Title: Keep Quiet
Author: Lisa Scottoline
Publication Date: 8th April 2014
Time: 8hrs 15mins
Book Source: own audio
Narrated by: Ron Livingston
Synopsis: an emotionally gripping and complex story about one man’s split-second decision to protect his son - and the devastating consequences that follow. Jake Buckman’s relationship with his sixteen-year-old son Ryan is not an easy one, so at the urging of his loving wife, Pam, Jake goes alone to pick up Ryan at their suburban movie theater. On the way home, Ryan asks to drive on a deserted road, and Jake sees it as a chance to make a connection. However, what starts as a father-son bonding opportunity instantly turns into a nightmare. Tragedy strikes, and with Ryan’s entire future hanging in the balance, Jake is forced to make a split-second decision that plunges them both into a world of guilt and lies. Without ever meaning to, Jake and Ryan find themselves living under the crushing weight of their secret, which threatens to tear their family to shreds and ruin them all.
1. Walter Scott's quote "Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!" was my first thought. Keep Quiet is a hot mess of LIES and angst and extreme
2. If you want an unexpected character to loathe, Jake's wife Pam is the most hypocritical, sanctimonious, judgmental bitch I've come across in a while.
3. Ron Livingston 'fit' Jake well. I think the audio lightened up writing flaws and repetitive angst. My first Lisa Scottoline and my first Ron Livingston narration ... I'd go there again.
4. Moral dilemma ... hmm, well at the risk of sounding sanctimonious, I don't think there's much to debate. This was not 'protection' ...
5. It's twisty and fast-paced and despite the flaws you go along for the ride ... it's the trainwreck you can't look away from.
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Title: The Winter Crown
Author: Elizabeth Chadwick
Genre: Historical Fiction
Series: Eleanor of Aquitaine #2
Publication Date: 11th September 2014
Time: 18hrs 56mins
Book Source: own audio
Narrated by: Katie Scarfe
Synopsis: It is the winter of 1154 and Eleanor, Queen of England, is biding her time. While her husband King Henry II battles for land across the channel, Eleanor fulfils her duty as acting ruler and bearer of royal children. But she wants to be more than this - if only Henry would let her.
Instead, Henry belittles and excludes her, falling for a young mistress and leaving Eleanor side-lined and angry. And as her sons become young men, frustrated at Henry's hoarding of power, Eleanor is forced into a rebellion of devastating consequences. She knows how much Henry needs her, but does Henry know himself?
Overflowing with scandal, politics, sex, triumphs and tragedies, The Winter Crown is the much-awaited new novel in this trilogy and a rich, compelling story in its own right.
1. Katie Scarfe's narration is brilliant, her tone, inflection, emotion; I could listen to her all day. In this and The Summer Queen, she is Aliénor ... one female historical figure I never tire of reading about. 19 hours ... who knew?
2. I adore reading about strong women, especially at a time in history when their perceived value equates to their ability to produce heirs or seal an alliance. Aliénor, independent ruler of the Duchy of Aquitaine and Poitiers, Queen Consort of England and matriarch to a dynasty bearing 8 children to Henry. She's astute, influential, level-headed, a loving mother, (I loved the 'ordinary' warm moments with her children) compassionate friend and a formidable challenger of Henry's control and egotism.
3. Elizabeth Chadwick tells a story with extensive research, integrity and creative flair with both foot planted firmly in the historical period. To feel like you are witnessing history rather than reading it is a powerful testament to an author's care and skill. I guess it also helps to have recently visited many of the historical sites of Henry's reign.
4. The Winter Crown picks up at Westminster Abbey in 1154 and continues Aliénor's story, her fascinating and tumultuous marriage to King Henry II, their mutual ambition and passion fast turning to tension, resentment, utter loathing, rebellion and culminating in her banishment and imprisonment in Old Sarum in 1174.
5. A host of other historical figures to love and loathe, King Henry's brother, the despicable William X, Count of Poitou, Thomas Becket Archbishop of Canterbury, Aliénor's friend Isabel de Warenne, William Marshall, Henry's young mistress, Rosamund Clifford and Hamelin de Gatinais, half brother to Henry.
The Autumn Throne concludes the trilogy and despite knowing the history I can't wait!