Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Review: Mrs. Saint and the Defectives by Julie Lawson Timmer (audio)

Title: Mrs. Saint and the Defectives
Author: Julie Lawson Timmer
Narrator: Elizabeth Wiley
Published: August 2017, Brilliance Audio / Lake Union Publishing
Length: 10 hours 31 minutes / 366 pages
Source: Audio - Personal copy via Audible / Print - Paperback via Publisher

Critically acclaimed author Julie Lawson Timmer returns with a tale of how community can heal the brokenness in all of us.

Markie, a fortysomething divorcée who has suffered a humiliating and very public fall from marital, financial, and professional grace, moves, along with her teenage son, Jesse, to a new town, hoping to lick her wounds in private. But Markie and Jesse are unable to escape the attention of their new neighbor Mrs. Saint, an irascible, elderly New European woman who takes it upon herself, along with her ragtag group of “defectives,” to identify and fix the flaws in those around her, whether they want her to or not.

What Markie doesn’t realize is that Mrs. Saint has big plans for the divorcée’s broken spirit. Soon, the quirky yet endearing woman recruits Markie to join her eccentric community, a world where both hidden truths and hope unite them. But when Mrs. Saint’s own secrets threaten to unravel their fragile web of healing, it’s up to Markie to mend these wounds and usher in a new era for the “defectives”—one full of second chances and happiness.

My thoughts: I have to admit that not only did the cover pull me into this book, but the title did as well...it's just so quirky, which is just perfect for the book. But, make no mistake, this book is definitely not all fluff and light-hearted fun...oh no, this book will get to you and pull on your heart-strings in a way that you will most definitely not see coming!

I absolutely adored the quirky characters in this story. And believe me when I say, they most definitely are quirky! Mrs. Saint would definitely have put me off had she been my neighbor, however, as overbearing as she was, there was just something about here that you had to love, and once you finally get her story, you absolutely will. All the characters in this book are so well-developed and you end up wanting them to live next door to you - you will want these people in your life!

I think what came across in reading this book is that many times we think that we don't need anyone in our lives but the people we select, but it's the people who often just show up, many times at inopportune times that we end up really needing the most. Mrs. Saint certainly shows just how big a heart she has, though she is often quite closed-lipped about her own circumstances. And Markie, oh how I wanted to shake her at times...did she not see the good of the people next store? Even her son was blossoming under their care and attention, much to her dismay!

This book is such a good read, at times humorous and fun, but it does have its poignant and tenderhearted moments. There is that underlying message of second chances and opening up to those around us that we may not necessarily at first be willing to see. Julie Lawson Timmer has such a knack for delivering solid stories about complex relationships...this is the second book I've read of hers and the second one I've loved. Can't wait to read more!!!


Audio thoughts: This is the first time I've listened to Elizabeth Wiley and I thought she did a great job with this audio book. There are quite a few characters in this book and Elizabeth was able to give each one a unique voice and characterization - these characters came alive with her narration. Her accent seemed good and her pacing and intonation seemed spot on. I really enjoyed this audio book and will definitely be looking into what else she has narrated. 


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