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Not sure what drew me to this book in the first place and on starting it I thought it was going to be a bit too odd for me, but then it takes you by the hand and your entranced.
The narrator, being the author herself, was the best I've listened to by far, able to bring each character to life as an individual with a different ascent, pitch and tone, so rather than being a good story but read in a bland tone, it is more like listening to a good play, one that makes you feel as if you know the characters well, like people you actually know from your own life, how clever, how amazing.
This book moved me, made me lough, cry and think !
Exactly what a good book should be (a story, a journey, not just a book).
All the characters are interesting in their own way, but the character of Marvellous Ways is so strong, kind and wise, you can't fail to be both moved and delighted.
14 of 14 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
Sarah Winman's 'When God was a Rabbit' had a huge following when it was published in 2011, and her new novel shares the same kind of story-telling rooted in reality. But it's a reality into which magic and mysticism ebb and flow - like the tide in which the mermaid mother of Marvellous Ways lived (and died when she was shot in mistake for a basking seal).
Marvellous Ways - even her name is one of the book's many playful games with words - is 89 years old at the beginning of the story. She is sitting by a Cornish creek with a telescope waiting. Waiting for what? She has spent her life living alone, hanging on 'like a limpet' , waiting for some kind of completion. It's 1947 and a young soldier Francis Drake who had lived through the battlefields of France has a letter to deliver to the father of another young soldier he watched die. Together both Marvellous and Francis achieve some kind of regeneration.
The lives of Francis, Marvellous and the bereaved father are teased out in waves of flashbacks which are an always intriguing mix of sharp reality, striking imagery, lulling rhythms and fantasy.
Sarah Winman reads the novel herself. Authors aren't always the best narrators of their own work, but here it is absolutely right. Because the words are hers, she knows exactly how to weight them and guide the listener through the magic. You can really believe that she is Marvellous.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful
The story itself was told well, and the story-telling within was awesome. I really liked the narration. A sensitive and poignant relationship between young and old. Definitely recommend!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
It took me a little while to get into this book as the writing style is distinctive and beautiful and you need to get your head into it. However it was worth persevering. A book of rare beauty, slightly magical, delightful and wonderfully written. Winman's prose is gorgeous and her characters are deep and mysterious. The story has a delightful circularity which I didn't see coming.
The narration was excellent, not the usual quality of an author-read book but powerful and elegant, with beautifully delineated characters. A most different and enjoyable book.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful