Author: Betty MacDonald
Narrator: Heather Henderson
Length: 8 hours 30 minutes
Publisher: Post Hypnotic Press⎮2016
Genre: Humor, Memoir
"The best thing about the Depression was the way it reunited our family and gave my sister Mary a real opportunity to prove that anybody can do anything, especially Betty."
After surviving both the failed chicken farm - and marriage - immortalized in The Egg and I, Betty MacDonald returns to live with her mother and desperately searches to find a job to support her two young daughters. With the help of her older sister Mary, Anybody Can Do Anything recounts her failed, and often hilarious, attempts to find work during the Great Depression.
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Betty Bard MacDonald (1907–1958), the best-selling author of The Egg and I and the classic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle children’s books, burst onto the literary scene shortly after the end of World War II. Readers embraced her memoir of her years as a young bride operating a chicken ranch on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, andThe Egg and I sold its first million copies in less than a year. The public was drawn to MacDonald’s vivacity, her offbeat humor, and her irreverent take on life. In 1947, the book was made into a movie starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, and spawned a series of films featuring MacDonald’s Ma and Pa Kettle characters.
MacDonald followed up the success of The Egg and I with the creation of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, a magical woman who cures children of their bad habits, and with three additional memoirs: The Plague and I (chronicling her time in a tuberculosis sanitarium just outside Seattle), Anybody Can Do Anything (recounting her madcap attempts to find work during the Great Depression), and Onions in the Stew (about her life raising two teenage daughters on Vashon Island).
Author Paula Becker was granted full access to Betty MacDonald’s archives, including materials never before seen by any researcher. Looking for Betty MacDonald, the first official biography of this endearing Northwest storyteller, reveals the story behind the memoirs and the difference between the real Betty MacDonald and her literary persona.
Heather Henderson is a voice actress and audiobook narrator with a 20-year career in literary and performing arts. Her narrations include the NYT bestseller (now also a feature film) Brain on Fire; and Sharon Creech’s The Boy on the Porch, which won her an Earphones award and was named one of the Best Children’s Audiobooks for 2013 by Audiofile Magazine. She earned her Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the Yale School of Drama, and is co-curator of AudioEloquence.com, a pronunciation research site for the audiobook industry. In 2015, Heather was a finalist for a Voice Arts Award (Outstanding Narration, Audiobook Classics), for her narration of Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I.
Click to listen to an excerpt of Anybody Can Do Anything
My Rating=4 Stars
Source: I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by Post Hypnotic Press. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion in any way.
This is the third book in Betty MacDonald's memoirs but works well as a standalone. It's the first one I've listened to, though, so it seemed like she glossed over her failed marriage and then I realized that she details that in a previous book. In this book, she's back home with her mother who helps her take care of her two young daughters while she goes to work.
Her sister, Mary, is hilarious. She is constantly finding Betty jobs, usually the one she's leaving, and gives Betty glowing recommendations, even though Betty can't do most of what Mary says she can. She also finds Betty lots of dates, usually the men she turns down, suggesting they go out with her sister, Betty, instead. I truly was amazed at all the jobs Betty held during that time period. For the most part, she was able to quickly find a new one, but there were some difficult times when the entire family pulled together to make it through. There were a couple of times when the story started lagging, but then it picked back up and I was completely engaged again, especially near the end when she talked about her and Mary's co-worker, Dorita.
I loved the narrator, Heather Henderson! I enjoyed the way she brought both Betty and Mary to life. Her voice is fantastic and I thought her pacing was perfect. She did a great job conveying the emotion in Betty's stories, and I laughed out loud multiple times. I listened to this over several days and looked forward to the time I was able to sit down and be entertained some more. This is the first audiobook I've heard narrated by Heather Henderson, and would definitely listen to her again!
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