Monday, May 21, 2012

Thursday's Child by Sonya Hartnett (Audiobook Review)

Audiobook Reviews from Audiobook-Heaven

”Thursday’sThursday’s Child
by Sonya Hartnett
narrated by Melissa Eccleston

Copyright: 2005 Bolinda Audio
Duration: 6 hours 4 minutes unabridged
Genres: general fiction, young adult
Filed in: Audiobook Reviews
Click the image to visit the publisher’s website.

PUBLISHER’S SUMMARY: The creature held a great bundle of something tied up in a rag. For a moment we stared, not recognizing him, but who else could it have been, who else but wandering Tin. We saw his naked limbs, his discoloured hair, his hooking razor-sharp nails. He raised lashy eyes to us and we saw a face on its way to another world. Through the long years of the Great Depression, Harper Flute watches with a child's clear eyes her family's struggle to survive in a hot and impoverished landscape. As life on the surface grows harsher, her brother Tin escapes ever deeper into a subterranean world of darkness and troubling secrets, until his memory becomes a myth barely whispered around the countryside.

©2000 Sonya Hartnett; (P)2002 Bolinda Publishing Pyt Ltd by arrangement with Penguin Group (Australia)

AUDIOBOOK REVIEW: First of all, where on Earth does this novel take place? Thursday’s Child is set during the Great Depression and so, being an egocentric American, I naturally assumed it was in the American Great Depression. But then I was confused because the characters all had Irish or Scottish accents. I read what someone else wrote about Thursday’s Child and they said that it takes place in Australia based on some subtle clues in the text like local flora and place-names. That makes sense since Sonya Hartnett is a native of Australia, but do a lot of people in Australia have Irish accents? Well, at any rate, Thursday’s Child isn’t about the place, and it isn’t even about the times so much; it is definitely about the people.

Regardless of where they live, or how they speak, these are human beings just like you and me and it is easy to sympathize with them as times go from bad to worse. Our main character is Harper, youngest of the family at the beginning of the story. Little Harper doesn’t know anything about depressions but she knows that times are tough and she can see how it is affecting the various members of her family. Through Harper’s eyes we witness first-hand how one setback after another wears away at the resolve of her parents until they begin to withdraw, leaving the children mostly to fend for themselves. It is the final, climactic tragedy that strikes the family that finally wakes the parents up.

Sonya Hartnett had her first novel published when she was just 15 years old and it’s been full speed ahead ever since. It’s easy to see why so many people like her books. Sometimes I read a book and only get fuzzy, gray images of what the author is trying to describe, but Hartnett’s pictures come in sharp and clear and in full color. She creates characters that you can really sympathize with and care for. Thursday’s Child, like many of Hartnett’s novels, was written for young adults, but I think most anyone would enjoy it.

Melissa Eccleston was a good fit for Thursday’s Child. She’s British so the accents came naturally to her I’m sure. I thought Eccleston did a good job handling the various characters and making them distinct, and I also thought she read with some feeling. Not all narrators do that and it’s always nice to hear one that does.

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Special thanks to Brilliance Audio for this review copy.
Audiobook review by Steven Brandt.
This audiobook review is based on the unabridged audiobook.
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