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by narrator "Nicolette McKenzie" in All Categories
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Villa in Italy
Length: 13 hrs and 16 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Marvellously atmospheric tale of strangers summoned to a grand but neglected villa on the Italian coast. Each of them has been named in a will, but nobody knows their benefactress.... Four very different people are named in a will. Delia, an opera singer robbed of her voice by illness; George, an idealistic scientist who cannot face what his skills have created; Marjorie, desperately poor and unable to dislodge her writer’s block; and Lucius, ostensibly in control but whose personal life is in chaos.
Fabulous family saga of secrets held through two generations, set against the atmospheric background of the Lake District at Christmas. The year 1936 is drawing to a close. Winter grips Wetmoreland and causes a rare phenonmenon: The lakes freeze. For two local families, the Richardsons and the Grindleys, this will bring unexpected upheaval, as the frozen lake entices long-estranged siblings and children to return home for the holiday season.
From the author of The Frozen Lake comes an enthralling novel of love, betrayal, and idealism as three very different young women go up to Oxford in the years immediately before World War Two. Vee - the clergyman’s daughter. Boyish, alluring, she plans to use her time at Oxford to put right everything that went wrong in her loveless childhood.
Posy Montague is approaching her 70th birthday. Still living in her beautiful family home, Admiral House, set in the glorious Suffolk countryside where she spent her own idyllic childhood catching butterflies with her beloved father, and raised her own children, Posy knows she must make an agonising decision. The house is crumbling around her, and Posy knows the time has come to sell it. Then a face appears from the past - Freddie, her first love, who abandoned her and left her heartbroken 50 years ago.
Absorbing and escapist, The Villa on the Riviera is perfect summer listening for fans of Rachel Hore and Santa Montefiore. Polly Smith is struggling to make a living as an artist when her friend and patron, Oliver, invites her to the south of France. But her world is unexpectedly turned upside down when she digs out her birth certificate to apply for a passport. Her parents are not who she believed them to be - even her name is different.
Fiercely resilient and impeccably dressed, Veronica McCreedy has lived an incredible 87 years. Most of them alone, in her huge house by the sea. But Veronica has recently discovered a late-life love for family and friendship, adventure and wildlife. More specifically, a love for penguins! And so when she's invited to co-present a wildlife documentary, far away in the southern hemisphere, she jumps at the chance. Even though it will put her in the spotlight, just when she thought she would soon fade into the wings.
Seventy-seven-year-old Judith Potts is blissfully happy. She lives alone in a faded mansion in Marlow, sets crosswords for The Times, and there’s no man in her life to tell her what to do or how much whisky to drink. One evening, while out swimming in the Thames, Judith witnesses a brutal murder. When the local police don’t believe her story, Judith and two unlikely friends decide to investigate for themselves. Together, they are the Marlow Murder Club.
Veronica McCreedy lives in a mansion by the sea. She loves a nice cup of Darjeeling tea whilst watching a good wildlife documentary. And she’s never seen without her ruby-red lipstick. Although these days, Veronica is rarely seen by anyone, because at 85, her days are spent mostly at home, alone. She can be found either collecting litter from the beach, trying to locate her glasses, or shouting instructions to her assistant, Eileen. But today...today, Veronica is going to make a decision that will change all of this.
Australia, 1946: 650 brides are departing for England to meet the men they married in wartime. But instead of the luxury liner they were expecting, they find themselves aboard an aircraft carrier, alongside a thousand men. On the sun-baked decks, old loves and past promises become distant memories, and tensions are stretched to the limit as brides and husbands change their minds. And for Frances Mackenzie, it soon becomes clear that the journey is more important than the destination....
In Stories of Hope, Heather Morris will explore the art of listening - a skill she employed when she first met Lale Sokolov, the Tattooist at Auschwitz. It was her ability to listen that led Lale to entrust Heather with his story, which she told as the novel The Tattooist of Auschwitz. Now she shares her story of how she learned to listen. Heather grew up on a farm in rural New Zealand. On her way back across the paddocks from school, she would visit her great-grandfather and listen to his experiences of war - stories he told only Heather.
For Mattie Willit, caught in a thunderstorm running away from her bullying stepfather, rescue comes in the form of Jacob Kemble, a widowed farmer living with his two young children. She is escaping from an enforced marriage; he, struggling with the memory of a loveless one. As Jacob nurses Mattie back to health, the two come know and love each other. Meanwhile, wealthy and elderly Miss Emily Newington needs their help to save her from her greedy cousin who is plotting to take her house.
At 18, Cathie longs for more than life as a settler in the Australian bush. So when her uncle offers her the chance to send her to England, she grabs the opportunity with both hands and runs away from her family. But little does she know that he is using her to get revenge on his sister, Liza. Attacked at the docks in Liverpool, Cathie takes refuge with the man who saved her, a man who has his own troubles. But as she slowly regains her memory and meets her Lancashire relatives, she must confront the legacy of her mother's past.
Seventeen-year-old Liza is happy working as a lady's maid - until her employers decide to emigrate and her father makes up his mind that she is to wed an older widower whom she detests. Determined to avoid a loveless marriage, Liza plans to run away. But when the widower rapes her to force her to marry him, she flees back to the family for whom she worked. She feels she has no choice but to go with them to Australia, and they all set out on the long voyage. On board ship, Liza discovers to her horror that she has fallen pregnant.
Liza McCullen will never escape her past, but the unspoilt beaches and tight-knit community of Silver Bay offer the safety she craves for her young daughter, Hannah...until Mike Dormer arrives, and the peace of Silver Bay is shattered. The mild-mannered Englishman could destroy everything Liza has worked so hard to protect: not only the family business and the bay that harbours her beloved whales but also her conviction that she will never love again.
Cassandra Blake has raised her three motherless sisters. The girls are the pride of their book-loving, impractical father, and not in a hurry to marry. Then the American Civil War cuts off supplies of cotton to Lancashire, the mills fall silent and there is no work. There is a stark choice: stay and risk starvation or pack up and begin again elsewhere. Cassandra has fallen in love with Reece Gregory, but he can't support a wife. When he's given the chance to start a new life in Western Australia, he seizes the opportunity, promising to send for her.
Bram Deagan has a thriving trading business, a growing family - and a gift for matchmaking. His dearest wish is to see his friends Dougal and Mitchell happily married, too. In England, Eleanor Prescott has been widowed and often thinks of Dougal McBride, the ship's captain who was a true friend to her. Does she dare return to Western Australia to find him? Jacinta Blacklea is also a widow, desperate to protect her young son. When she hears of a man in Australia looking for a wife, she determines to grasp Mitchell Nash's invitation with both hands.
Feo's life is extraordinary. Her mother trains domesticated wolves to be able to fend for themselves in the snowy wilderness of Russia, and Feo is following in her footsteps to become a wolf wilder. She loves taking care of the wolves, especially the three who stay at the house because they refuse to leave Feo, even though they've already been wilded. But not everyone is enamored with the wolves or with the fact that Feo and her mother are turning them wild.
5 out of 5 stars
Magical tale of feisty girl and her wolves in snowy Russia
The Great War opened up an exciting new career for Vi in London. But that was yesterday. Now the war's over, her husband is dead and she needs to pick up the pieces of her life. On her way home from work she meets a man who is in huge need of her help. Recently demobbed, Joss Bentley has no job or home and, with his wife dead, there's a new baby to care for - and, what's more, it's not his. As he searches grimly for its real father, he runs up against people who will use any means necessary to conceal dark secrets, and Vi finds herself faced with conflicting loyalties.
After being driven from home by their brutal father, the Willett sisters find themselves facing greater heartache in the wider world. Nell, the middle daughter, has left home to be with her lover, Cliff, fearing what reprisals might come from marrying against her father’s wishes. The couple head for Lancashire, but Nell’s happiness is short-lived.
Singapore in the 1860s is exotic and yet terrifying for a penniless Englishwoman, alone and vulnerable after her mother's death. Too pretty to obtain a governess' job, Isabella Saunders accepts an offer from Singapore merchant Mr Lee to teach him English and live with his family. Two years later Bram Deagan arrives in Singapore, determined to make his fortune as a trader. Mr Lee sees a way to expand his business connections and persuades Isabella to marry Bram. Bravely, she sets sail for a new land and life.