02 January 2013

Recently moving to Great Britain from Boston to settle the sale of her parent's house after many years since their deaths when she was a child, Maggie has settled into life across the pond and even has secured a job as the direct secretary of Winston Churchill. With her trusty roommates and close friends at work, Maggie's life begins to considerably change when the war finally comes right to her doorstep as bombs land in the neighborhood. Can she trust the people closest to her at the most crucial time in her career? Never once was she prepared to have the adventure of a lifetime so soon, or that spies, IRA activists, or even code-breaking would so naturally become part of her life.

I struggled with this one. It may be because my reading preferences have changed, or perhaps it was the narration, but any way you dice it, it didn't work for me. The narration for the main character of Maggie sounded much, much more mature than a twenty-four-year-old woman and while she may have grown up with her British aunt, she most assuredly did NOT sound like a woman who had grown up in Boston. It sounded as though the narrator tried desperately to deliver a type of American accent, but in fact, at several points throughout the narration, slipped into an odd Southern accent which was jarring. All the British characters sounded pretty much the same and it was rather difficult to identify who was who, other than a deeper voice for a man and a higher voice for a woman, so it was the most challenging to identify who was who when Maggie was only with her girlfriends. While the story was interesting, the narration couldn't maintain my attention and in fact took me three weeks to finish when it's only a little under ten hours of audio time. Unfortunately, I don't anticipate picking up the next in the series in audio. In reading other bloggers' reviews, it's clear I would have had a likelier chance for a better reaction had I read it instead. However, do take note of the majority of reviews on Audible.com, as it's evident others loved the audio. The average rating on Audible is 4 out of 5 stars for performance.

Fans of Jacqueline Winspear and the like, who enjoy the cozy thriller and mystery experience, may like this story. I would recommend reading it versus listening to it. Click here to listen to the Audible.com sample.

Others said:

Publisher: Random House Audio
Release Date: 4/3/12
Audio Time: 9 hours, 48 minutes
Narrator: Wanda McCaddon

FTC Disclosure: I purchased this book from Audible.com

About the Author
Susan Elia MacNeal is the author of the Maggie Hope series. She graduated from Wellesley and attended Harvard, with her work appearing in a variety of publications. She is also the author of two non-fiction works. She currently lives in Brooklyn with her family.

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  1. This does sound like one my mom would like. Sorry you didn't love it.

  2. I had heard good things about this book. It's so disappointing when the narration really ruins a story for you.

  3. A bad narrator can totally spoil a book, and it sounds like that's what you came across here. I don't like it when narrators slip in their performance of accents, or when all the characters sound basically the same. I think I will be skipping this one since right now I am basically doing 90% audios, and 10% paper books, and this one sounds like it was not properly narrated.

  4. Bummer that you didn't enjoy it more but you are giving me an idea...I need to listen to audiobooks while I am walking at lunch time! Duh, can't believe I didn't think of it before!

  5. Yikes! I can see why you had problems with this one. I hope you do give it--or the sequel--a try in its written form when you get a chance.