Monday, May 20, 2019

Review: Only Ever Her by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen (audio)

Title: Only Ever Her
Author: Marybeth Mayhew Whalen
Narrator: Joshilyn Jackson, Eric G. Dove
Published: May 2019, Brilliance Audio / Lake Union Publishing
Length: 9 hours 17 minute / 298 pages
Source: Audio - Brilliance Audio / Print - Paperback via Little Bird Publicity

It was to be the perfect wedding—until the bride disappeared.Annie Taft’s wedding is four days away, and it will be one of the grandest anyone can remember in her small South Carolina town. Preparations are in order. Friends and family are gathering in anticipation. Everything is going according to plan. Except that Annie herself has vanished. Did she have second thoughts? Or has something much worse happened to the bride-to-be?

While her loved ones frantically try to track her down, they’re forced to grapple with their own secrets—secrets with the power to reframe entire relationships, leaving each to wonder how well they really knew Annie and how well they know themselves.

My thoughts: I've read Marybeth Mayhew Whalen's last few books and have really fallen in love with her writing. She has such a way of creating that small-town life with characters that just come alive on the page. This one in particular, while still suspenseful, is a bit more character-driven that her previous books, but still just as good!

I loved that almost every character in the story has a secret or some kind of is...and the more you get to know them, the more you become anxious to find out what it is they are hiding. This is definitely a slow-burning kind of read and I loved that - I was fully invested in what was going on and more than ready to take all the time needed to get to where Marybeth was taking us until everything was out in the open...and what an emotional journey we end up taking.

Annie Taft is all set to get married in four days - it's all anyone can talk about...until she vanishes. Did she get cold feet or did something happen to her? Of course, it just so happens that the man convicted of killing her mother twenty years ago has been found wrongly accused and has just been released. Is he involved in her disappearance?

I loved the way the book was told by multiple perspectives, including a few chapters from Annie herself. This really allowed for us to get a chance to know all the characters and get a feel for how they were connected to Annie. In fact, the book really does take on that sense that it really isn't all about Annie, but rather this small town and the journey each of these characters take because of Annie's disappearance. 

I was captivated by this book once I started it. Again, it's not a thriller nor a fast read. It's a slow-burning, character study that captures the essence of small-town life and gives you quite a bit to think about at the same time.

Audio thoughts: How could this audio be anything but awesome with Joshilyn Jackson narrating a huge part of it? I love listening to her narrate and she did such an amazing job with this book. And Eric Dove did a great job with the bits he narrated, too. I thoroughly enjoyed this audio production and would highly recommend this audio book!



  1. Sounds like one to keep in mind, and didn't she score having J Jackson narrate - she is so good.

  2. The narrator sounds brilliant, so that's definitely the route I'd go.


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