Saturday, May 24, 2014

Review: The Lost Husband by Katherine Center (audio)

Title: The Lost Husband   
Author: Katherine Center    
Narrator: Amy Rubinate  
Published: July 2013, Tantor Media  
Length: 8 hours 20 minutes  
Source: Personal copy via Audible 

Dear Libby, It occurs to me that you and your two children have been living with your mother for—Dear Lord!—two whole years, and I’m writing to see if you'd like to be rescued.

The letter comes out of the blue, and just in time for Libby Moran, who—after the sudden death of her husband, Danny—went to stay with her hypercritical mother. Now her crazy Aunt Jean has offered Libby an escape: a job and a place to live on her farm in the Texas Hill Country. Before she can talk herself out of it, Libby is packing the minivan, grabbing the kids, and hitting the road.

Life on Aunt Jean’s goat farm is both more wonderful and more mysterious than Libby could have imagined. Beyond the animals and the strenuous work, there is quiet—deep, country quiet. But there is also a shaggy, gruff (though purportedly handsome, under all that hair) farm manager with a tragic home life, a formerly famous feed-store clerk who claims she can contact Danny “on the other side,” and the eccentric aunt Libby never really knew but who turns out to be exactly what she’s been looking for. And despite everything she’s lost, Libby soon realizes how much more she’s found. She hasn’t just traded one kind of crazy for another: She may actually have found the place to bring her little family—and herself—back to life.

My thoughts: I've read a few books by Katherine Center and have enjoyed them, so I was excited to see that there was another one out that I hadn't yet read. While I had originally requested this one on Netgalley, I hadn't gotten to it yet, so in order to bump it up on my list, I decided to try it on audio and really enjoyed it that way.

This book is all about starting over. Libby has lost her husband and when a letter arrives from her aunt to come help out on her farm two years later, she decides to give it a go. Little did she know just how much she needed that change. Not only for herself but for her two young children.

I loved the characters in this book. Katherine Center creates such strong female characters that you just can't help root for and Libby is definitely one of them, as is Sunshine, the young girl Libby meets at her aunt's farm. The friendship that the two strike up is just what both need. Then there's Libby's Aunt Jean - what a fun, interesting character she is. You just know there's more to her than meets the eye and as time goes on, we get to a little more about her.

The farm itself with the goats and the cheese-making provide some very humorous situations. I love the fact that each goat has a name and that they are all named after famous women. The other characters help round out the story, including O'Connor, the hot farmer, and Libby's kids, Abby and Tank. These all help keep the story from getting too heavy, adding a playful layer to the book. Abby provides some comic relief with her antics at school, with O'Connor giving her some self-defense lessons when needed.

The way this story comes together is almost magical and this is what I love about reading. While the overall subject of this book was about moving on after the loss of a spouse, there is a sense of hopefulness and inspiration that you can't help but take away after reading it. I can't wait to see what comes next for Katherine Center...she is definitely on my list of authors to watch!

Audio Thoughts: This is the second book I've listened to Amy Rubinate narrate and I really enjoy listening to her. She is able to tell a story in such a way that you can't help get lost in it. She gives each character their own voice and infuses just the right amount of emotion when needed. I will definitely be looking to see what else she narrates.



  1. I like Amy too! I think she does a pretty good job :)

  2. I've enjoyed Katherine's books. I will keep my eye out for this one.

  3. My reading/listening tastes have changed over the last few months and this sounds just like something I would enjoy.


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