Audiobook Review | “Anybody Can Do Anything” by Betty MacDonald, narrated by Heather Henderson

Posted Saturday, 25 February, 2017 by jorielov , , , 1 Comment

Audiobook Review Badge made by Jorie in Canva.

Acquired Digital Audiobook by: I am a new blog tour hostess with Audiobookworm Promotions wherein I have the opportunity to receive audiobooks for review or adoption (reviews outside of organised blog tours) and host guest features on behalf of authors and narrators alike. The Egg and I blog tour marks my second tour wherein I have become quite happily surprised how much I am now keen on listening to books in lieu of reading them in print. My journey into audiobooks was prompted by a return of my chronic migraines wherein I want to offset my readings with listening to the audio versions.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “Anybody Can Do Anything” via the publicist at Audiobookworm Promotions (of whom was working directly with the narrator Heather Henderson and Post Hypnotic Press, Inc.) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Audiobook Review | “Anybody Can Do Anything” by Betty MacDonald, narrated by Heather HendersonAnybody Can Do Anything
by Betty MacDonald
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Heather Henderson

"The best thing about the Depression was the way it reunited our family and gave my sister Mary a real opportunity to prove that anybody can do anything, especially Betty."

After surviving both the failed chicken farm - and marriage - immortalized in The Egg and I, Betty MacDonald returns to live with her mother and desperately searches to find a job to support her two young daughters. With the help of her older sister Mary, Anybody Can Do Anything recounts her failed, and often hilarious, attempts to find work during the Great Depression.

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to Riffle

Also by this author: The Plague And I, Onions in the Stew

Also in this series: The Plague And I, Onions in the Stew


Genres: Biography / Autobiography, Memoir, Non-Fiction


Published by Post Hypnotic Press

on 30th May, 2016

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 8 hours 30 minutes (unabridged)

Published By: Post Hypnotic Press (@Post_Hypnotic)

About Betty MacDonald

Betty MacDonald

Betty Bard MacDonald (1907–1958), the best-selling author of The Egg and I and the classic Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle children’s books, burst onto the literary scene shortly after the end of World War II. Readers embraced her memoir of her years as a young bride operating a chicken ranch on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, and The Egg and I sold its first million copies in less than a year.

The public was drawn to MacDonald’s vivacity, her offbeat humor, and her irreverent take on life. In 1947, the book was made into a movie starring Fred MacMurray and Claudette Colbert, and spawned a series of films featuring MacDonald’s Ma and Pa Kettle characters.

MacDonald followed up the success of The Egg and I with the creation of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, a magical woman who cures children of their bad habits, and with three additional memoirs: The Plague and I (chronicling her time in a tuberculosis sanitarium just outside Seattle), Anybody Can Do Anything (recounting her madcap attempts to find work during the Great Depression), and Onions in the Stew (about her life raising two teenage daughters on Vashon Island).

Author Paula Becker was granted full access to Betty MacDonald’s archives, including materials never before seen by any researcher. Looking for Betty MacDonald, the first official biography of this endearing Northwest storyteller, reveals the story behind the memoirs and the difference between the real Betty MacDonald and her literary persona.

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my review of anybody can do anything:

We reacquire our pace inside Betty MacDonald ’s life during the Great Depression – where the title of this memoir takes heart at pointing out the fact, sometimes in life you have to dig deep and find the strength ‘to do anything’ even when ‘anything’ feels more than a little impossible. Especially during economic hardship when everyone else round you is facing similar circumstances and hoping for similar turnarounds for their own families.

With the same aplumb and frank earnestness you’ve become attached to hearing precipitate through Ms Henderson’s narration where Betty’s voice has been brought to life with such a fierce resonatation of the woman’s life as to feel as if she’s been properly resurrected; same as she ever was relating her life and popular stories from the well of memories which she is never without a smile to share. Betty’s life is one of those interesting dramas you cannot help but become quite addicted to listening too; if only to hear what out of the ordinary familial gem of ‘life notation’ is going to be related next through a new memoir which percolates to life to embrace a new era of Betty’s life. The curious bit is how all the memoirs play a central role in investigating the ‘hours’ of Betty’s life as if the words were writ down in the height of Betty’s life – where all the details were as vividly presentable in her mind’s eye as they were being lived. Betty had the knack for chronicling her daily escapades as if her readers would not only curl up inside her story-telling but would feel as if the total experience of stepping through her shoes would be absolute; almost as if part of their lives intersected and never fully separated again from her life’s path. This is one of the beauties of reading memoirs such as this – they are such a full experience, you cannot help but feel as if you’ve transported yourself directly inside the person’s shoes.

Similar to the previous installment – most of the joy of re-inserting your life into Betty’s life is to backtrack through her childhood – as she augments her ‘present’ through the spinning eclipse of her ‘past’ as laying down the foundational roots of what she wants to share ‘next’ – if only to provide a grounding of a back-story to help new readers (or listeners in this case) root themselves into her life without having to pick up the rest of the volumes. It’s a clever trick of story-telling because unlike finding repetition a tool to re-insert readers into a singular life – Betty re-tools the trick of the trade by sharing new nuggets of insight into her quirky family’s epic adventures. She has a clever method for finding such ordinary moments to hold the most insight to her and her family’s unique lifestyle.

Betty is relating a particular period of her younger years where her sister Mary had these grandiose ideas – in a fashion represented well in “The Trouble with Angels” (film, starring Haley Mills) – as Mary did not always realise how her innocent ideas might actually hold a bit of danger within the elements of how her ideas were carried out! It was interesting here – as Ms Henderson was off-setting the traditional style of remaining in character (ie. Betty’s POV) by shifting not only voice but perspective quite interchangeable as if all the characters were being voiced in their own queues of entrance with a lovely overlay of Betty’s philosophical narrative overlaid.

You have to wonder how Betty survived Mary’s daring ideas – where the scathingly scary part is how everyone put their trust in Mary’s sense of confidence for pulling off the most incredibly trying incidents where injury should have been commonplace but blessedly were not! Mary schemed so very regularly, you’d think everyone would have caught up and taken a wide step around her to avoid such difficult circumstances. This is where the innocence of Betty and her siblings shines through the narration – as Mary was quite the unusual instigator!

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specifically in regards to the audiobook:

As I am relatively new to reviewing audiobooks and listening to them with a greater frequency than of the past, I am appreciative of Ms Jess providing a cursory outline of how best to articulate my listening hours on behalf of this audiobook and the others I shall be blogging about or reviewing in future. I’ve modified the suggestions to what I felt were pertinent to respond too on my own behalf as well as keeping to the questions I felt were relevant to share.

About Heather Henderson

Heather Henderson

Heather Henderson is a voice actress and audiobook narrator with a 20-year career in literary and performing arts. Her narrations include the NYT bestseller (now also a feature film) Brain on Fire; and Sharon Creech’s The Boy on the Porch, which won her an Earphones award and was named one of the Best Children’s Audiobooks for 2013 by Audiofile Magazine.

She earned her Doctor of Fine Arts degree at the Yale School of Drama, and is co-curator of AudioEloquence.com, a pronunciation research site for the audiobook industry.

In 2015, Heather was a finalist for a Voice Arts Award (Outstanding Narration, Audiobook Classics), for her narration of Betty MacDonald’s The Egg and I.

Regards to the Narrator’s Individual Character performances:

I was supremely delighted by the presentation of this memoir – Ms Henderson not only had her wings inside this installment but she was so natural in presenting MacDonald’s life at this point, none of my prior grievances were left-over. If anything, I appreciated taking this journey with Ms Henderson – seeing how strong MacDonald’s voice was growing in presence and how how Ms Henderson voiced MacDonald’s life truly gave a portrait of a life you can fully feel invested inside from one installment to another.

The pacing was much better, too. Everything felt equally balanced and as you will find – things are presented in their own timing of preferred preference for revealling certain bits of information which were pertinent for MacDonald to share – her style of story-telling is such a unique one, it does take a bit of time to warm to her recollective memories. In this, Ms Henderson has done such a champion job of finding Betty and finding a way to make Betty’s life interesting for today’s audience.

*more detailed notes about Ms Henderson’s narrating style are threaded through my reviews of the Betty MacDonald memoirs which are linked below this post.

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 This blog tour is courtesy of Audiobookworm Promotions:

Host badge for Audiobookworm Promotions.

Whilst participating on:

Anybody can do Anything blog tour by Audiobookworm Promotions.If your an avid audiobook listener, I welcome your commentary and recommendations especially for Non-Fiction titles and/or Biographies, Autobiographies and Memoir you think I might enjoy seeking out next!

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Anybody Can Do Anything”, book synopsis, narrator biography, narrator photo,  author biography, author photo, Audiobookworm Promotions badge and the audiobook tour badge were all provided by Audiobookworm Promotions and used with permission. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Audiobook Narrator Interview Banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2017.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all. "I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story) more >> | Hire me as a betareader | Policies & Review Requests
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Posted Saturday, 25 February, 2017 by jorielov in Audiobook Narrator Interview, Audiobookworm Promotions, Blog Tour Host & Reviewer, Memoir, Non-Fiction, Vignettes of Real Life

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