Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Audiobook(s) of the Week: The Diary of a Young Girl and The Dollhouse Murders

This week's Audiobook of the Week (although I finished it two weeks ago) is The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank. I've read the book many times, but the idea of listening to it on CD intrigued me. Would it be jarring to hear diary entries read aloud?

Luckily, I settled into the recording very quickly. No doubt due to the gifts of the narrator, Susan Adams. Her young, girlish voice (though not high pitched) was a terrific choice to bring Anne's diary to life. She brilliantly captures Anne's self-centeredness and giddiness at the beginning of the diary, which eventually transpires into a more shaken and mature point of view. It's a phenomenal performance.

Books about dolls usually creep me out, and not in a good way! However, The Dollhouse Murders is creepy in a very delicious way. It also has a touching message about loving family members, even when it can be a challenge, and letting go of the past.

Amy loves her sister, but having to constantly watch out for her gets tiring. Louann is brain damaged. Her family situation has cost her friendships, so when a new friendship also seems threatened, Amy explodes with frustration. Amy is allowed to stay with her Aunt Claire for a week in order to get a break, where she discovers an unusual dollhouse that holds clues to her family's past.

The Dollhouse Murders is exceptionally narrated by Carole Jordan Stewart. She creates a satisfyingly creepy atmosphere, while giving great warmth to Aunt Claire and a perfect 12 year old girl's sensibility to Amy.

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