Library Ed. Blackstone Audio 1997
CS ISBN $85.95 Thirteen cassettes
Werfel, an Austrian Jew, wrote this historical novel about a Catholic saint to commemorate his narrow escape from the Nazis via Lourdes. It recounts events surrounding the 1858 visions there of the Holy Virgin encountered by the asthmatic 14-year-old named in the title. It is a sincere but worldly book that Johanna Ward reads with equal respect to subject and writer. Thankfully, she plays down the sentiment that alternately blesses and curses Werfel’s writing and gives us strong characterizations. Her performance is marred by the limited range of cadences she brings to the narrative. One also hears evidence that editing has eliminated pauses that would have added interest and expressiveness. Nonetheless, the tape is well worth the listen. Y.R. © AudioFile 2000, Portland, Maine [Published: AUG/SEP 00]
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