Notes on Grief; Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Random House Audio - 2021
(1 hour and 27 minutes read by the author - very good)
When the author's father passed away in June of 2020 she and her family were shocked. Her father was 88 and the family had connected with him via Zoom the evening before his passing as they often did during COVID. He had reported that he was tired and feeling unwell. He had been diagnosed with kidney disease but, still his death came as a shock to his family. Are we ever prepared for the death of a loved one even when they have lived a long and meaningful life?
If the author teaches us one thing by reading her heartfelt, journal like celebration of her father's life is this: you can't tell or show a person how to grieve, it's personal and different for every individual.
A beautiful, reflective look at loss and grief written by his grieving daughter.
Rating - 4.5/5 stars
(Audio download provided by the publisher in exchange for my unbiased review.)
Viral, Robin Cook
Penguin Audio - Scott Brick (narrator)
12 hours and 20 minutes
The Murphy family: Brian, Emma and four year old daughter Juliet are taking a break from COVID and vacationing on Cape Cod when Emma comes down with severe flu like-symptoms. On their way home to New York City she has a seizure in the car and is rushed to the closest ER. From there she is moved to ICU and she is diagnosed with Eastern equine encephalitis. From this point things go from bad to worse (with Emma and the entire plot).
This was not the exciting medical thriller my husband and I were expecting as we listened to this for (4) days straight. We felt it was more about battling with insurance companies and hospital administrators about charges and claims and then wondering how you can ever pay what you owe and, then ultimately about how to get even with them. The story becomes quite repetitive and implausible at times but despite this we wanted to see how the story played out. We were curious about the epilogue as well which led to more eye-rolling and a few laughs as well. What started out as a pretty good story went down hill rather fast. Had it not been for Scott Brick's fabulous narration of multiple voices, we might have abandoned it.
Rating - storyline - 2/5 stars
Rating - Scott Brick's narration - 5/5 stars
NOTE: I'm guilty of convincing my husband to try this one. He thought it felt like payback for having me listen to the last Harold Robbins book a few weeks ago.