I received this book for free from the Library, Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Sweet Lamb of Heaven by Lydia Millet
Narrator: Lydia Millet
Published by Dreamscape Media LLC, W. W. Norton & Company on May 3, 2016
Genres: Fiction / Literary
Length: 6 hours 59 minutes
Format: ARC, Audiobook
Source: Library, Publisher
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From the Lydia Millet's chilling new novel is the first-person account of a young mother, Anna, escaping her cold and unfaithful husband; a businessman who's just launched his first campaign for political office. When Ned chases Anna and their six-year-old daughter from Alaska to Maine, the two go into hiding in a run-down motel on the coast. As his pursuit of Anna and their child moves from threatening to criminal, Ned begins to alter his wife's world in ways she never could have imagined. This double-edged and satisfying story features a strong female protagonist, a thrilling plot, and a creeping sense of the apocalyptic, Sweet Lamb of Heaven builds to a shattering ending with profound implications for its characters.
I had some issues with this book. I did enjoy it enough to stick with it until the end. Of course, this book got weirder as I went along so by the time I was ready to be done with it, I was so close to finishing that I just stuck with it. I feel that many readers will enjoy this one more than I did, but by the time I finished, I was bored, confused, and wondered if I was smart enough for this book.
This book tells Anna’s story. She starts hearing voices after the birth of her daughter, Lena, and those voices disappear once Lena starts talking. Her husband, Ned, is disinterested and Anna eventually leaves him with Lena. Anna and Lena end up in a hotel in Maine with an assortment of people who share a link and do their best to support each other. When Ned decides he wants to run for office, he needs his wife and daughter back. Anna is willing to do whatever Ned wants to keep her daughter safe and there seems to be no limit as to what he can control.
There were times that I felt like this book moved very slowly and there just wasn’t enough happening. Things do pick up in the second half of the book but that is where things got really weird. Anna seemed paranoid at times and I never connected with her or any of the characters. There was a whole theme surrounding language and religion that just didn’t do a lot for me. Obviously, this was not the right book for me.
I decided to listen to the audiobook which was narrated by the author and I am not sure that she was the best choice to read this story. I thought that her narration was rather flat and lacked the emotion that I hope to encounter when picking up an audiobook. I did notice that there are some audible sounds, such as pages turning, at several points in the audiobook which I found distracting. Unfortunately, this is a book that I will not be recommending.
I received a digital review copy of this book from W. W. Norton and Company via NetGalley and borrowed a copy of the audiobook from my local library.
Thanks for sharing that Carole, I have often wondered why they let authors narrate their own fiction, non-fiction is fine but I too have often found an author’s narration unemotional and flat too. Plus I think it was part of the reason the book didn’t resonate for me because I couldn’t make an emotional connection.
Sorry to see this one just did not work for you, Carole. Between the slow pace and issues with the narration, it definitely doesn’t sound like one I would go for. An author deciding to narrate their own work can be a tricky things.
Well I will definitely avoid this one.
That’s too bad about the narrator. I’ve gotten a few narrators who I felt like didn’t add to the book but a few months ago I listened to one who was just genuinely awful and it made a book I would normally have enjoyed so hard to listen too. Also too bad about the pacing and the slowness. This sounds like it could have been really good but just didn’t quite live up to its promise.
Maybe not the one for me either