Author: Linda MacDonald
Narrator: Harriet Carmichael
Length: 8h 43m
Publisher: Essential Music⎮2016
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Release date: Nov. 17, 2016
Edward Harvey. Even thinking his name made her tingle with half-remembered childlike giddiness. Edward Harvey, the only one from Brocklebank to whom she might write if she found him.” Marianne Hayward, teacher of psychology and compulsive analyser of the human condition, is hormonally unhinged. The first seven years of her education were spent at a boys’ prep school, Brocklebank Hall, where she was relentlessly bullied. From the start, she was weak and frightened and easy prey for Barnaby Sproat and his gang. Only one boy was never horrible to her: the clever and enigmatic Edward Harvey, on whom she developed her first crush. Now 46, when Marianne finds her charming husband in the kitchen talking to the glamorous Charmaine, her childhood insecurities resurface and their once-happy marriage begins to slide. Teenage daughter Holly persuades her to join Friends Reunited, which results in both fearful and nostalgic memories of prep school as Marianne wonders what has become of the bullies and of Edward Harvey. Frantic to repair her marriage, yet rendered snappy and temperamental by her plummeting hormones, her attempts towards reconciliation fail. The answer to all her problems could lie in finding Edward again... But what would happen if she found what she seeks?
Born and brought up in the town of Cockermouth in the Lake District in England, Linda MacDonald has a degree in psychology from Goldsmiths’, London University, and a PGCE in biology and science. She retired in 2012 from teaching psychology in a 6th Form College in order to focus on writing, and has now published three print novels, the first of which is now an audiobook. She lives in Beckenham in Greater London, and travels to speak to various groups about the inspiration behind the ‘Lydia’ series and the psychology of internet relationships.
I've always loved doing voices. I grew up with Radio 4 being on constantly in the background. Somehow the voices and accents broadcast over the years soaked in. And now I do voices. Or if you ask my agent, I'm a "voice artist".
For the last seven years I've spent most of my days in front of a microphone: as myself; as seven-year-old boys; talking baboons; angsty teenagers (usually American); androgynous talking cats; Glaswegian Grannies; the cast of The Archers...
After university I trained at The Oxford School of Drama and then acted mainly with touring theatre companies - some brilliant, some not so... I had a lot of fun, but once I started doing voiceovers in warm studios with good coffee, being on the road lost some of its appeal.
And the voice can do much more than people think. Tone, timing, pitch and accent can all vary depending on the job. From commercials and corporates to cartoons, computer games and audiobooks, it's a brilliant job and, really, I owe it all to Radio 4.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Linda MacDonald. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
MY RATING: 4.5 of 5 STARS
Overall, I quite enjoyed this book and the story. I have a very special place for kids being bullied and made fun of. Younger Marianne definitely hit me in a soft spot. Hearing the small details that a child will catch. Like when Marianne walks into her house and the dog comes bounding towards her, and she thinks to bend down and make sure the dog doesn't jump on her. Because she would have been knocked over. She's just this little girl.
It was breaking my heart whenever Marianne thought of Charmaine. *SHUDDER* My heart was on the floor. The prospect of divorce is bit of a touchy subject in some ways, but the author played it in perfectly. And when Edward Harvey is brought . . . Let's just say I am a huge fan of meeting an old crush again.
Audiobooks, for me, bring a different experience to reading a story. I also find that it will depend on the narrator. I believe Harriet Carmichael embraces the main character and definitely helps bring a mental picture of who she is, what's going on. The audio quality was very well put together. I could hear the narrator very clearly. There was a moment or two where it suddenly went softer in volume for a brief second, but maybe it had to do with my crappy headphones. So I'm not counting that.
Harriet Carmichael's voice is forged in my brain. I love how she brings emotion into her narration. She's animated. That's what I look for in an audiobook. When Marianne suspects that she could possibly be pregnant (at 46 years old) or . . . "the M word," Harriet changed her tone so perfectly that it sounded as if she were really the one with these thoughts. And I love that!
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