A Place to Read

The Last of the Stanfields by Marc Levy

This is the third book I’ve read/listened to by Marc Levy. The first, The Strange Journey of Alice Pendlebury I really enjoyed. The Second, All Those Things We Never Said, I enjoyed but did find it a little strange and long winded. I went into the Last of the Stanfields not really knowing what to expect apart from the difficulty in translation. I listened to the book on Amazon Kindle Unlimited as it is a cheap way of borrowing books to listen to and you are not restricted to one free book per month like with Audible. I’m still a member of Audible though as they have more choice of books. All my links are affiliate links so I may earn some money if you click through and buy, but it will be at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your support.

The Last of the Stanfields

The Last of the Stanfields
By: Marc LevyDaniel Wasserman – translator
Narrated by: Stina NielsenBraden Wright
Length: 13 hrs and 10 mins
Unabridged Audiobook
Release date: 01-01-19
Language: English
Publisher: Brilliance Audio

I did listen to the sample and I thought the narrator was okay, but I have to admit that Stina Nielsen did grate on me after a while. She sounded too ‘posh’ and read too ‘literally.’ Braden Wright was fine though.

The Blurb

A mystery, a love story, and a search through a shadowy past. Two strangers unite in this novel of family secrets by international bestselling author Marc Levy, the most read contemporary French author in the world.

When London journalist Eleanor-Rigby Donovan receives an anonymous letter alluding to a crime committed by her deceased mother, her life is turned upside down. It points her to a bar on the Baltimore Harbor, where she finds a stranger who has received the same mysterious letter about his own mother. Together, Eleanor-Rigby and this young man, George-Harrison Collins, embark on a quest through the shadowy past of the Stanfields, a moneyed Maryland family full of unimaginable secrets. These secrets will transport them back decades, across continents, and to a mysterious crime long buried…until now.

My Review

I was really intrigued by this story despite it being a little long winded again. The story jumps around a lot from 1980, to 2016 and even way back to the 1940s. It was really interesting following the historical background to Eleanor-Rigby and George-Harrison and the mysterious letters they both receive. The story binds together well with a satisfying ending and a few little twists and turns along the way.

It was like dipping into a whole other book reading about Eleanor-Rigby’s grandparents during the war and how they survived and recovered their status once escaping to America.

Then it was another story learning about the exploits of Eleanor-Rigby’s and George-Harrison’s Mother’s and trying to work out who George-Harrison’s Father was. Yes, the names are double barrelled and read out in full all the time which was a little annoying. It was quite refreshing when Eleanor-Rigby’s family referred to her as Elby.

There is a lot going on this book and most of it is interesting and managed to keep me going until the end. Some things were predictable but there were also some little surprises.

Here are some more places you can purchase the book for yourself if you are interested.

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A Place to Read

All Those Things We Never Said – Marc Levy

After really enjoying The Strange Journey of Alice Pendlebury by Marc Levy I decided to give another of his books a try. I chose All Those Things We Never Said from Kindle Unlimited.

My links in this post are affiliate which means if you click through and purchase something I may earn some money at no extra cost to you. Thank you for supporting my blog.

By: Marc LevyChris Murray – translator
Narrated by: Amy McFadden
Length: 9 hrs and 49 mins
Release date: 14-11-17
Language: English

The Blurb from All Those Things We Never Said

Days before her wedding, Julia Walsh is blindsided twice: once by the sudden death of her estranged father…and again when he appears on her doorstep after his funeral, ready to make amends, right his past mistakes, and prevent her from making new ones.

Surprised, to say the least, Julia reluctantly agrees to turn what should have been her honeymoon into a spontaneous road trip with her father to make up for lost time. But when an astonishing secret is revealed about a past relationship, their trip becomes a whirlwind journey of rediscovery that takes them from Montreal to Paris to Berlin and back home again, where Julia learns that even the smallest gestures she might have taken for granted have the power to change her life forever.

My Review

I was intrigued by the blurb, how could her father appear on her doorstep after his funeral? Well, the answer was rather surprising and suspends belief. I’m all for a little sci-fi but it just didn’t seem to fit well into this story.

The premise was lovely, a young women gets to make amends with her father, find out what her childhood was really like, have some long and caring conversations as well as some strops, travel to Canada, Paris and Germany. Meet up with old friends, break up with new and finally realise what is most important in life.

In reality, the story dragged, All Those Things We Never Said, could have been said a little more concisely, cutting the story down. If you like a story which examines all the emotions then you will probably enjoy this. I’m not saying it was bad but…

The main character, Julia, was just annoying, a spoilt brat. The Father was tiresome, meddling, and could have said all those things he needed to say in a letter. Some interesting parts of the story seemed rushed and gave way to lots of dreamy type monologues. The narrator was not to my liking either but that’s a personal choice. I just sometimes think that the past is past and it’s not believable that two so different characters could still be so much in love after the passing of nearly twenty years, or was it eighteen? I got confused as the author used both.

It hasn’t put me off Marc Levy, but I’m glad I got this on my Kindle Unlimited rather than using an Audible credit.

A Place to Read

The Strange Journey of Alice Pendlebury, book review

My latest audio book was The Strange Journey of Alice Pendlebury which I read for free from Amazon Kindle Unlimited. I’ll get on to the book review in a moment.

I love Audible but I keep listening to more than one book every month and I needed to get access to more books without paying too much. Audio books are generally more expensive than normal books or ebooks. I decided to sign up to Amazon Kindle Unlimited which gives me access to many more books with audio narration. And I get three months free to try it out.

The Strange Journey of Alice Pendlebury

The Blurb

Alice Pendelbury believes everything in her life is pretty much in order – from her good friends to her burgeoning career. But even Alice has to admit it’s been an odd week. Not only has her belligerent neighbor, Mr. Daldry, suddenly become a surprisingly agreeable confidant, but he’s encouraging her to take seriously the fortune-teller who told her that only by traveling to Turkey can Alice meet the most important person in her life.

What’s more, the peculiarly insistent Mr. Daldry has even agreed to finance Alice’s trip – one that against all reason seems to be predestined. It’s on this journey, crazy from the outset and strangely irresistible, that Alice will find out that nothing in her life is real, that her past is not true, and that the six people she’s about to encounter will shape her future in ways she could never have dreamed.

My Review

The book was originally written in French but it was translated by an American, which gives it a strange American themes to the English scenes. You may spot them, but I wasn’t overly bothered by them. The narrator was agreeable to listen to, but I always advise anyone purchasing an ebook to listen to the preview.

The book is available on kindle and paperback too, I’ll give links at the end of my post.

This is not the kind of book I would normally read but I was drawn in by the blurb. It sounded quite fascinating and a little bit mystical. The story is basically a love story, but it has lots of little twists and love is not the obvious objective.

I really enjoyed the stories of life in Turkey. For someone who hasn’t travelled much I love hearing stories about other countries. Of course, there was also some of the sad history in the story too. The actual book is set in the 1950s but it also covers 1915 which was a pretty awful time for the Armenians living in Turkey. It encouraged me to read a little more into what happened back then.

Alice Pendlebury is a likeable character and she doesn’t ‘do’ nonsense which is great. Mr Daldry is not so likeable at first, but he grows on you. It’s never really explained why he is so uptight, but it’s lovely to see the little parts of him that endears his character.

The other characters are all brought to life with lots of colour and interest. I have decided that I want to read more from Marc Levy. I’ve already downloaded my next book from Amazon Unlimited.

More ways of getting the book, please not that all my links are affiliate links which may earn me some money if you go on to by something, but they won’t cost you any extra, so thanks for your support.

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