RB Media. Jan. 2022. 4:24 hrs. ISBN 9781705036044. $12.99. F
Following a devastating loss, Mara leaves her family behind and heads into a self-imposed exile. She mindlessly wanders, landing in a wealthy seaside town. When her money runs out, she is forced to scavenge for food, clothing, and shelter, until she is finally hired by the local wine shop owner, Simon. It is there that she allows herself to open up and connect with her boss. She begins to feel alive again in this tale of self-worth, grief, and moving on. Amy Rutherford succeeds in vocally capturing the wide range of emotions found in Freeman’s debut novel. She infuses Mara with a world-weary tone in the opening as she objectively tells her story, then carries her emotionally through despondency, depression, a demeaned self-image, and demoralized actions. Mara speaks Spanish as if a non-native speaker. Once the curtain of emotional darkness begins to lift for Mara and she begins to allow her emotions to wash over her as she remembers why she left home, Rutherford picks up the book’s energy and pacing in her performance through the rest of the story, reflecting Mara’s desire to move forward with her life.
VERDICT A great summer beach listen for fans of Marguerite Duras.
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