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Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Audio Book Review: Olivia Twist by Lorie Langdon

This is a fun and interesting “twist” on a classic.
Olivia Twist
by Lorie Langdon
Read by Pearl Hewitt
41025983. sx318
Young Adult
• 9.5 hrs.
• Unabridged
• Black Hills Audiobooks • 2018
Genre: Clean & Wholesome, Romance, Teen & Young Adult
My Rating: 4.0 of 5.0 Overall; Story 4.0; Narration 4.0.

British narrator Pearl Hewitt introduces listeners to the mysterious Olivia Brownlow, a London-born debutante whose high-society friends are unaware of her untraditional upbringing. Hewitt characterizes Olivia with graceful and elegant tones as she mixes with elite crowds. When Olivia ventures into the dark London nights as Ollie, a kindhearted boy who looks after a group of homeless orphans, Hewitt arms her with a rougher British accent and a wise voice. When Jack MacCarron, another character leading a double life, is introduced, Hewitt seamlessly switches between the man's false Irish accent and his true English tone. Though switching between two main characters, who both have dual identities, poses quite the challenge, Hewitt accomplishes it with a smoothness that is found in only a select few narrators, flawlessly pulling off the performance. V.T. © AudioFile 2019, Portland, Maine [Published: MARCH 2019]

Olivia has a lot of interests and emotions to balance. She is more than her London society friends know as once upon a time she was a street urchin known as Ollie. Now she sneaks out at night to help a current group of homeless orphans.

Olivia is surprised and distressed when she comes face to face with another imposter. The debonair Irishman, Jack MacCarron, was Ollie’s childhood friend, Dodger, whom she believes betrayed her. On the other hand, Jack is willing to help protect the orphans even if it means he has to take risks of resurfacing as the Dodger.

Olivia has the chance to secure a safe position for herself and her ailing Uncle with her wealthy fiancé. But Olivia feels no spark with Max and he doesn’t understand her obsession with street orphans. Meanwhile, Jack has uncovered a threat to Olivia and he is determined to protect her. As they meet in secret Olivia has to fight the emotions pulling them together.

I enjoyed the characters with their dual roles. There was good chemistry and tension both in the romance and the murder threat. I admit I was a little surprised about the extent of sensual innuendo when this is promoted as “teen & young adult clean & wholesome”. It caused me some concern for my church ladies but the first couple I talked to about the story enjoyed it. I did enjoy the overall package and recommend it to fans of Dickens and historic romance.

Audio Notes: Pearl Hewitt does a remarkable job portraying the characters with their changing personas and accents. She presents the story with appropriate pacing and emotional depth. I enjoyed the audio experience.

I bought the print book for Ladies Book Club which we will discuss in April (if we meet).
Source: June 23 SYNC Audio 2019. This qualifies for 2020TBR, 2020Audiobook and 2020Alphabet goals.

1 comment:

  1. Great review. This sounds like an interesting story. I don't remember reading the original Olivia but I'm going to give this one a try as soon as I get a chance to. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and feelings about this audio story with us.


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