listening to The Language of Flowers written by Vanessa Diffenbaugh and narrated by Tara Sands. Baby Whimsy has been listening to Oh, the Thinks You Can Think! written by Dr. Seuss and voiced by Mama Whimsy. What have you been reading or listening to this week or lately?

06 April 2012

A Grown Up Kind of Pretty

Book indifference is so much easier than book love. Book love is hard. Hard because honestly sometimes you can't find the words to convey how much you love a book. The words for how it held you spellbound and made you hold your breath, laugh, ache, cry, and cheer just refuse to come to you. How when it all ended you sincerely missed the book. How you wish you could call those characters up in real life and go over for dinner. You're left with an ache in your fingers to go online and tell all your readers but then you marvel at how inadequate your words seem to feel. That, and then some, is how I feel about A Grown Up Kind of Pretty.

Joshilyn Jackson has officially made a fan out of me. This glorious multigenerational story about teen pregnancy, redemption, and motherhood (with a good dose of mystery) truly blew me away. I was held captive by the mystery that begins with the bones found in a yard, amazed by the slow unraveling of Liza's twisted history, and transfixed by what Big (Ginny) is willing to do for her child. These flawed, brave, spunky characters tackle real issues and ultimately, when the truth is revealed, they realize just how much they need and love each other. I may be nothing like these ladies, but they really moved me and I want to be just like fierce mama Big.

A Grown Up Kind of Pretty was written and read by Joshilyn Jackson and consists of 10 discs (12 hours 25 minutes). Joshilyn Jackson does a marvelous job as Big, Mosey, and Liza. She tweaked her voice slightly for fifteen-year-old Mosey and it was perfect and felt unauthentic and natural. Her southern accent is easy to listen to and gives the characters part of their charm. I appreciated that every chapter begins with the name of the character so you know which POV (point of view) is next. I cannot wait to try another of her audiobooks.