Gilbert’s triumphant return to fiction is matched by Juliet Stevenson’s lyrical reading. Both author and narrator capture the listener from the novel’s opening words. The captivating story of nineteenth-century naturalist Alma Whitaker is long, and perhaps this led to Stevenson’s inconsistency in vocal characterizations. Regardless, listeners, especially gardeners, will delight in Alma’s discoveries about the natural world and herself. Father Henry’s felonious wealth grants the homely but brilliant protagonist years filled with scientific study and writing. Stevenson traverses the globe and a hefty cast of characters, shining in her depictions of Alma’s Dutch mother and adopted sister. Her melodic voice carries the story along so well that one forgives the discrepancies in characterizations. J.J.B. © AudioFile 2013, Portland, Maine [Published: OCTOBER 2013]
Trade Ed. Penguin Audio 2013
CD ISBN 9781611762020 $39.95 Eighteen CDs
DD ISBN multiple sources
Library Ed. Blackstone Audio 2013
CD ISBN 9781482927757 $99.95 Eighteen CDs
MP3-CD ISBN 9781482927801 $44.95 Two MP3-CDs
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