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.
For the last seven years I've spent most of my days in front of a microphone: as myself; as seven-year-old boys; talkingbaboons; angsty teenagers (usually American); androgynous talking cats; Glaswegian Grannies; the cast of The Archers...
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".
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.
My Rating=4.5 Stars
Source: 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 in any way.
Marianne is 46. She and her husband, Johnny, have one daughter, Holly, who is getting ready to leave for college. Johnny brings an attractive new associate home, Charmaine, which triggers every insecurity Marianne has ever had. Holly encourages Marianne to join Friends Reunited and she does, wanting to learn what happened to her first crush, Edward Harvey, as well as the boys who bullied her when she was young.
I enjoyed this book! I was able to relate to Marianne in several ways. It was interesting being inside her head as she worried about the different changes that were happening in her life. She confronts situations that she's avoided for many years and learns more about herself in the process. It was an emotional rollercoaster as she started corresponding with Edward, dealt with the jealousy she felt towards Charmaine, and supported Holly through a difficult time. I wasn't sure how it would end, since there were a few different directions it could have gone. I was happy with the way it ended. I love how the title worked its way into the story. My only complaint is that there's a handful of my least favorite word, the "f" word.
The narrator, Harriet Carmichael, is new to me and I loved her! She did a great job bringing Marianne to life and I felt like I really got to know Marianne through her. She has a fantastic accent and brought the right amount of emotion to a woman going through some major life changes. There were times that I laughed out loud and other times when I felt the tough emotions that Marianne was feeling. I feel like I got more out of this book by listening to it and would definitely listen to more books narrated by her!
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