I was wandering through Librivox, and in looking for something comforting found some recordings of E. Nesbit novels by a narrator new to me, Helen Taylor. You never know what you’re going to get with volunteer readers, but Helen Taylor should be doing this for a living – she was utterly marvelous, and I had a wonderful time with Squirrel and Panther et al. Since she had done such a magnificent job with old favorites, I then looked to see what else Ms. Taylor had read, found this – a book I’d never heard of by an author I’d never heard of – and thought why not?
The plot is purest soap opera, 1908 style: amnesia, lost loves, misunderstanding and lack of communication, secret shames and unknown children. I thought it would be amusing, if nothing else, and well worth a try for the narration. And it was as much fun as a soap opera can be at its best – which, truth be told, is quite a bit. The characters are marvelous – even when there are clear cases of “Oh for heaven’s sake just talk to each other won’t you” they’re fun to hang around with. The plot took turns I found completely unexpected for the time period, without ever explicitly stating that’s where it was going – it was twisty and tangled and overall frothy fun with a surprisingly strong heart at its center.
I stumbled across your blog… oh alright then, I was ego-surfing :-)
Just wanted to say thankyou for your lovely review, it absolutely made my day. Somehow Good was the first book I ever recorded – the sound quality is pretty awful, happily I’ve made great strides in that respect – but I fell in love with the medium and haven’t stopped since, so I owe Mr De Morgan a lot!
Hi! I’m so glad you found the post! I’m amazed this was your first narration (what a huge long book to start out with!); you did a wonderful job. And as I said in the review, your E. Nesbits were just about perfect. I’m a fan!