Thursday, September 8, 2011
Publisher/ Format: 7 discs; 8 hours, 337 page equivalent
Narrator: Ron McLarty and Orlagh Cassidy.
Year of publication: 2011
Subject: love and loss
Setting:Ohio and South Carolina
Source: review copy from Hachette Audio
One Summer is a complete departure from David Baldacci's normal political thriller, action adventures. It is a romance, some would call it chick-lit, but it is every bit as well written as his other stuff. It was a pleasant summer read, and fit right in with my cozy summer reading theme.
Essentially, it's the story of a terminally ill man whose wife is killed on Christmas eve. His children are ripped from his deathbed by his mother-in-law who sells the family home to pay for his care, and he is left to die alone. Then a miraculous recovery and an unexpected inheritance allow him the chance to reunite his family, rebuild his relationships with his children, and find a new friendship that has definite romantic possibilities. The family interactons are realistic even if the plot is a bit far-fetched. I suppose every summer romance has to have a happy ending, even if we are left to imagine the future of many of the characters. The positive possibilities for each were there.
I "ear-read" this one thanks to a review copy from Hachette Audio. It's a favorite format for me. I've listened to several other Baldacci books in audio that also had Ron McLarty as the narrator. He has a clear voice, and terrific inflection, but I found it disconcerting to have this voice who is usually relating white-knuckle suspense to be telling a story of love lost and found. I also disliked the music. I'm not sure why audio book producers feel they have to make 'productions' out of book readings. A good narrator should be able to give us the story. I don't need background music to set the tone or scene in a printed book, and I find it distracting in an audio book. I want the author's words to set the tone, not some heart-string pulling music (if I closed my eyes at one point, I'd have expected to open them to see angels descending with harps!)
All in all though, it's a fun read, a heart-warmer, and one that is sure to please readers who like happy endings.
Many thanks to Hachette for the opportunity to review it.