Josie Riviera,
Narrator: Audra Cook

CONTEMPORARY:  This is a quick listen about an old Victorian home on 5 acres. The home is in terrible condition.  Candee Contando and Teddy Winchester both want to purchase the home at a rock-bottom price.  Candee wants to refurbish the home and use it as a safe haven for kids who don’t have a home.  She and her sister spent their teenage years in foster homes, so she wants to help others in the same situation. Teddy wants to tear it down, split up the acreage, and put low-budget homes on the land to turn a quick profit.  He recently became the guardian to his young nephew after his brother died, leaving Joseph an orphan. He needs cash to pay medical bills and lawyers’ fees regarding Joseph’s guardianship.

This is a novella, so the characters are not as fully fleshed out as they would be in a full novel.  Nevertheless, the author does a relatively good job of creating the story environment and giving credence to the conflict between Teddy and Candee. 

The recording dragged in places, as the pacing was relaxed. This is a sweet story and the narrator enunciates her words somewhat slowly, which can lead the listener to want to increase the listening speed. The quality of the recording sounds tinny when the listening speed increases.  These characters are all likeable, but it is unclear where Candee will get the money to renovate this home without Teddy’s help, since she can only afford the minimum bid, which wipes out her savings. The ending is predictable and seems slightly rushed. Nevertheless, this is a pleasant story that is safe for teens and adults to hear. 

Carey Sullivan