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by narrator "Magda Allani" in All Categories
1 - 16 of 16 results
Length: 22 hrs and 40 mins
5 out of 5 stars
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5 out of 5 stars
Triangular relationships, child abuse both emotional and physical, the profanity frequently lurking beneath social and religious respectability, the conflicts between piety and sincerity - these challenging themes are all engrossingly covered in Jane Eyre. It is no wonder that, as a woman writing in Victorian England, Charlotte Bronte felt the need to publish her debut novel under a male pseudonym.
Saint-Exupéry was himself an aristocrat, a pilot and a war hero. Here he tells the story of a pilot stranded in the desert who there encounters the Little Prince, a remarkable little fellow from another planet who is also looking for his way back home and to the beloved rose he abandoned there. Since its publication in 1943, this story has enchanted both adults and children alike, and no wonder. Its gentle humour and profound insights are capable of reminding us of all the things that really matter and of healing hearts and jaded souls, no less.
In this book's introduction, an autobiographical account of the author's years as an American Custom House official, Hawthorne describes how he came across a parchment from which fell a fraying piece of fabric, fantastically embroidered and inscribed with the scarlet letter A. He found himself compelled to tell the story of its owner, Hester Prynne, a young English woman who had lived in 17th-century Boston at the time when Puritan extremism - that which led to the infamous witch trials of Salem - was at its height.
Fanny Hill: Memoirs of a Woman of Pleasure is the highly explicit account of an innocent country girl who, on being orphaned, finds herself trapped into prostitution in London Town. The precise and intimate descriptions of her professional experiences, albeit couched in elegant language that never stoops to vulgarity, caused a scandal upon the book's publication in 1748, earning a fortune for its publisher and a court summons for its author.
To the Lighthouse is one of Virginia Woolf's most autobiographical works, and since she was an active member of the Bloomsbury Set, it inevitably echoes the once revolutionary thoughts that were to shape our world. Set in the pivotal years spanning World War I, it describes a gathering of artists, intellectuals and children at the Ramsays' holiday home in the Scottish Isles. Guided through their parallel streams of consciousness, we are given a poignant sense of the isolation coexisting with togetherness, and of a permanence that can survive the seeming transience of life.
With her wonderful storytelling abilities and endless array of gorgeous clothes and toys, little Sara Crewe seems to everyone at her boarding school like the luckiest girl in the world - a 'little princess'. no less. But one day disaster strikes, and she is moved into an attic and turned overnight into a drudge.
All but a little cluster of her most loyal friends turn their backs upon her. Constantly cold, with barely enough to eat, and reduced to wearing the outgrown tatters of her former wardrobe, how will she cope?
At 19, Anne Elliott was deeply in love with Captain Wentworth, but she was persuaded by Lady Russell - her dead mother's closest friend - to break off her engagement with him because he had neither status nor fortune. Anne loses her bloom until eight years later, when chance brings Captain Wentworth back into her world. Success at sea has earned him wealth and honours, but can he ever get over his anger and hurt pride, and can or should Anne now resist the influence of Lady Russell, who still does not approve?
Emily Bronte's gothic love story of the undying love between Cathy and Heathcliff set against the backdrop of the Yorkshire Moors. Few would like to have either as a best friend perhaps, but most would wish to be loved as they loved one another. "I cannot live without my life; I cannot die without my soul," is one of the many unforgettable lines of this timeless story.
Within our minds, time flows eternal in parallel streams, carrying a host of memories and conflicting emotions and we are connected by webs of intermittent visibility to the lives of many whom we have never even met. This is what we come to realise as we join Clarissa Dalloway on a fine June day in 1923, as she prepares a party she is giving that night for London's social and political elite. Virginia Woolf's often teasing portrait of British characters at every level of society remains remarkably accurate to this day.
Set in the relentlessly grey-skied, grey-walled world of a Midlands coal mining village just after the First World War, this tells the story of the love that developed between Lady Chatterley and Oliver Mellors, her husband's gamekeeper. The full text was not published in the United Kingdom until 1960, more than 30 years after it had been written, because of its explicit content and use of prohibited words. And yet, one cannot help wondering whether without its excoriating and often still accurate depiction of the British upper classes, the book might have been less harshly received.
Inspired by an incident recounted to him by a friend, this ghost story by Henry James is often regarded as one of the best of its genre and is all the more haunting because of its understatement. A governess hired to take care of two small children at a country estate soon finds herself beleaguered by the shadowy apparitions of a man and a woman who once worked there.
Catherine Sloper, the heroine of this tragicomic tale set in mid-19th century New York, is absolutely ordinary in every way except for her exceptional capacities in love and loyalty. These latter qualities are of no interest to her father, the successful society Doctor who is constantly disappointed by his daughter's failure to be brilliant, either physically or intellectually. For this reason, he is highly suspicious when Morris Townsend begins to woo her and is convinced the handsome young man's interest is only in the fortune Catherine will eventually inherit.
Spoiled yet neglected little Mary Lennox wakes up one day to the unimaginable. The grand home in India where she was born is deserted, the parents who largely ignored her have died, and the servants paid to indulge her have either died or fled due to the cholera epidemic sweeping the continent. She is shipped off to her uncle's manor in Yorkshire, and he too wants nothing to do with her. The discovery of a secret garden in the grounds, however, sets Mary off on an extraordinary path in this enchanting tale about the transformative and healing powers of nature, friendship and faith.
A vital children's classic whose profound symbolism can inspire adults too. Alice's fall down a rabbit hole takes her on an odyssey of different states of being. She grows; she shrinks. She talks to creatures great and small, and also kings and queens. Alice in so doing learns both kindness and strength. Life after all is largely a matter of perception and reaction. Original book cover artwork by Magda Allani.
A New York 'it' girl, Lily Bart is a beauty of slender means and costly tastes, sought after at all the high society parties in town. Her outstanding looks and charm make it a given that she will soon be married to a man of exceptional wealth and status. One by one, the multimillionaires she meets fall at her feet, but somehow Lily finds herself incapable of making a purely mercenary match and so finds herself caught up in a destructive tussle between her emotional and financial needs.
The genius of this story about an acrimonious divorce lies in its being told from a little girl's point of view. Touching and insightful, it is a hilariously acerbic observation of a refined form of child exploitation and neglect. Upon their divorce, little Maisie finds herself of interest to her parents only as a means of expressing their mutual hatred for each other.