by Phaedra Patrick
Narrator: James Langton
Length: 8 hours 57 minutes
Purchase: Amazon | Audible
Narration: 5 cups
Phaedra Patrick's debut novel, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, was hailed as "poignant" and "utterly endearing." Now she returns with Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone, a gem of a novel about family, forgiveness and one man's second chance at happiness.
Moonstone for empathy. Azurite for memories. Lapis lazuli for truth… In the quiet village of Noon Sun, Benedict Stone has settled into a complacent and predictable routine. Business at his jewelry shop has dried up; his marriage is on the rocks. His life is in desperate need of a jump start…
And then a surprise arrives at his door.
Gemma is Benedict's audacious teenage niece-the daughter of his estranged brother, Charlie. The two Stone brothers had a falling out and haven't spoken in almost two decades, since Charlie left for America. Reckless and stubborn, Gemma invites herself into Benedict's world and turns his orderly life upside down. But she might just be exactly what he needs to get his life back on track…
Filled with colorful characters and irresistible charm, Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone is a luminous reminder of the unbreakable bonds of family, and shows that having someone to embrace life with is always better than standing on your own.
It’s time to welcome Sophia Rose back to the blog and this time she has a delightful audiobook to tempt you with! Grab a cuppa and check out Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone by Phaedra Patrick.
Sophia Rose’s Review
I was utterly delighted by the author’s debut book, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper so when I saw that the author released another book and retained the same wonderful narrator, I had to get it without even looking at the blurb.
As with the first story, a man has reached a crisis point in his life and must now go on a personal journey to recover something that has been lost. Benedict Stone is a caregiver and a provider. He knows no other way and his biggest dream is to have his own children so as a family they can carry on tradition. His parents died hunting their precious gemstones when he was a very young man and he took on the care of his brother and the running of the family jewelry making shop.
Years later, he is slovenly, overweight, pining for the wife who moved out because she feels pressured by their infertility, yearning for the brother who left never wanting to see him again, discontent with his work, and ripe for it all somehow to be made right.
Into this dreary life of Benedict’s comes his precocious teenage niece, Gemma. Slowly this odd pair grow close of their shared loved of the gemstones and the family traditions. Gemma’s vitality and the secret pain he sees in her awakens Benedict and he is ready to make drastic changes and fight for what he really needs.
This was a slow-paced and subtle piece set in a small Yorkshire village. The author allows the reader to see and feel the effort that Benedict puts in. He has set backs, painful mistakes, and some triumphs as he works at changing things. It was sweet to see that while Gemma was wonderful for Benedict that he was also what she needed. The reader catches on to things before Benedict about Gemma’s secrets and even what must happen for Benedict to freely live his life.
The gemstones are a major part of the story, literally and symbolically, as they help catalogue Benedict and Gemma’s journeys. Each chapter is introduced by a different gem from Benedict’s dad’s journal with its properties and the significance attached to the gems. I spent a great deal of time curious about what was really going on with Gemma and what dreadful thing Benedict did to cause his brother to leave and cut him off. I suspected on both counts and I was mostly right. The author was not afraid to present a flawed hero, but I loved her Benedict and I was rooting hard for him to succeed on all counts.
James Langton was a supreme success once again. He voices the range of characters, including most of the village, and their quirks so well. His sense of timing and emotion were spot on.
All in all, Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone was another fabulous character-driven book and I look forward to more from the author.Come discover why Sophia Rose thinks, Rise and Shine, Benedict Stone by Phaedra Patrick is a delightful story to add to your #Audio bookshelf. #loveaudiobooks Click To Tweet
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