Sunday, October 24, 2010

Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie *****

What a fun story this was! It's a Romantic Comedy Ghost Story With Kids, as Crusie herself describes it in a very funny interview with Susan Elizabeth Phillips. And I listened to it and the narrator, Angela Dawe, was wonderful! She has a youthful narrator voice - not child-like, but not too mature, which is nice; however, she did all voices, all ages, wonderfully, consistently, so that you were never unsure who was talking.

There is one thing about Crusie's writing - she does write "he said" and "she said" a lot which doesn't bother me when reading, but when hearing it, it gets redundant. Ok that's my only criticism. I guess other authors leave out the "he said" "she said" when there's a long dialogue, or maybe they use different verbs, like "she sighed" or "he intoned". I like "he murmured" - that's my favorite. Hey, at least this narrator didn't "heh heh" every time that one annoying character did it - the narrator just read what Crusie wrote and didn't try to add sound effects!!

The heroine is Andie - she left her ex-husband North 10 years ago, after a passionate courtship, whirlwind wedding and 1 year of wedded... boredom. He got so involved in the family business he all but forgot about her. They divorced, and she spent the next 10 years wandering - looking for a place to light. She finally meets the man who adores her, and although she hasn't said YES to his question, figures it is time to flush North from her mind so she can wed this new guy in peace.

North has a couple of problems, and when Andie shows up to give back all the uncashed alimony checks he sent her, he decides to ask her help. She agrees to spend 1 month with his new wards, 8 and 12 years old, for $10,000 - all she has to do is get them ready to move from their ancient, moat-surrounded and haunted house, something 3 previous nannies have not been able to do. Oh, yeah, one of his problems IS Andie - he's never really gotten over her.

Crusie writes great characters - Andie's mother is a tarot-reading hippie, North's mother is a ball-busting-bitch, North's younger brother is a ne'er-do-well womanizing rogue who manages to involve a career-climbing tv journalist, a parapsychologist and a whole bunch of other characters in the shenanigans which involve ghosts, death, and moving on. Of course, there are also the children - they're both a little odd, having to deal with ghosts in their everyday lives, but normal otherwise, once Andie reaches out to them.

And in addition to a Happily Ever After for Andie and North, there's a sort of trailer at the end - another HEA? Or a cliff-hanger? It was so much fun, and I ended up sitting up half the night, playing Sudoku (or is it Soduko?) and listening because I couldn't put it down. (should have been knitting - xmas is coming!!)

It seems I've heard Angela Dawe before - she narrated the 2nd in Nora Robert's Bride Quartet, which I've read, and the 3rd, which is in my TBR list. I give her a 4.9-star because, frankly, she's got to stand in line behind my absolute favorites: Anna Fields/Kate Fleming, Davina Porter, Barbara Rosenblat - and it may be a few years of experience for her to reach their 5 star status! The book is 5 stars - I loved it!

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