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Reviews

Some lovely words about my work, but I'll keep it brief.

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Audiofile Review June 2021

 

Deirdra Whelan does a splendid job narrating this captivating mystery. Sheila is a lecturer at a biblical museum in Tel Aviv. During college, she and her friends dubbed themselves "The Others" after women of the Bible who did not have children. They opted for careers over motherhood. Now, 20 years later, The Others are being murdered in gruesome, symbolic ways. Sheila is worried that she's next. But is Sheila telling herself the truth, hiding from the truth, or is the truth hiding from her? Whelan subtly voices all the characters in her English accent and makes them all unique and engaging. She perfectly portrays Sheila's bluntness and humorous sarcasm. Listeners will enjoy her performance as the mystery unfolds and deepens. A.M. © AudioFile 2021, Portland, Maine [Published: JUNE 2021]

 

 

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The Times Review February 2021 - Audiobook of The Week

I got so hooked on this subtle, wry intimate novel that I listened to it from start to finish in the course of a lockdown day of going for a walk and pottering in my shed.  I only broke off to master the intricacies of paying tax online.

Its title deliberately evokes the Japanese poet Matsuo Basho's Narrow Road to the Deep North; the main character,Sybil, who tolls quietly away at the Royal Institute of Prehistorical Studies, takes up haiku classes after her boyfriend is stolen from her by her former archaeology lecturer, Helen Hansen, a careerist from hell, who tramples truth as well as people in her search for fame as an expert on the Bronze Age Beaker people.  Uninspired haiku-like phrases punctuate the narrative, cleverly conveying Sybil's distinctly odd world view after hitting her head at an ice rink.

Gradually we realise that this is not just a caustically funny study of the green-eyed monster: there actually is a sinister back story to Helen's takeover of Sybil's workplace, as well as her boyfriend. Bonuses are some shrewd pokes as modern museum culture and the travails of flat-sharing but it is Deirdra Whelan's perfect pitched projection of Sybil's concussed state of mind that makes this most unusual novel compulsive listening. 

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