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The Amber Keeper  By  cover art

The Amber Keeper

By: Freda Lightfoot
Narrated by: Susan Duerden
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Publisher's Summary

After her mother's suicide, Abbie Myers returns home to the Lake District with her young child - and no wedding ring. Estranged from her turbulent family for many years, Abbie is heartbroken when she hears that they blame her for this tragedy.

Determined to uncover her mother's past, Abbie approaches her beloved grandmother, Millie, in search of answers. The old woman reveals the story of how she travelled to Russia in 1911 as a young governess and became caught up in the revolution.

As Abbie struggles to reconcile with her family, and to support herself and her child, she realizes that those long-ago events created aftershocks that threaten to upset the fragile peace she longs to create.

Set against the backdrops of the English Lake District in the 1960s and the upheavals of revolutionary Russia, The Amber Keeper is a sweeping tale of jealousy and revenge, reconciliation and forgiveness.

©2014 Freda Lightfoot (P)2014 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The Amber Keeper

Average Customer Ratings
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

annoying...annoying...annoying

What did you like best about The Amber Keeper? What did you like least?

The story could have held my interest, but the narration's appalling. I kept wondering if your narrator is actually a robot. Although I enjoy audio books....I will be very careful to check as to who the narrator is before I order future books.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Amber Keeper?

I can answer this better after I READ it.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Susan Duerden?

anyone....absolutely anyone

Did The Amber Keeper inspire you to do anything?

yes..........to shut the sound off

Any additional comments?

I could have enjoyed this story. It had a very interesting start, and I'm sure that reading it will be a pleasure. I will read the written word to finish.............

8 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

I found the narrator very annoying .

The storyline was very good, but the narrator was extremely annoying it sounded like she was trying to sound I don't know I didn't like it at all. I would not get another book if the narrator was the same

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Narrator destroys listen!!!!

OMG....the story is wonderful & wonderfully written but the narrator absolutely ruined it for me!!!! I don't even know how to put this nicely but I will try. First of all....WHO TALKS LIKE THAT???? REALLY???? Her breathless, husky, fake-sounding, sing/song tone was enough to drive me mad! So annoying! She didn't even attempt to "toughen" up the tone when she spoke for the male parts...awful! I hung in until Ch. 16 hoping, praying it would get better because I was loving the story...but nope, it never did! I'm now going to buy the book and read it in order to finish it! No offense but this narrator sounds like she belongs on the other end of a 1-900 phone call....seriously!!! I blame myself for not listening before buying...lesson learned! Also wrote this narrator's name down so I don't EVER make the same mistake twice! I suggest you take a listen first...if you're not annoyed then go for it because it's a fantastic story!!!

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Terrible narrator

Story was okay and might have been a little more enjoyable if it was not for the narrator. Not worth a credit.

5 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Terrible Narrator!

This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

Teenagers..

Would you be willing to try another book from Freda Lightfoot? Why or why not?

Possibly. The sing-song narration made me dislike this book intensely. I might have enjoyed it if I'd been reading, rather than listening to it.

Would you be willing to try another one of Susan Duerden’s performances?

Never! She reads it so that it sounds like a nursery rhyme. It's irritating and nerve-wracking.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Irritation.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • MK
  • 03-30-15

couldn't stand the narrator's voice

good story but narrarator's vice was irritating and detracted from the story. some kind of rise in get voice at the end of wits grated on my nerves.

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Mystery and Love During the Russian Revolution

Historical story moving back in forth from the 1911 (and the years following) to the 1960s, as Millie recounts her tale of moving from England to Russia to become the governess for two young children. Abbie, Millie's granddaughter has returned home to England, from France with her own young daughter, following the death of her mother, after being estranged for many years. Trying to make sense of her mother's adoption and her mother's past, Abbie asks her grandmother, Millie for answers. Who was her mother? How had Millie come to adopt her? The fall of the Russian Czar, the turbulent aftermath and the eventual escape from Russia back to England are retold to her granddaughter, Abbie, in heartbreaking detail. Excellent listen . . . mysteries revealed . . . satisfying ending.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narrator’s voice ruined what otherwise might have been an OK book

The voices of every male character, good and bad, were read in the same evil tone of voice as the wicked witch of the west when she said “I’ll get you my little pretty, and your little dog too,” only in a British accent. It was so Annoying and distracting that I couldn’t help visualizing the wicked witch whenever a male spoke. And every man in the book sounded exactly like every other man, which made it quite confusing since the book jumps from one historical era to the next.

The female voices were no better, with every female in the book sounding like a whispery little girl telling secrets at a slumber party, and every female voice in the book sounding like the voice of every other female in the book, which was quite confusing. The narrator seemed unable to speak in the voice of an adult woman. I could hardly wait for the book to end, and I’m not sure why I finished it other than the fact that the storyline was Barely sufficiently interesting to prevent me from completely giving up.

The evil woman in the book was also so totally evil and one dimensional that It seemed incredible that the main character, Abby, Continued to be taken in by her, and unbelievable that anyone wanted to have anything to do with her regardless how rich and seductive she was.

In trying to find something positive to say about the book, the historical background was interesting, and the basic storyline was decent. I also liked the cover of the book. But that’s about all. I cannot recommend this book are there as there are so many better books about this time period out there.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

This is a good story. Worth a listen and time well spent.

I would rate this a five if the MC hadn't been so willing to trust, or so easy to be had. Patsies usually get what they deserve, where the innocent are truly taken advantage of....

A little backbone would go a long way. Only my opinion, and we know what those are worth. Still, I would choose this author again.

That said, great premise and story telling. Excellent writing. Well done. A book to be proud of, as an author myself I know the work and diligence required to produce at this level.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Narrator Hard to Listen to

Anything that isn't dialogue is read with the exact same intonation pattern, which happens to be pretty pronounced. If you can get past the first chapter or two, dialogue picks up, but it's distracting at first.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Franglaise
  • 12-01-14

Oh Dear, my mistake

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

Firstly I hadn't realised that I was buying an audio book - I wouldn't have done so normally. Secondly, I did start listening but the awful mannered voice put me off so much I gave up after a few sentences. Pity, I suspect it's a good read, but not in this case a good listen. All very subjective of course, I'm sure lots of people will really enjoy listening.

Would you ever listen to anything by Freda Lightfoot again?

Yes possibly

Would you be willing to try another one of Susan Duerden’s performances?

No

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Amber Keeper?

Not applicable as I didn't listen to most of it.

Any additional comments?

My mistake - didn't realise what I was ordering. I wouldn't normally order an audio book unless I was quite sure I liked the reader - so wouldn't buy one by an unknown.

7 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
Profile Image for CAL
  • CAL
  • 10-19-15

Not recommended

The idea for the story is promising. With proper research and the creation of engaging, convincing characters this book could have become an interesting and informative story about "Upstairs, Downstairs" in Russia at the onset of the October Revolution. Pity the execution is so poor, this book is not even entertaining.

Worse still, Susan Duerden's reading is terrible. Every sentence has the same intonation and contributes to a merciless singsong which ruins even those parts of the story that arouse a little interest. Miss Duerden's attempts at creating different voices are confined to her lowering her voice and sounding breathy. It is all so bad, in the end I just laughed and turned off. I would recommend that Miss Duerden listen to a performance by Rupert Degas who should give masterclasses teaching how to read a story and create a stunning variety of voices.

I shall return this book.

4 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss D Srao
  • 06-18-15

Ok story, shame about the narration!!!

Story was lovely but it was ruined by the intonation of the narrator. I nearly gave up listening but I had paid for it so wanted my money's worth.

4 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amanda
  • 07-07-15

Droning voice

Story was OK but nearly gave up listening due to the terrible narration. It sounded as though she was reciting a shopping list most of the time.

2 people found this helpful

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • happyjules
  • 03-23-22

Terrible narration

I’m afraid, I’ve had to stop listening to this book. The narration is appalling. The monotonous breathy voice is almost comical. The narrator sounds like she normally does voiceovers for advertising. I sincerely hope this lady is not pursuing an acting career. and suggest she gives up narration. Baffled how she ever passed the audition.
Audible should be refunding all customers a credit, as this is amply the worst narration I have ever heard.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Profile Image for Amanda Watch
  • Amanda Watch
  • 01-25-22

review of the Amber keeper

story amazing reader got very annoying characters had same voices little change of tone voice

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Miss
  • 04-23-21

Great story awful narration

Such a shame. The story is great but the other reviews are correct, sorry to the reader but your accents are not the best and you have the same intonation in every sentence which is really annoying. I’m struggling on but not sure I’ll make the end purely because of the reading

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    1 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Marie Sever
  • 01-21-21

Dreadful narration

I have tried to listen to this on many occasions and the narration has put me off. I shouldn't have persevered as it is now too late to return the book. The narrator speaks in almost the same voice for all characters - monotonous, breathless with the last word of the majority of sentences being elongated and breathy. Extremely annoying. I have reached chapter 3 having never reached this far before, and just cannot go on. I'm having to bin it and consider buying it on Kindle instead. I have noted the name of the narrator and will ensure I never buy any of her books. The storyline? No idea, I can't concentrate. This book needs to be narrated with another narrator and re-issued free of charge to all purchasers.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Jacqueline
  • 08-21-20

Brilliantly Engrossing

loved this story a tale of two generations of women . The setting during the Russian revolution was very factually accurate.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Moira Tooke
  • 07-28-20

Great story

Loved the story but unfortunately was not keen on the narrator, quite a few mispronunciations - I do not normally complain but it was annoying.

Would listen to more of the Authors books.

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    2 out of 5 stars
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  • Julie
  • 12-18-16

Book ok, narrator appalling

While the book was an amusing enough listen, and the historical perspective interesting, the narrator's voice was grating...all breathy and sing song. Such a shame

3 people found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • lola
  • 08-04-16

Interesting storyline

The storyline was very interesting and kept closely to historical fact. The narrator was awful. The accents were painful to listen to and ruined the story. This would have been much better read.

2 people found this helpful