Author: Jonetta

Audio Review: The Horse Dancer by Jojo Moyes

Posted November 14, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | | 0 Comments

I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Audio Review: The Horse Dancer by Jojo MoyesThe Horse Dancer by Jojo Moyes
Narrator: Fiona Hardingham
Published by Penguin Audio on April 11, 2017
Genres: Contemporary Fiction
Format: Audiobook
Length: 17 hours, 39 minutes
Source: the Publisher
Audio | Goodreads
four-stars
two-flames

A quintessential Jojo Moyes novel about a lost girl and her horse, the enduring strength of friendship, and how even the smallest choices can change everything

When Sarah’s grandfather gives her a beautiful horse named Boo—hoping that one day she’ll follow in his footsteps to join an elite French riding school, away from their gritty London neighborhood—she quietly trains in city’s parks and alleys. But then her grandfather falls ill, and Sarah must juggle horsemanship with school and hospital visits.

Natasha, a young lawyer, is reeling after her failed marriage: her professional judgment is being questioned, her new boyfriend is a let-down, and she’s forced to share her house with her charismatic ex-husband. Yet when the willful fourteen-year-old Sarah lands in her path, Natasha decides to take the girl under her wing.

But Sarah is keeping a secret—a secret that will change the lives of everyone involved forever.

 

 
I’m not a horse person but have always been fascinated by these magnificent animals and the people obsessed with them. One of the things that worked about this story is how you didn’t need to have background information to appreciate the world, conflicts and issues.

 
Henri Lachappelle was part of an elite French calvary skilled in an art form of dressage dating back over 250 years. He’s a widow living with his 14-year old granddaughter, Sarah, who he’s training to reach his skill level. They own a horse named Boo who is stabled in an urban area of London beneath railway arches. When Henri is suddenly hospitalized, Sarah finds herself alone until her path crosses Natasha Macauley, a solicitor advocate who takes her in, along with her estranged husband, Mac. The challenges that follow bring out the best and worst of all of them as they struggle to make their situation work.

 
Moyes crafts each of these characters so skillfully, showing all sides, boils and all. There are times when you want to throttle all of them but then later want to applaud them for what’s truly in their hearts. Natasha was the most challenging to embrace as she was adept at hiding her feelings, presenting most frequently a rather cool indifference. But typical of a Moyes character, what lay beneath that exterior was complex. What binds all of them together, however is Boo, the most fabulous horse who Sarah loves unconditionally.

 
Fiona Hardingham is outstanding in her narration, providing each character with his and her own distinctive voice and personality while communicating a difficult story. She made the words leap from the pages, creating vivid images of setting, the quirky folks in Henri and Sarah’s world and, of course Boo.

 
I really enjoyed this story, despite some situations that stretched the limits of credulity (who doesn’t notice a horse traveling from London to France through the streets?). It’s a good tale with great characterizations and I’m glad I opted to listen versus read.

 

Listen to a clip!

About Fiona Hardingham

Winner of 7 AudioFile Earphones Awards and an ALA Odyssey Award honorary listing, Fiona is a highly sought-after voice over artist. For the last three consecutive years three of her audiobook titles were listed in the ‘Top Amazing Audiobooks for Young Adults’ by the Young Adult Library Service Association (YALSA).

Fiona has an extensive collection of character voices and accents and has worked professional in animation, audiobooks, ADR, commercials, documentary narration, promotional content, trailers and film. She gave life to Jacqui the French Mouse in Walt Disney’s short film The Magic of the Glass Slipper, as part of the 100th year anniversary diamond edition of Cinderella. She also voiced a leading role in the SMOSH animation series Otaku Taco Truck. Fiona is the ongoing voice announcer for the popular ESPN radio/TV comedy sports series, Jalen & Jacoby, hosted by Jalen Rose & David Jacoby; and coming in 2017, she voices a leading role in the new feature length animation film Monster Island.

About Jojo Moyes

Jojo Moyes is a British novelist.

Moyes studied at Royal Holloway, University of London. She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to study journalism at City University and subsequently worked for The Independent for 10 years. In 2001 she became a full time novelist.

Moyes’ novel Foreign Fruit won the Romantic Novelists’ Association (RNA) Romantic Novel of the Year in 2004.

She is married to journalist Charles Arthur and has three children.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:


Audio Review: Divine Evil by Nora Roberts

Audio Review: Divine Evil by Nora Roberts

Posted November 6, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | 0 Comments

    An oldie but still goodie!   Clare Kimball is a sculptor whose work has gained notoriety and success in the art world. Just as she should be basking in the acceptance of critics and buyers, Clare abruptly decides to leave New York and return to her Emmitsboro, Maryland, her hometown and site of so many painful memories. After having worked as a detective in Washington, DC, Cameron (Cam) Rafferty has also returned to Emmitsboro as the sheriff, escaping to a much quieter life on the streets and in his home. Neither Clare or Cam could have foreseen the evil that lived inside of the town, even though her nightmares were born there.   What a truly creepy story! At least 13 men in […]


Audio Review: Monster in the Closet by Karen Rose

Audio Review: Monster in the Closet by Karen Rose

Posted October 30, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | 0 Comments

    Taylor Dawson is working as an intern and equine therapist at Daphne’s horse farm, Healing Hearts, but her real agenda is to check out Clay Maynard, her biological father who she only recently learned wasn’t the monster her mother made him out to be. She’s also making headway with one of the kids in her therapy who hasn’t spoken since she witnessed her mother’s murder…unbeknownst to the killer.   The stories that involve children always unnerve me and this one definitely set me on edge. The scenes involving the children, Jazzie and Janie Jarvis, were just chilling. It was balanced, though, by Clay’s reunion with his daughter, Sienna, now known as Taylor. I’ve long awaited this story and I reveled in every part […]


Audio Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Audio Review: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Posted October 25, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | 2 Comments

    Eleanor Oliphant is one of those characters who I find hard to describe in ways that won’t lead you to have the wrong impression. She’s socially awkward, painfully direct and lives a life of isolation outside of her job. There are really good reasons why her emotional growth is stunted and that’s revealed deliberately over the span of the story. When she meets the new IT guy at her job, Raymond, who also has his own brand of social issues, the two of them form their own brand of friendship that slowly develops and leads them out of their self imposed compartmentalization.   I very much enjoyed this story, particularly how it was told…without excessive description and explanation. Eleanor delivers the narrative in […]


Hello Again by Brenda Novak

Hello Again by Brenda Novak

Posted October 16, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | 0 Comments

    Psychologist Evelyn Talbot continues her study of some of the most dangerous serial killers in the country at her special facility located near Anchorage, Alaska. Her newest inmate is Lyman Bishop, aka the Zombie Maker, whose weapon of choice is an ice pick, which he uses to crudely perform lobotomies on his female victims. Meanwhile, Jasper Moore, the man who brutally attacked Evelyn as a teen, is plotting his next move that will bring him closer to her.   Admittedly, this is a creepy series given what Evelyn does but this story really disturbed me, so much so it took me longer to finish because I was terrified as to what I’d find next when I turned the page. Getting Jasper’s point of […]


Audio Review: The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green

Audio Review: The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green

Posted October 10, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | 0 Comments

    Ronni Sunshine is a famous but mildly aging actress and the mother of three daughters. By her own admission, she failed as a parent, so much so that as adults, they have very little interaction with her or each other. In fact, her middle daughter, Meredith, moved abroad to London in order to put some serious distance between them. Now that Ronni is facing a serious illness, she wants to make things right with her daughters and bring them together at her home in Connecticut.   I found this story fascinating in how Ronni’s narcissism and self absorption manifested itself in each of her daughters. The eldest, Nell, became aloof and emotionally challenged, except when it came to her son. Her middle daughter, […]


Audio Review: My Husband’s Wife by Amanda Prowse

Audio Review: My Husband’s Wife by Amanda Prowse

Posted October 9, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | 2 Comments

    Rosie Tipcott is married with two young daughters, Naomi and Leona. She works part time as a hotel housekeeper but her main role in life is taking care of her family. She’s pretty content with her life until one day her husband, Phil, suddenly announces he’s leaving as he’s met someone else. The “other woman” is wealthy, beautiful and can still wear skinny jeans. In that moment, Rosie’s comfortable world is turned inside out along with her identity. Who is she if she’s not her husband’s wife?   Such an authentic story! I really liked Rosie, even though she’s quite different from the enlightened woman with whom I normally identify. She loved taking care of her girls and making a home for her […]


Audio Review: Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben

Audio Review: Don’t Let Go by Harlan Coben

Posted October 4, 2017 by Jonetta in Book Review | 0 Comments

    Detective Napoleon (Nap) Dumas is brought into a case involving a murdered cop in another state when prints found at the scene match those he’d entered in the system years ago. They belong to his former girlfriend, Maura, who disappeared 15 years ago, the same night when his twin brother, Leo, and his girlfriend, Diana, died in a train accident. His search for answers sets him on a strange and sometimes dangerous path that he just can’t let go. Nap is no saint as he’s got his own unorthodox sense of justice but the more he investigates, the more he’s convinced that everything he’s believed about his brother’s death might be wrong. It’s an unusual narrative, one I liked as Nap discusses the […]