• The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster

  • By: Scott Wilbanks
  • Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
  • Length: 11 hrs and 22 mins
  • 4.1 out of 5 stars (96 ratings)

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The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster  By  cover art

The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster

By: Scott Wilbanks
Narrated by: Tavia Gilbert
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Publisher's Summary

The physics-bending charm of The Time Traveler's Wife meets the curious mischief of The Eyre Affair in this debut novel.

Annabelle Aster doesn't bow to convention - not even that of space and time - which makes the 1890s Kansas wheat field that has appeared in her modern-day San Francisco garden easy to accept. Even more exciting is Elsbeth, the truculent schoolmarm who sends Annie letters through the mysterious brass mailbox perched on the picket fence that now divides their two worlds. In this unconventional and enchanting tale, Annie and her new neighbor must solve the mystery of what connects them before one of them is convicted of a murder that has yet to happen - and somehow already did.

©2015 Scott Wilbanks (P)2016 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster

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

Story is fine; audio is attrocious

The reading of this book horrendous. It is read in a highly theatrical, excessively emotional manner that interferes with the dialogue and makes the content difficult to comprehend. It is a flatly unpleasant and almost uncomfortable listening experience.

6 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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I just couldn't get into it :/

After listening for an hour, I just wasn't pulled in. Frankly, I didn't really care about the characters or what was going on with them. It just seemed kind of pointless. Also, the voices for each character's letters were borderline intolerable, overdone. I really wanted to like it...

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Disappointing

Would you try another book from Scott Wilbanks and/or Tavia Gilbert?

No. His story was too much - too wordy, too many plot elements, too much exposition and too long. But in other areas, details were lacking. What was she wearing during so many of the big plot lines (it's important to this particular book). How was the adoption made to happen, considering the circumstances? So on. I literally plodded through the last third of this book for two reasons: One, I DID want to see how it all turned out, and two, I wanted to feel what my students feel when forced to complete a book they're not enjoying.

What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)

Most details tied up, and more quickly than they were drawn out (don't know if that was good).

How could the performance have been better?

Her narration was anxiety producing. Everything was in an overexcited tone. I even tried slowing down the speed, but it didn't help much. I will NEVER listen to this narrator again.

Did The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster inspire you to do anything?

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Narrator needs a hug.

I can't really grade the story, since I had to stop due to the narrators preformance. She sounds oddly frail, rushing sentences with a small vibration in her voice. It sounds as if she's trying to not have a panic attack and is almost crying.
As someone who's struggling with depression it's affecting me too much to continue listening, maybe in a couple of years I can give it another go.

1 person found this helpful

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

Magical Story, Beautiful Narration

The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster is so wonderfully crafted that I didn't want it to end. Each character, even minor ones, are incredibly fleshed out, but one character really came to life for me over all others. Elspeth Grundy is perhaps the best written and most entertaining character I have encountered since I first met Augustus 'Gus' McCrae in Lonesome Dove.

There is nothing worse for a listener than finding such a well written book that has been voiced by a mediocre narrator. Luckily, that is not the case here. Tavia Gilbert had never failed to draw me into a book. This time her performance dragged me so deeply into the story that it was dangerous to listen while I was driving.

1 person found this helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great narrator, quirky characters, but meandering

What made the experience of listening to The Lemoncholy Life of Annie Aster the most enjoyable?

The first thing I have to say about this is that the audiobook narrator (Tavia Gilbert) is fantastic. Her talent for voices, especially across the range of genders and ages, was one of the best I've heard.

Any additional comments?

OK, on to the book. I have mixed feelings. I like that the characters are quirky, and all a bit damaged in ways subtle enough to be realistic. In fact, I'd say the characters are Scott Wilbanks' strength. Christian's sexuality was handled with a much lighter touch than I've seen before in fiction, which was a standout. He's also an exemplary friend, and somehow all that development meant Annie felt less the lead and more a plot device.

The story itself was a mixed bag. It just didn't seem to know if it was a sweet wandering fiction, a time travel murder mystery, a twisty psychological thriller, or a story about family and accepting yourself. Every time it seemed to find its footing on one genre, it switched to another. And it pulled some cheap tricks to do so. If it had stuck to one, I'd have liked it better. Also, the entire bootstrap paradox aspect (utterly ignored), combined with the lack of time travel to visit other loved ones, was perplexing. And frustrating. Mostly because I expect my authors to assume reader intelligence, and not gloss over the interesting physics and science fiction bits.

1 person found this helpful

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

Can I give it 4.8 stars? I loved this!

Can I give it a 4.8? It's nearly a 5. There are so many lovable characters in this book that I didn't want the story to end. I don't tend to pick books with time-travel in them because they can get campy, but not this. It is a beautiful story of friendship and family and it was fun to read. Caution: weak-stomached readers may need to take some breathers near the end. It's a great fast-paced ending, and will be great for thriller/murder/mystery readers, too.

1 person found this helpful

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

Whisked to another world

This was my first Audible novel and it took a few chapters to get used to listening rather than reading but soon I was immersed into the author's imagination. The characters so well drawn (and read) that they were very clear in my mind. I wanted more while at the same time wanted to know how it ended. And then I was disappointed the book had actually ended. A very good read.

1 person 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

A lovely story - 4,5 stars all around

I read a lot of negative reviews before I downloaded the book, and so wasn’t expect anything but a filler, something to have on in the background while I worked on other things. The prose and the wording and the dialogue which many called either quaint or trite, did in my mind fit perfectly with the story and it’s characters and was neither trite or quaint in this context.
It is written with a really good understanding of the English language, a skill that seems to be somewhat disregarded these days, and which my sound a bit snobbish taken out of context. But here it all fits and the author grabs my congratulations.

I enjoyed the plot, the twists, the MC and all her friends and family though the ages.
It was a slow but pleasant burn of a story that warmed as I listened to it.

Can absolutely recommend.

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

Definitely a ride worth taking

The story isn't going where you'll think it will. There were parts that had me laughing out loud. The story builds to a satisfying crescendo in the third act. Have Kleenex handy. The plot and subplots took time to breathe as they unfolded then raced to the finish. Wrap-up feels rushed but not sloppy.