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Anna Spencer

Sydney, Australia
  • 31
  • reviews
  • 13
  • helpful votes
  • 104
  • ratings
  • Coming Home

  • By: Rosamunde Pilcher
  • Narrated by: Helen Johns
  • Length: 40 hrs and 37 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 19
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 18
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 18

Born in Colombo, Judith Dunbar spends her teenage years at boarding school while her beloved mother and younger sister live abroad with her father. When her new friend, Loveday Carey-Lewis, invites Judith home for the weekend to Nancherrow, the Carey-Lewises' beautiful estate on the Cornish coast, it is love at first sight.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Excellent Story, Brilliant Narration

  • By Anna Spencer on 29-12-2018

Excellent Story, Brilliant Narration

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 29-12-2018

A fan of Rosamunde Pilcher’s work, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Although it is long, I didn’t ever lose interest in the story, and warmed to the well-rounded and believable characters.

Helen Johns’ voicing of the various characters is amazing! The only fault I could find with her pronunciation is of the Sydney suburb of TURRAMURRA. Her Australian accent did not ring true in places, but this is a minor matter.

The story, set just before, during and after WWII, would appeal to anyone interested in this era.

A very enjoyable read!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Echoes

  • By: Maeve Binchy
  • Narrated by: Kate Binchy
  • Length: 18 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 16
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 15
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 15

This is the story of two very different children growing up in a small Irish seaside town in the 50s and 60s. Shouting their hearts' desires into the echo cave, praying that their destiny will lead them far away from the town in which they live. Castlebay, in winter empty and grey with wind and sea spray, becomes all bustle and colour in the gaudy days of summer. The paths of these two characters are destined to criss-cross in a quite unforeseen way, and eventually both roads will lead back to Castlebay.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Depressingly sad

  • By Margaret on 28-10-2018

A Delight from Start to Finish

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 16-07-2018

As with most of Maeve Binchy’s stories, this is a charming and very credible tale. The characters are believable and the life of the small coastal town is very well depicted.

What impresses me most about this audio book, is the beautiful lyrical narration by Kate Binchy - a sheer delight to listen to!

This book would appeal to anyone who enjoys Maeve Binchy’s books, or who enjoys a nostalgic look at times gone by.

  • The Night Watch

  • By: Sarah Waters
  • Narrated by: Juanita McMahon
  • Length: 19 hrs and 25 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 24
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 21
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 21

Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Book of the Year, 2007.
Shortlisted for Audible's Listen of the Year, 2006.
Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize, 2006.
Shortlisted for the Orange Prize for Fiction, 2006.

Moving back through the 1940s, through air raids, blacked out streets, illicit liaisons, sexual adventure, to end with its beginning in 1941...

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Beautifully written

  • By emmoff on 17-11-2016

A fascinating story

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-03-2018

Juan McMahon is a brilliant narrator, whose voicing of the different characters is amazing.

The story is excellent and very engaging. The diversity of rich and well rounded characters in wartime London, and the fact that the story starts at the end and then returns to an earlier period, make it very interesting.

Sarah Waters has obviously researched her subject thoroughly, and writes extremely well.

I highly recommend this novel and think it would appeal more to female readers interested in this period of history.

  • The Paying Guests

  • By: Sarah Waters
  • Narrated by: Juliet Stevenson
  • Length: 21 hrs and 29 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 84
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 81
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 81

Frances had been picturing her lodgers in purely mercenary terms - as something like two great waddling shillings. But this, she thought, was what it really meant to have paying guests: this odd, unintimate proximity, this rather peeled-back moment, where the only thing between herself and a naked Mrs Barber was a few feet of kitchen and a thin scullery door. An image sprang into her head: that round flesh, crimsoning in the heat.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Sarah Waters does it again...

  • By Diana on 07-10-2014

Gripping Thriller

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 25-01-2018

I found The Paying Guests full of suspense and was unable to put it down.

From the first page to the final surprise ending, I was riveted and anxious to know what the final outcome would be.

I chose this book partly because it is read by Juliet Stevenson, whose voicing of the various characters is amazing, and because it is set in the 1920s.

This book would appeal to anyone who enjoys a riveting story set in another era, read by a brilliant actress.

  • My Husband's Wife

  • By: Jane Corry
  • Narrated by: Abigail Thaw, Lily Bevan
  • Length: 13 hrs and 24 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,040
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 950
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 952

When lawyer Lily marries Ed, she's determined to make a fresh start. To leave the secrets of the past behind. But when she takes on her first criminal case, she starts to find herself strangely drawn to her client. A man who's accused of murder. A man she will soon be willing to risk everything for. But is he really innocent? And who is she to judge?

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Predictable and irritating

  • By Jo on 03-12-2016

Thrilling and full of suspense

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-12-2017

My Husband’s Wife is a story you won’t be able to put down.

From start to finish, as the plot twists and turns, nothing is quite what it seems.

The characters are believable and well drawn, but the inability of the narrators to create convincing male voices, is the only flaw in the narration.

This book would appeal to anyone who enjoys a good thriller.

  • Diary of a Young Girl

  • By: Anne Frank
  • Narrated by: Helena Bonham Carter
  • Length: 10 hrs and 8 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 261
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 228
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 229

In Amsterdam, in the summer of 1942, the Nazis forced teenager Anne Frank and her family into hiding. For over two years, they, another family and a German dentist lived in a 'secret annexe', fearing discovery. All that time, Anne kept a diary.An intimate record of tension and struggle, adolescence and confinement, anger and heartbreak, Anne Frank's diary is one of those unique documents, famed throughout the world.It portrays innocence and humanity, suffering and survival in the starkest and most moving terms.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • An Endearing Diary

  • By Anna Spencer on 24-11-2017

An Endearing Diary

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 24-11-2017

Anne Frank’s diary, which is charming, candid and endearing, is beautifully read by Helena Bonham Carter.

Anne shows wisdom beyond her years, and her frank reflections on life make absorbing listening. I like the way she always appears so cheerful on the outside and only reveals her true feelings to Kitty, her diary.
The diary gives the reader an accurate picture of life for Jews in hiding during the war years, and the hardships they had to endure.

I find this audio book very enjoyable, and it is much more positive than I had expected. The reader is so good, that it seems as though it is Anne herself who is talking.

This book would appeal to anyone, especially to those interested in the prevailing austere conditions during the war. Highly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Night Manager

  • By: John le Carré
  • Narrated by: Michael Jayston
  • Length: 19 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 62
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 57
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 58

The night manager is Jonathan, a veteran of clandestine operations. In flight from a failed marriage and his own past, he has taken refuge in the luxury hotel trade. Yet he finds no escape from his demons. Driven by a desire for atonement and by an inherited patriotism, Jonathan allows himself to be recruited as a British secret agent with a mission to expose the murderer of the woman he himself betrayed. His odyssey takes him across Britain and Canada to the Caribbean and the jungles of Panama. But there are more treacherous jungles still in Whitehall and Washington.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Lost at Sea

  • By Anna Spencer on 07-11-2017

Lost at Sea

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-11-2017

Although I listened to the first chapter twice and persisted with the whole book, I found it very difficult to concentrate on and to follow the rather involved story. The narrator’s rather soporific voice did not help to hold my attention either.

Not having read any of John le Carré’s books, I did not know quite what to expect, but there were so many different characters, whose voices often sounded similar, that I became quite confused.

Perhaps this book would appeal more to someone who likes this genre, but I am not one of them. My neighbour saw the story televised and really enjoyed it; perhaps it is more suited to this medium, where one can see the characters, as well as hear them talk.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Break

  • By: Marian Keyes
  • Narrated by: Aoife McMahon
  • Length: 19 hrs and 1 min
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,020
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 919
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 918

The story of a relationship that everyone thought was forever and which is now in danger of being for never, The Break is about getting older and staying in love when life, real life, is trying to pull you apart.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • A Light Hearted Romp

  • By Anna Spencer on 11-10-2017

A Light Hearted Romp

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-10-2017

An enjoyable and convincing story of family relationships and dynamics. The characters are well rounded and believable, but I feel that the numerous explicit sex scenes detract from the book.

Aoife McMahon's performances are nothing short of brilliant! Her rendition of the voices of the various characters is superb and very convincing.

The Break would appeal to those interested in romantic fiction and family dynamics in modern day Ireland.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Tandia

  • By: Bryce Courtenay
  • Narrated by: Humphrey Bower
  • Length: 26 hrs and 35 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 180
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 168
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 168

Tandia is a child of all Africa: half Indian, half African, beautiful and intelligent, she is only 16 when she is first brutalized by the police. Her fear of the white man leads her to join the black resistance movement. With her in the fight for justice is the one white man Tandia can trust, the welterweight champion of the world, Peekay. Now he must fight their common enemy in order to save both their lives.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • strong performance

  • By Anonymous User on 11-10-2017

Too much emphasis on boxing

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 21-06-2017

Although I enjoyed much of this story, I found the sections dealing with boxing rather boring.

The characterisations are excellent and the depiction of South Africa during apartheid are of interest. The rest of the story is quite suspenseful and held my interest.

I preferred 'The Power of One' and 'The Potato Factory to 'Tandia'

  • The Throwaway Children

  • By: Diney Costeloe
  • Narrated by: Anne Dover
  • Length: 17 hrs and 55 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars 238
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 220
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 219

Rita and Rosie Stevens are only nine and five years old when their widowed mother marries a violent bully. Under pressure from her new husband, she is persuaded to send the girls to an orphanage. It is not long before the powers that be decide to send a consignment of orphans to their sister institution in Australia. Among them, without their family's consent or knowledge, are Rita and Rosie, the throwaway children.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fabulous!

  • By cheryl Fyfe on 07-03-2017

A Believable Account of Children sent to Australia

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 28-05-2017

A most enjoyable book!

Anne Dover's narration and her voicing of all the different characters is brilliant. I was so enthralled that I couldn't wait to finish this story.

The characters are completely believable and the depiction of the life of these children sent from England to Australia is totally credible.

My only criticism is that the last few chapters of the story were rather predictable, but this is a small criticism.