I was delighted to find that the first 4 books in the Nancy Drew series are available on audio with my new Houston Public Library e-card, and I'm listening to them out of order, because that's just how they're coming available on the Holds list. But it's actually sort of a disappointment. I love Laura Linney as an actor, but something is a little lacking as an audio narrator. Plus, listening on audio really does highlight the glaring flaws in these books that I can't help but see in spite of the soft-focus filter of nostalgia.
I burned through the last 4 audiobooks in the series during an awful two weeks around my father’s death, so it’s not surprising that my attention wandered and I retained little of the stories. I chose these books specifically because I needed something light and undemanding, but that would provide some distraction as I helped to clean and organize the house and occupy my mind on the long drives between my home and my parents’. And perhaps it was my frame of mind at the time, but this series seemed to lose steam in the last few books, and certainly seemed to lose some of the charm and humor that won me over to begin with. And I definitely think it jumped the shark in book #6 with the
weird inherited secret agent plot twist.
Still, I will probably pick up the next book when it comes out, just on the off-chance that my dissatisfaction with the last few books was situational, and not the stories themselves. I hope so, because I’ve really enjoyed the little psychopath until now.
Audiobooks, #5 owned and #6-8 borrowed from my public library via Overdrive. Phenomenal performance as always by Jayne Entwistle.
My first Diane Chamberlain book, and it won’t be my last. I’m looking forward to going through her backlist, despite my resolutions to read more new releases. I’m not sure how to characterize the story, though. It doesn’t necessarily have a traditional plot and story arc. It’s more character and situation driven, with the reader discovering (and for me, feeling both horrified and unsurprised by) 1960’s social work and eugenics programs along with a naïve but determined young woman. And these discoveries parallel her own realization of how little personal autonomy she has, once she has married and is expected to give up control of her desires, career, brains, opinions, appearance, and reproductive system to her husband. And to do it cheerfully.
It’s an interesting and realistic story, somewhat spoiled by a
happily ever after kind of ending.
Although many readers might not consider that a flaw.
Audiobook, via Audible, with an excellent performance by Alison Elliot.
This was okay, as far as mysteries go, although one has to really work hard to suspend disbelief at some of the plot devices. I found the protagonist a little too self-righteously emo for liking. But overall, it kept my interest long enough to finish the book. I did like what the book had to say about the unreliability of eyewitnesses and memory.
Audiobook, via Audible. Good performance by Sarah Scott.