I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I started on this AudioBook, although I had heard wonderful things about the story, there were several plot lines that had me curious about how they would be handled. I am thrilled to say that this audiobook recording was beautifully produced, with narration that enhanced the multiple levels of plot and emotion built in the printed pages. Donna Postel didn’t over-exaggerate the accents, her voice was beautifully modulated and her pacing and tone inflections were beautiful accompaniments to the story.
The story itself was a combination of beautiful imagery and ‘shake her until she wakes up’ moments with Judith, on the cusp of her 50th birthday she is looking back on her life and examining her options. A cellist with the philharmonic, her professional life is soaring even as her personal life is often unfocused and confusing.
Instantly engaging and likable, Judith is intelligent and thoughtful with a litany of small gripes about her mother, even though her connection and admiration for the woman is clearly detailed. There is not a dearth of interesting situations that she gets herself into either, while she dithers over her relationship with Geoff, and dares the fates with an old flame her inability to truly step back and see who or what is best for her heart at the moment. Of course, she is also dealing with the return of her long lost father and the emotional turmoil that brings, leaving her emotional state even more in flux.
Judith is like many of us, looking back and wondering ‘what if’ even as our lives are proceeding apace: perhaps differing from childhood dreams but satisfactory none the less. It isn’t that she isn’t happy, but that her expectations for happiness seem to be tied to unrealistic expectations and when she let her more sensible side take over, she found that she had held her joy all along. With a smooth writing style, insertions of humor and some very clever ‘Judithisms’ that are mini life lessons to shore up otherwise shaky knees, the story moves forward beautifully and leaves the reader satisfied.
Stars: Overall 5 Narration 5 Story 5
Title: Happy Any Day Now
Author: Toby Devens
Genre: Literary Fiction
Narrator: Donna Postel
Published by: Tantor Audio
Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Audio Length: 11 Hours: 20 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ AllRomance ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Downpour ♦ IndieBound ♦Audible
Every five years my mother had her fortune read by Lulu Cho, owner of the Golden Lotus Massage Club for Men. Now it was my turn. And Lulu predicted one hurricane of a future for me!
Judith Soo Jin Raphael’s childhood was shaped by her hardworking immigrant mother, her father who left them, and her struggles to fit in as a half-Korean, half-Jewish kid in a tough urban neighborhood. But music lessons gave her a purpose and passion. Now, as Judith’s fiftieth birthday nears, she has rewarding work as a cellist with the Maryland Philharmonic, an enthusiastic if uncommitted lover, and a quirky but close relationship with her mother.
Then chaos strikes: Judith’s first love, who dumped her decades ago, returns to dazzle her with his golden pedigree and brilliant career. Her long-absent father arrives out of the blue with a snazzy car and a con man’s patter, turning her mother into a love-struck flirt whom Judith barely recognizes. All this while her mentor at the orchestra falls seriously ill. No wonder Judith develops a paralyzing case of stage fright.
Judith finds herself feeling—and sometimes acting—slightly unhinged, but she’s convinced that happiness will arrive any day now. She’s just got to hold on tight during this midlife shake-up...and claim the prize that life surely has in store for her.
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher Via Edelweiss for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.