The Mute of Pendywick Place

Series written by Alydia Rackham⎮ Narrated by Bill Schafer

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Author: Alydia Rackham
Narrator: Bill Schafer
Length: 2 hours and 40 minutes
Series: The Mute of Pendywick Place, Book 1
Publisher: Alydia Rackham
Released: January 21, 2021
Genre: Mystery


London, November 3, 1881. A young woman slips through the curtains of fog down Pendy Corner to the 26th house in the row. She vacillates at the gate. For, past that sullen door, she must seek the help of the distinctively eccentric and impatient young language expert named Basil Collingwood.

The fate of Europe, and indeed, the free peoples of the world may depend upon getting him to understand her.

The only trouble? She cannot speak a word.

Brace yourself for a heart-pounding, romantic romp through Victorian London, rivaling the best of Doyle and Dickens - for, this is only the beginning of a series that will sweep you from the glittering pomp of Hampton Court, to the smoky slums of Shoreditch, up the stairs to 221B Baker Street, and to the murky waters of the River Thames, alongside brilliant, peculiar and outcast characters who find themselves at home within the walls of a sulking old brownstone wedged into a winding London lane: a house known by both Sherlock Holmes and the Queen of England simply as Pendywick Place.

Author: Alydia Rackham
Narrator: Bill Schafer
Length: 4 hours and 40 minutes
Series: The Mute of Pendywick Place, Book 2
Publisher: Alydia Rackham
Released: Dec. 5, 2020
Genre: Mystery

Synopsis of Book Two

Christmas is forbidden at Pendywick Place. A tragic shadow from Basil Collingwood’s past looms over the season. Nevertheless, he plans to take Victoria to the Hampton Court Christmas Ball, to confront his former mentor - and her attempted murderer - Professor Winchester. If they can steal back Victoria’s unbreakable code from him, they may save England itself. If they cannot, it will put all of Europe in grave danger.

Althea's Review

4 Stars

This audiobook was provided by its author, Karla M. Jay, in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thanks, Karla!

“One does evil enough when one does nothing good.”

I have to say that you should definitely be prepared for a somewhat heavy historical fiction before going into When We Were Brave. Just like you would expect from a WW2 novel set in Nazi Germany, it showed the hardships that people experienced as well as the precious few moments that were a result of appreciating the precious seconds that were rare and kind of far between during those times.

This was in general just a heartfelt, and long, journey. I have seen people comparing When We Were Brav to The Nightingale and I have to say that I see where they are coming from.

Listening to stories from the point of different jewish people that had different takes on what was happening was interesting to read, as When We Were Brave is comprised of mainly 3 stories. The characters in the first two stories were engaging and easy to get attached to but, to be honest, it started to lose my interest at some parts towards the end.

However, the familial relationships made me fall in love so fast and were so well written (especially with the second story of the mother and son trying to escape the Nazis). It was relatable for me personally and that was the story that really hooked me the most that I just had to drop everything and listen. If you aren’t a character driven person the plot of this is more than enough to keep you engrossed as it is quite intense and emotional.

The themes were absolutely amazing! Which is an aspect that I always expect to be strong with historical fiction novels and I am very happy to say that I was not let down.

It's heartbreaking. It's inspiring. What more could you ask for? I absolutely loved the Karla M. Jay's writing style for the most part and the narrator did a great job of translating that into the audiobook. There weren't any fancy sound effects or music but that did not hinder my enjoyment at all. I actually thought the narration itself was entrancing which suited the story perfectly

All in all, I agree with everyone that this was an amazing historical WW2 fiction and there is no doubt that you are going to love this if the genre comes within your reading taste.

Meet the Narrator: Bill Schafer

Bill Schafer has been communicating ideas all his life, from over seven years experience as a School Librarian/ Media Specialist as part of an almost twenty year teaching experience, to paid radio announcing/ disc jockey work, to explaining about the Space Program to guests at the Kennedy Space Center as a Communicator, to narrating books for listeners to enjoy!

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