The Hat Shop on the Corner by Marita Conlon-McKenna #AudioReview #20booksofsummer (4/20)

I am delighted to welcome you all to my review for the Audio version of The Hat Shop on the Corner by Marita Conlon-McKenna.

Let’s see what it is all about…

A gloriously warm-hearted novel about wonderful hats, the people who buy them – and their remarkable stories.

Hats! Hats! Hats! Upbrims, sidesweeps, silks, ribbons and trims all become part of Ellie’s life when she inherits the little hat shop on Dublin’s South Anne Street. But the city is changing, and Ellie must decide if she wants to follow the hat-making tradition of her mother or accept a generous offer to sell the shop.

Encouraged by her friends, Ellie takes on the hat shop, and her quirky designs and tempting millinery confections soon attract a rich assortment of customers all in search of the perfect hat.

Creating hats for weddings, shows, fashion and fun, and falling for the charms of Rory Doyle along the way, Ellie is happier than she has ever been before. But as her fingers work their magic she discovers a lot can happen in the heart of a city like Dublin….

Ellie inherits a hat shop on the corner of South Anne Street in Dublin. After some thought, she decides that she will take on the running of the shop and continue in her mothers’ footsteps. Using her own experience and knowledge to create millinery masterpieces fit for any occasion.

This is a lovely story to listen to and the narrator Caroline Lennon has the perfect tone to her voice to make the story come alive.

This is obviously a story about hats, the making of them, the different materials used and all manner of other things. The author has the balance of the millinery world just right. Giving enough information to keep my interest without overburdening me. It compliments the story of Ellie and her customers. There are also other different things going on this this story. The street where the hat shop is situated is underthreat, not just Ellie’s shop, but also other retailers, from a large development.

I am going to go back to the hats again, well the customers actually. Each customer that comes into the shop wants a bespoke hat. This involves Ellie finding out what the occasion is and then also a little bit about each customer. This means I got to know more characters and their own stories, some are sad, some happy, some nervous, some shy but all want a hat. I got to know their likes, dislike and preferences. Whether they were willing to take a chance on something they wouldn’t normally pick or knew exactly what they wanted.

This was such a lovely story to sit and listen to. It’s one I would recommend to those that like a gentle, heartwarming story about people in their everyday lives. It has also left me wanting to now go and read the book as well.


This is book 4 out of 20 in my #20 Books of Summer Reading Challenge.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be fabulous : xx

The Tapestry Bag by Isabella Muir @SussexMysteries #Audible #AudioReview

I am delighted to be sharing my review for the Audiobook version of The Tapestry Bag by Isabella Muir. I was the lucky recipient of this from Isabell after she ran a Giveaway as part of her Blog Tour with Rachel’s Random Resources.

Let’s have a look and see what it is all about…

A young woman named Zara goes missing, one year to the day that her boyfriend, Joel, was killed in a hit-and-run. Is Zara in danger? Is she still alive? What really happened to Joel, and who is to blame?

In the quiet seaside town of Tamarisk Bay, the police appear to be doing little to find Zara. Her friend Janie decides to make it her mission to track her down. It’s the “swinging sixties”, and Janie fears that Zara may be mixed up with drugs, alcohol, or worse. As Janie explores the strange circumstances of Zara’s disappearance, she starts to question the truth about Joel’s death.

Janie runs the mobile library and has a passion for crime fiction, especially Agatha Christie. Can Poirot help Janie solve the mystery of Zara’s disappearance? 

As she looks for clues she comes across some unsavory characters who each have a reason for wanting Joel dead. Can Janie untangle the web of lies and find out the truth?

Local librarian and mystery reader Janie Juke felt like just the right person to look into the death of Joel and the disappearance of Zara. Her love of Agatha Christie and Poirot gave her the push to use her ‘little grey cells’ and do some sleuthing of her own!

The narrator, Penny Scott-Andrews had just the right tone for me. I was easily able to imagine a young woman who was very excited to be searching for clues.

The story itself is set in the 1960s and I felt that able to remain in the time as the book progressed. It had mentions of music and bands as well as news items of the day.

While it is not what I would call fast paced I found the story to be quite addictive to listen to. It is a cosy mystery and also has Janie’s family involved. They voice their concerns as she investigates and they are also her sounding blocks.

This is the first in the Sussex Murder series and I am very interested in reading/listening to more. A good cosy murder/mystery with references to Poirot and Christie that kept me entertained.

It is an audiobook that I would Recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be great 🙂 xx

Jeff Wayne’s War of the Worlds : The Musical Drama #Audible #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review of Jeff Waynes War of the Worlds. This is a new release and Audible Original Drama version released in 2018.

I did wonder how I would get on with this as I am such a huge fan of the Richard Burton version…

An Audible Original Drama

One of the world’s most recognisable sci-fi stories, H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds established numerous conventions for the genre, including the threat of an invasive extraterrestrial species, space travel and intergalactic conflict, inspiring directors, gamers, producers and writers alike with its sobering story of struggle and survival. 

Marrying the suspense, drama and urgency of Wells’ original novel with Jeff Wayne’s rousing and flamboyant score, Audible’s new and exclusive dramatisation uses action, narration, original music and evocative sound design to immerse listeners in a world that’s as thrilling as it is desolate. 

Jeff Wayne’s The War of the Worlds: The Musical Drama stars Michael Sheen, Taron Egerton, Adrian Edmondson, Theo James and Anna-Marie Wayne. 

Also featuring: Rachel Atkins, Pippa Bennett-Warner, Josh Bond, Nicholas Boulton, Philip Bulcock, Jessica Dennis, Stephen Fletcher, Pete Gold, David Holt, Roger May, Harry Myers, Richard Reed, Mark Straker, Ben Whitehead and Sarah Whitehouse. 

I am not going to go into the ins and outs of the story, it is based on HG Wells and has been adapted into various films and shows.

I heard this for the first time while at primary school. One of the teachers brought in the vinyl record in and I absolutely fell in love with it. That would have been The Musical Version and I would have been 10 ish years old at the time. Since then I have listened and seen different versions of this and I have to be honest nothing has come close to the sound of Richard Burton’s voice. It just has just the right tone to it. So why I hear you ask would I listen to yet another version? Well, why not!

The memorable and chilling music is something that is so well known and adds an ominous and chilling atmosphere. The music is something that I have always loved. This version does not have the songs as it is the drama and not the musical version. There is a new feel to the music score and while a lot of the original content is there I discovered changes. It has a more modern feel while still holding the original style.

So to the narrator, I loved Richard Burton narrating the musical version and for me when I listened to it as a child, his voice seemed to fill the room. Michael Sheen has a different tone to his voice and adds something different. He seems to have more variation to his voice that was I admit a very nice change from the more monotone Burton.

I have to say that I am always going to be a fan of the first recording I heard. It filled me with awe, fear and also excitement. It opened up a world of mystery and my imagination loved it. This Drama version does do a brilliant job, it has the drama, excitement and atmosphere. While for me it will never be as good as the one I first heard, it comes in at a magnificent second. I will say that the voices and the music really did work well for this slightly more modern feeling of this re-working.

I would love to see a live show of this and it has been on my bucket list for a long time.

This is one I will listen to more than once and I would Highly Recommend.

Many thanks for reading my post, a like or share would be great 🙂 xx