4 audiobooks for August

Lean back, dig your toes down into the sand and plug in. We have four novels perfect for the beach.

1. "The Stars Are Fire," by Anita Shreve

(Read by Suzanne Elise Freeman; Random House Audio; 8.5 hours; 7 CDs; $35/ www.audible.com download; $24.50)

In October of 1947 young mother Grace Holland finds her life permanently altered after a fire of biblical proportions (and based on fact) destroys her home along with nine other towns in coastal Maine.  New challenges force Grace to find emotional reserves and hidden strengths heretofore untapped.  Hearing her grow and embrace a new life is both heartening and surprisingly difficult. This is very much an adult-themed story that occasionally dips close to being mawkish, but Shreve keeps us engaged and eventually, delighted. Freeman is believable as the protagonist, revealing emotion as needed.  Her male voices, however, sound uninspired and unengaged.   Grade: A –

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