Tár—The Wandering by Helen Sea
Audio publisher: Books Are Loud, 2011
Read by: Julia Franklin
From: Review copy from Books Are Loud through Audiobook Jukebox
Story: Tár wanders the frozen world collecting tears. One day her friend Favnea the bird brings her a strange tear. Tár does not know who it came from, but it is not a human tear. This tear seems special. Tár decides to find out where the tear came from, but the journey is harder and more dangerous than she expects.
Thoughts: Tár is a very dense short story, less than an hour long. I listened to it several times and caught something new each time. Tár is an amazing character. She has an all-encompassing job, and her dedication is inspiring. To help with her tear-gathering, she has several unique tools. I'd love to hear more of Tár's family, adventures, and the other Wanderers. There is a lot going on around Tár outside of the story told here.
Reading: This is my first audiobook read by Julia Franklin, and I was very impressed with her professionalism. Her characters were each unique and the melody of her voice lent mystery to the tale. I really enjoyed her reading and will be sure to seek out other books narrated by her.
Music: I am very apprehensive about music in audiobooks. I don't want it to overpower or distract in any way. Tár contains original music composed by the author consisting of short snippets played on a wooden flute. The music was mostly calm and quiet and fit well with the story. The same few bars were used, and they eventually became repetitive, but only a few times did the music clash with the words. At those times the music was too light for the story's seriousness and the music undermined the developing tension. Aside from these few places, I felt the music added to the story and set a mood of calm determination.
Final thoughts: Tár—The Wandering is an impressive fable suitable for middle grades through adults.
Tár's determination is an inspiration to other wanderers.