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A Point in Time Series

Seven authors each wrote a short story about important moments that changed their characters' lives. This series can be read on Amazon & listened to on Audible.

Naomi's Gift (A Point in Time Series #1)

Author: Martha Hall Kelly

Narrator: Nina Yndis

Started: July 30, 2022

Finished: July 31, 2022

When a woman discovers an old tin filled with notes from her aunt who was in the Ravensbruck concentration camp with her mother and discovers her true identity. She discovers that when the other women in the bunk learned of the impending birth, they banded together to keep her a secret thereby keeping her safe. A story of love and family. Kelly also gives information on her upcoming books which covers a similar premise.

The story is very well done as it is a topic that I have not seen covered in a historical fiction recently. The narrator has a very heavy accent or one that is overdone if not her original language which is a bit off putting.

Ash Wednesday (A Point in Time #2)

Author: Paula McLain

Narrator: Malcolm Hillgartner

Started: July 31, 2022

Finished: August 1, 2022

Fritz Herter, a Swiss German immigrant, is the only custodian at his children's school. One day as he attempts to figure out why the school will not heat properly, a massive fire erupts in the school. Although Fritz does what he has been trained to do and alerts everyone of the fire so they can evacuate. Despite their fire drills, chaos reigns, and the children and teachers are separated or too panic-stricken to do what they have been trained on. While it is originally thought that Fritz did something to accidentally cause the fire, he is eventually cleared of the horrible accident - although the neighborhood doesn't agree and continues to make his and his family's lives miserable despite the fact that they too lost children in the fire.

This was a very good story with a wonderful narrator. Hillgartner emoted properly as the story called for it and added to the interest in the story. McLain wove a wonderful story based on true events in Ohio. She discovered the premise for this short story when walking through a cemetery and she noticed a mass grave of those who had died in the fire.

Landing (A Point in Time #3)

Author: Olivia Hawker

Narrator: Scott Lange

Started: August 1, 2022

Finished: August 2, 2022

Alan is a young NASA engineer who is recently married. While it was a shotgun wedding due to her delicate condition. The problem is he is far more focused on helping man get to the moon than he is on getting to know and care for his new wife. The more and more he works on the shuttle the less he takes into his account the needs of his family. When a tragedy occurs, Alan must figure out how to make up the lost time with his wife so they can begin to heal.

The narrator did a wonderful story of bringing this story surrounding putting men on the moon to life. He made each character stand out on their own merits and you could not help but care about the characters and suffer through their heartbreak with them.

We Are Bone & Earth (A Point in Time #4)

Author: Esi Edugyan

Narrator: Liz Femi

Started: August 2, 2022

Finished: August 3, 2022

Sisi is a young West African girl on the search for her younger brother. They were both kidnapped and enslaved by fierce female warriors. The guilt Sisi feels at not being able to save him is something she lives with every day. Due to her ability to speak and understand different languages, she is an asset to the English men she works for and uses her skills to try to locate her brother.

The narrator did a wonderful job bringing Sisi to life and sharing the emotion that the character would have felt at losing her brother. This was a good story but I don't believe a short story was the best way to tell it. This would make an amazing full novel as it would allow us to get to know more about Sisi, her family, and her life after the kidnapping.

A Wild Rose (A Point in Time #5)

Author: Fiona Davis

Narrator: Lisa Flanagan

Started: August 4, 2022

Finished: August 4, 2022

Gloria Banderas is a concert pianist at the top of her game until a mysterious ailment stops her hand from working properly. Despite seeing multiple doctors, the problem remains and she resigns herself to never being able to work again. After making friends with the artists who live above Carnegie Hall where she is slated to play, she feels sorry for herself as she tries to determine what to do next with her life. When her husband finds a doctor to get help with her hand issue she reluctantly goes only to realize days later that she is getting better and must decide if she wants to continue to perform or move on to a new life.

Lisa Flanagan did such a wonderful job voicing Gloria as well as her friends at Carnegie. She was a joy to listen to. I have yet to find a Fiona Davis book that I do not like. She wrote a beautiful short story that also would have made an enjoyable full-length novel.

Alison's Conviction (A Point in Time #6)

Author: Thomas Keneally

Narrator: Tamala Shelton

Started: August 4, 2022

Finished: August 5, 2022

Alison Strange is a young autistic woman living in Australia. One day she receives a collection notice that she owes the government money for illegally receiving unemployment while she was working. She knows this debt is not valid and she is determined to clear her name. She repeatedly meets resistance to clearing this debt and as she is feeling defeated, her grandfather tells her the story of an ancestor who was sent to Australia as a convict and managed to move forward with his life.

Tamala Shelton did a wonderful job of portraying Alison complete with the tics she exhibits when she is under stress. It was performed exactly as I imagine someone under that stress would tic. Thomas Keneally is widely known for Schindler's List but this short story portrayal of a young woman in Australia was wonderful.

Mother Swamp (A Point in Time #7)

Author: Jesmyn Ward

Narrator: Kimberley Woods

Started: August 5, 2022

Finished: August 5, 2022

Afice is the last daughter of a long line of enslaved women whose legacy is well known to her. As a young girl, she heard stories of the daughters and mothers who came before her and realizes she needs to determine if she wants to follow that same path or forge her own.

The narrator did well as Afice and portrayed the characters' longing to follow the steps of her ancestors with believable emotions. I was not fond of this story and found it overdone and complicated. I would be interested to see if all of her stories are done in this manner or if it was having to include more information in a shorter than usual story.

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