Saturday, December 17, 2011

Audiobook review: Reversing Over Liberace by Jane Lovering

My grandfather's left me his nose. It's in a matchbox. -Willow Cayton

Reversing Over Liberace (2008) by Jane Lovering
Genre: contemporary romance
Length: 8h 38m
Audio publisher: Iambik Audio, 2011
Read by: Cori Samuel
From: Iambik Audio

Listen to the first chapter on Cori Samuel's blog.

Story: Willow's beloved grandfather has died, and all he left her was his nose. The mummified body part fits in a matchbox, but it could have been worse. Her brother inherited 12 pairs of rubber boots. Even without the nose, Willow's life hasn't amounted to much. She's 32, has never been married, and works a lousy job in the town where she was born. Then Luke shows up. Willow had a huge crush on him at university, but back then he wouldn't give her the time of day. Maybe this time things will be different...

Thoughts: I was in the mood for a lighthearted comedy, and Reversing Over Liberace hit the spot. Willow is a 30-something singleton who spends her spare time in the pub with her mates, but she's more than a sex-starved Bridget Jones. She cares about people, especially her three older brothers and sister, even though they drive her insane with their strange obsessions. The story has a lot of unexpected goings-on as everyone bangs about their business leaving Willow to get Luke's attention and make peace with her grandfather's passing as well as his strange inheritance.

I loved Willow's dysfunctional family. It's great to see siblings who are realistically self-centered without being mean. They "hate, resent, and adore" one another, and show it through clever insults. I especially enjoyed Ash, Willow's hot gay twin. It would be great to have a story following Ash and his motorcycle, and another one following big brother Bree who never speaks but binds books. The beginning of the story had some clunky pop culture allusions, but the witty dialogue soon smoothed everything over, and by the time the Jasper Fford references came out, I was hooked. I couldn't wait to see how it all turned out.

Reading: A lot of my fondness for Willow's family rests squarely on the shoulders of Cori Samuel. I thoroughly enjoyed her excellent narration. Her young voice is perfect for Willow, and the other characters were spot-on with their Irish, Welsh, and other British accents which I can never identify but love to hear. I especially fancied the male voices. Each was distinct in tone and style and added to the character's feel. I want to hear more adventures of Ash mostly because of his suave voice, even though I know he's gay. And fictional.

I have a pronunciation fetish over the word "pastie," and I learned Jane Loverling has one over the word "scone." I didn't even know there were other ways to pronounce that one! Luckily, all scones were pronounced correctly and no pasties made appearances in this book.

Cover: I have to say, the audio version of this book has one of the worst covers ever. I can't even tell what it is. A big nose and a cat in a goal post? The paperback cover is better but implies the story takes place in New York instead of the other York and makes Willow look like a ditz. The book is better than either cover or even the title implies. Take a listen and judge for yourself.

Final thoughts: A super fun romance with witty, entertaining characters who love to rag on each other because they care.

Grade: 5 out of 5

Thanks to Iambik Audio for providing this review copy of Reversing over Liberace through the Audiobook Jukebox Solid Gold Reviewer program.

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