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Publisher's Summary

Briony has a secret. She believes her secret killed her stepmother, destroyed her twin sister’s mind, and threatens all the children in the Swampsea. She yearns to be rid of her terrible secret, but risks being hanged if she tells a soul. That’s what happens to witches: They’re hanged by the neck until dead.

Then Eldric arrives - Eldric with his golden mane and lion eyes and electric energy - and he refuses to believe anything dark about Briony. But he wonders what’s been buried beneath her self-hatred, hidden in Rose’s mangled thoughts, and whispered about by the Old Ones. And Briony wonders how Eldric can make her want to cry.

Especially when everyone knows witches can't cry.

A wild, haunting mystery and romance that is as beautifully written as it is captivating.

©2011 Franny Billingsley (P)2011 Listening Library

Critic Reviews

"Part mystery, part fantasy, this beautifully-written page turner explores guilt, mercy, and love." (Holly Black, New York Times best-selling author of Tithe and Ironside)

What listeners say about Chime

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent narration!

To say that Chime is unusual doesn't quite do justice to this unique and enchanting story. Franny Billingsley created a world of witches and mysteries set in a small marsh-side village that is coming into violent contact with the industrial revolution of the early 1900s. There is definitely a theme of old ways versus new industry as the leadership in the village wants to drain the swamp for railroad access. Watching all of this is Briony, who has a vast reserve of self-hatred fed by her sister's mental condition and her step-mother's death. Much of Briony's observations revolve around her belief that she is inherently evil, but there is still the feeling that she is trying to convince herself that it's true. One of the very best things about this book is Eldric. There is the opposite of instalove in this story. Eldric is a mystery to Briony and her fascination with his manner and her jealousy of his ability to live such a free life draws her to him. Their romance is very slow and, more often than not, she is pushing him away. Their slowly building relationship was one of the sweetest and most satisfying romances I have read. They are both very flawed, but not without the desire to rescue each other, and rescue each other they do.

As narrator, Susan Duerden is outstanding. So much of the lexicon of British English can be told through accent and it was the accents that made this story. Briony, Eldric, et al are the more educated class, while the locals speak in a rougher cadence. Ms. Duerden captured this perfectly and I am certain that my love of this book is due, in large part, to her narration. To be honest, I am not sure what I would have thought of this book had I read it. However, as an audiobook it is outstanding. So much of the story seemed to reside in the rhythm of the language and the repetitiveness of Briony's tortured inner thoughts. It is a book that lends itself perfectly to audio and if you haven't read it, I give this audiobook my highest recommendation.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Beautiful writing & story

If you could sum up Chime in three words, what would they be?

Brutally honest, Dark, & lovely.

What about Susan Duerden’s performance did you like?

Great voices, tone, inflection. Well done.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Well, "if a heart really did have strings, (it did) pull mine." --Briony

Any additional comments?

I truly loved this story. I still feel like the swamp is oozing about me. The author did a great job being in Briony's head. She's dark and lovely. The story is about mistakes and secrets. It is also about a girl who is changing, growing up. The characters are great, story is beautiful, narration is well-done, writing is descriptive and original. Sometimes it felt like the writing slowed things down a little, but it seemed in character for Briony to dwell on certain things as she did. 5 stars.

1 person found this helpful

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An Absolute Favorite

I loved this book. The story is fantastic and keeps you guessing. The narration was also amazing. I've listened to it several times.

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Boring and Messy

I had this book in my library for a long time nd finally it was time to read it and I was so in the mood for some witchey books .. thia wasn't a witchey book .. its about a girl who is complaining about her life nonstop although she is loved by two guys and everyone adores her .. its not easy explaining the story since I was bored for most of the time that I did let some details slip without trying to understand them but its about Briony who is a witch and she hates herself for it because she killed her stepmother because of it and she is afraid that if anyone f i nds out she will be hanged .. the ending didn't make sense at all !!

the narration was less than average which made the book that much more boring .. I'm just glad I finished the book

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Chime review

This is a captivating story with a beautiful message. P.s this book takes a little while to get into

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Gorgeous language!

The language of the writing is simply delightful and exquisite. The book is a challenging thing to read aloud but the narrator mostly dues very well. She is good with different voices, particularly. The content of the story is also interesting and the characters are compelling.

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That's Fantastic!

Would you listen to Chime again? Why?

I already have! Susan Duerden's performance was spellbinding.

What did you like best about this story?

The best part of the story was how Franny Billingsly wove the landscape into the story, allowing it to intimately definer her characters.

Which character – as performed by Susan Duerden – was your favorite?

Rose. although she is not the main character, her relationship with Briony shapes the story and humanizes their story.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

I particularly liked how Briony finally realizes how she and Rose are alike when Rose speaks up in the courtroom. The dynamic of Briony as the defender and Rose as the protected is finally turned on its head. Rose only sees her role as necessary and matter of fact, but this moment is completely life and character changing for Briony. This is the part of the story where Rose is the hero. Fantastic.