Friday, July 29, 2016

Audiobook: The Bookseller by Cynthia Swanson

“In that other life, I am the center of my world. Of course, I love and care about other people—many other people. But at the end of the day, my thoughts and actions are mainly about managing my own life and my own emotions.”
― Cynthia Swanson, The Bookseller

Read by Kathe Mazur
Duration: 11.5 hours

Nothing is as permanent as it appears …

Denver, 1962. Kitty Miller has come to terms with her unconventional single life. She loves the bookshop she runs with her best friend, Frieda, and enjoys complete control over her day-to-day existence. She can come and go as she pleases, answering to no one. There was a man once, a doctor named Kevin, but it didn’t quite work out the way Kitty had hoped.

Then the dreams begin.

Denver, 1963. Katharyn Andersson is married to Lars, the love of her life. They have beautiful children, an elegant home, and good friends. It’s everything Kitty Miller once believed she wanted—but it only exists when she sleeps.

Convinced that these dreams are simply due to her overactive imagination, Kitty enjoys her nighttime forays into this alternate world. But with each visit, the more irresistibly real Katharyn’s life becomes. Can she choose which life she wants? If so, what is the cost of becoming Katharyn? As the line between her worlds begins to blur, Kitty must figure out what is real and what is imagined.

My Thoughts: Browsing through the titles over on Overdrive, my attention stopped at this audio. The title and the book on the cover immediately told me that I had to read this, without reading the synopsis. Yes, I know...I shouldn't judge a book by its cover. I can't help it sometimes! I am glad that I listened to my gut though because this turned out to be such a fascinating story.

This book did an awesome job in having me question what was real and what was not. Kitty was caught between two worlds: one where she was a single young lady who owned a bookstore with her best friend and the other was where she was married with children. Every time she fell asleep, Kitty would wake up in the alternate world. The whole time I wondered which of the worlds was real, or if any of those two were real. It was also emotional at times to learn the reality of certain worlds. For example, in one world her husband Lars existed while the other one he didn't. I absolutely fell in love with Lars that the though of him not existing made me tear up a few times. This book had me debating back and forth trying to figure out what was happening. When the answer was finally revealed towards the end, everything made sense. I thought about this book for days trying to see how everything was connected.

This audio production was read by Kathe Mazur. It took me a long time (almost two months) to get through this book because of the reader. Kathe Mazur was not a terrible narrator. She knew how to portray Kitty's character very well. However, Ms. Mazur's voice was too calm for me. Every time I started listening to the audio, I found myself relaxing and falling asleep. Her voice was too soothing. I had to constantly go back and repeat many of the parts that I missed. So this audiobook took longer to get through than I expected it. 

As a whole, though, this was a fantastic book! I might have to try reading the actual physical book to see if it's any different. I loved how the book played with my mind and I loved the possibilities that the Kitty's two worlds had. The fact that I am still thinking about this book even though I finished it a while ago shows what an impact it had on me. I rate it:


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