From Publishers Weekly
Stevenson has read all of Austen's novels for audiobook, in abridged or unabridged versions, and her experience shows in this delightful production. Though dominated by the intelligent, sweet voice of Anne Elliot
—the least favored but most worthy of three daughters in a family with an old name but declining fortunes—Stevenson provides other characters with memorable voices as well. She reads Anne's haughty father's lines with a mixture of stuffiness and bluster, and Anne's sisters are portrayed with a hilariously flighty, breathy register that makes Austen's contempt for them palpable. Anne's voice is mostly measured and reasonable—an expression of her strong mind and spirit—but Stevenson imbues her speech with wonderful shades of passion as Anne is reacquainted with Capt. Wentworth, whom she has continued to love despite being forced, years before, to reject him over status issues. Listening to Stevenson, as Anne, describe a sudden encounter with Wentworth, one hardly needs Austen's description of how Anne grows faint—Stevenson's perfectly judged and deeply felt reading has already shown that she must have. Even those who have read Austen's novels will find themselves loving this book all over again with Stevenson's evocative rendition ringing richly in their ears. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Listening to Juliet Stevensons marvelous reading, one wonders if she collaborated with Austen in another life. Her narration enhances the text so beautifully that one thinks the author must have coached her. Stevenson applies vocal interpretations that make the characters pop with life. Mary whines and exclaims perfectly; Admiral Croft snaps listeners to attention; Sir Walter Elliot effervesces with indignation over the state of his finances. Only Anne Elliot and Frederick Wentworth speak in calm, measured tones. Nestled in social commentary targeting the matter of class, the story traces the twists and turns that Anne and Frederick must navigate on the road to love. J.J.B. © AudioFile 2007, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine