From Publishers Weekly
Unlike Patterson's Alex Cross thrillers, this sentimental tale does not translate well to audio. The plot twists seem all the more absurd when read aloud, and the audiobook's maudlin music, inserted during the story's poignant moments, is as distracting and disturbing as a TV laugh track. Jennifer, a newspaper columnist who's grieving the death of her husband, has more reason to mourn when her beloved grandmother, Sam, falls into a coma. Jennifer rushes to Sam's home in Lake Geneva, Wis., where she finds a packet of letters addressed to her. The letters detail her grandmother's life story, including an affair she had with a mysterious man. Jennifer takes comfort in the letters, and at the same time, embarks on her own romance with Brendan, an old friend. Heche's thin, mousy voice is perfect for the perpetually worried Jennifer, but she rarely varies her intonation, not even for Brendan's dialogue. Alexander does a better job as Sam, conveying the elderly woman's concern for Jennifer, but her performance isn't sufficient to elevate this flawed audiobook.
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After the success of Suzanne's Diary for Nicholas (2001), it should surprise no one that Patterson is trying his hand at another romantic tale, and this one is every bit as enjoyable as its predecessor. Jennifer, a Chicago Tribune columnist who's still mourning the death of her beloved husband, Danny, is jolted out of her lonely life when she receives news that her grandmother, Sam, has taken a fall and is now in a coma. Racing up to Lake Geneva to be by her grandmother's bedside, Jennifer discovers a packet of letters at Sam's house, which are addressed to her. They are from Sam; in them, Sam tells Jennifer that her husband was not the great love of her life. Instead, Sam was swept off her feet by a man she calls "Doc," whom she still loves to this day. As Jennifer learns some shocking secrets about her grandmother, she finds herself falling under the spell of a handsome neighbor, Brendan. Jennifer is surprised to find she is able to love again after Danny, but just when you think Jennifer's life can't be touched by any more tragedy, she learns a sad secret about Brendan. Patterson is infamous for surprising his readers, though, and the ending to this novel is unexpected, touching, and satisfying. Another winner from Patterson, sure to draw the same audience as Suzanne's Diary. Kristine Huntley
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