An #AudiobookMonth (#JIAM) Review | “The Fall of Mrs Parsons” by Phil Geoffrey Bond, narrated by Jenn Lee

Posted Thursday, 3 June, 2021 by jorielov , , , , 0 Comments

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Acquired Audiobook By: I started to listen to audiobooks in [2016] as a way to offset my readings of print books whilst noting there was a rumour about how audiobooks could help curb chronic migraines as you are switching up how your reading rather than allowing only one format to be your bookish choice. As I found colouring, knitting and playing solitaire agreeable companions to listening to audiobooks, I embarked on a new chapter of my reading life where I spend time outside of print editions of the stories I love reading and exchange them for audio versions.

Through hosting for Audiobookworm Promotions, I’ve expanded my knowledge of authors who are producing audio versions of their stories whilst finding podcasters who are sharing their bookish lives through pods. Meanwhile, I am also curating my own wanderings in audio via my local library who uses Overdrive for their digital audiobook catalogue wherein I can also request new digital audiobooks to become added to their OverDrive selections. Aside from OverDrive I also enjoy having Audible & Scribd memberships as my budget allows. It is a wonderful new journey and one I enjoy sharing – I have been able to expand the percentage of how many audios I listen to per year since 2018.

I received a complimentary audiobook copy of “The Fall of Mrs Parsons” via Audiobookworm Promotions who is working with the author, narrator & the Audiobook Empire (of which Audiobookworm Promotions is affliated) in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I’ve decided to re-focus a few things on Jorie Loves A Story this Summer – starting with #AudiobookMonth this June! I haven’t had the chance to focus on my audiobook reviews which are on my backlogue list nor have I had the chance to properly showcase my ACLs via LibroFM. There is so much wicked good audio out there I’d like to start representing my own interests in this world of audio plays, narrative story and audio performances to help raise a signal flare of readerly joy for all of us who have come under the spell of audiobook narrators and performers.

To kick things off this month, I’ve started with my first selection entitled “The Fall of Mrs Parsons” which clocking in at fifty minutes, I knew was both a short story and a wonderful beginning to my efforts this month to listen harder to the stories and to dive deeper into the audiobooks I’ve selected to listen too. Fifty minutes might not seem like enough space and time to articulate the emotional depth of a story but as you will soon see in my review, it is not only long enough but the breadth of space within this story is a mark of literary gold. Bond surely knew what he was doing when he crafted the life of Mrs Parsons and the narrator, Jenn Lee brilliantly brought Mrs Parson’s to life in her narration.

This #AudiobookMonth, you’ll be seeing a few carry-overs from #WyrdAndWonder wherein I’ll be spending time soaking into fantastical worlds of enlightenment, whilst you’ll also see me exploring narrative Non-Fiction, short story and a hodgepodge of genres thereafter. Some will be selections I’ve personally earmarked to read and listen too (via my local and/or regional libraries – CloudLibrary & OverDrive) – others will be more backlogue titles from NetGalley or LibroFM; whilst others might be from my personal shelves on Audible. Whichever way the audiobooks were brought into my life – this month is one month I shall look forward to endeavouring to share my journey into the heart of the stories themselves whilst discussing how and why the narrators left the impressions they did as I listened to them narrate the stories.

Without further, adieu, I give you my reactions to The Fall of Mrs Parsons!

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An #AudiobookMonth (#JIAM) Review | “The Fall of Mrs Parsons” by Phil Geoffrey Bond, narrated by Jenn LeeThe Fall of Mrs Parsons
by Phil Geoffrey Bond
Source: Audiobook via Audiobookworm Promotions
Narrator: Jenn Lee

Mrs. Parsons lives a quiet life in a small cottage in the woods on the outskirts of town, having woken next to her husband Lloyd, and has gone about with her normal routine every day for the past 50+ years. But on this most extraordinary day, she will venture out into the world, reclaiming her place in it and, in so doing so, rediscover herself.

In this lush, romantic short tale from Phil Geoffrey Bond, the simple life is revealed as not so simple at all.

Genres: Literary Fiction, Introspective Literary Fiction, Women's Fiction, Short Story or Novella, Women's Studies


Places to find the book:

Add to LibraryThing

ASIN: B092DRBPKX

Published by Audiobook Empire

on 15th April, 2021

Format: Audiobook | Digital

Length: 50 minutes (unabridged)

Converse via: #WomensFiction, #Literary or #audiobook, #loveaudiobooks and #audioreads
as well as #AudiobookwormPromotions OR #TheAudiobookEmpire
+ #AudiobookMonth & #JIAM

About Phil Geoffrey Bond

Phil Geoffrey Bond

PHIL GEOFFREY BOND is an award-winning author, best known for his collection of short pieces, All the Sad Young Men, and the celebrated picture book, My Friend, the Cat, based on the popular stage show.

Often mixing dramatic prose with live theatre, his original pieces My Queer Youth, The Disney Diaries, My Friend, the Cat, My Roaring Twenties and Small Town Confessions have been embraced by a wide range of off-Broadway audiences. As a playwright, Phil has developed work at The Sundance Theatre Lab (The Citadel), and many regional theatres throughout the states. A fixture on the NYC nightlife scene, he is a seven-time MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets), two-time Bistro and one-time Nightlife Award-winner.

Currently, he is the writer/producer/host of Sondheim Unplugged, now enjoying it's 6th year at Manhattan nightspot Feinstein's/54 Below. 2016 will see the release of his debut novel, The Last Year at Low Tide (Chess Books). In 1993, he was awarded the Presidential Medallion from President Clinton on behalf of his work as a young playwright.

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on the literary & emotionally evocative
styling of Phil Geoffrey Bond:

Mrs Parsons is a highly intuitive and introspective lady with twinges of melancholy about her as if a shroud of grey is cast over her pallor. She exudes nostalgia as she reminiscences about her marriage but it is how insightful her observational takeaways are about seasonal shifts in climate and weather which were highly attuned to a woman who has never stopped watching the passage of time. Mrs Parsons has a keen sense of wit and sarcasm as well. Equally shared with the kind of mirth of a well-lived life by a woman who has felt worn and weathered as shutters against a window effacing the sea.

And, this dear hearts is just the beginning.

It took me nearly til the middle of the story before I realised I had missed something quite imperative about Mrs Parsons. I felt twinges of foreshadowing in the earlier moments of the story – as this clocks in at fifty minutes, but I elected not to watch the downspin of the minutes but rather enjoy the fullness of the narration and where Bond was directing me to go – visually and emotionally. Yet. A portion of my mind, cast adrift by his emotionally charged narrative was noodling out what was being left unsaid and it was in that moment, the fullness of my emotional connection was sealed.

Many of my followers and bookish mates know about my father’s stroke – others learnt of it in recent years, however it was one of those defining cornerstones of my family’s life in so many different ways. You might not have realised it was the same year I discovered audiobooks and that is quite telling in another way entirely. However as relating to The Fall of Mrs Parsons – there are moments in our lives bridged between our lives before and our lives after which become benchmarks of both our memories and our living histories. For what is remembered is not always accurately what was lived as much as what is known isn’t always what was either. Time and memory can play as many tricks on our hearts as our souls can attempt to ease the burden of our adversities by offering passages of kindness when it comes to how memory affects us after trauma.

For any family whose gone through an emotional medical crisis and has dealt with the ongoing after effects of that crisis (even years onward) can relate to Mrs Parsons and why in the end, she only found herself liberated to renew her ability to live afterwards. And, that is only one half of the story as this is a very sophisticated eloquii about a woman whose undertaking a metamorphosisical shift in her life.

The doors this story opened in my mind’s eye and in my own memory was quite intricately attached to the moment my father entered the ER and the after years past his survival of the stroke itself – how much has changed in these past five years and how my father is a different man than he was prior to the stroke. There are a lot of moments where our lives alter themselves into a new dimension of life and as I walked beside Mrs Parsons, I found myself at a pinnacle of insight I hadn’t realised I was sheltering all these years as my father’s carer. As the daughter, I’ve watched these changes as an observer and as a living component of the changes as they evolved. In Mrs Parsons I saw windows of truth into what this journey has been like and the weight of how life itself can stack into the hours of when we’re keeping our own company tethered into our thoughts, our feelings and our contemplative hours questioning not only our past and our present but what becomes of our future?

I feel as if I’ve lived every inch of Mrs Parson’s life as if I were her myself or perhaps its because I’ve watched what my Mum has gone through in the after years of my father’s stroke, I understand Mrs Parsons moreso than the next listener. She shines such a bright life of hope for us all and I am grateful I’ve heard her story even if it was both bittersweet and guttingly familiar to listen too. I don’t oft end a story with watery eyes and a soul clutch in the throat but with Mrs Parsons, my heart bled with the weight of this season of Mrs Parsons life coming to a point of reconciled freedom.

As I felt the fall of Mrs Parsons wasn’t necessarily the act of her falling from grace or of falling out of favour (as some might have foreseen it would elude) – lest of all herself, but rather, the season of this snapshot of her life reflected her own viewpoint on Fall and how we should all look forward to Winter’s renewal of rebirth to enter into our own new beginnings after the last season comes to a close as if a chapter once lived has now enabled us to write a new book of enlightened adventures. Sometimes we have to fall adrift in order to right ourselves onto a new path which presents itself quite unexpectedly and yet, the timing of which holds its own meaning which only we ourselves can understand.

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In regards to the audiobook directly:

The Fall of Mrs Parsons promotional graphic provided by Audiobookworm Promotions and is used with permission.

About Jenn Lee

Jenn Lee

After 20+ years as professional NYC actor, I stumbled into some documentary voiceover work. From that moment on, I knew the trajectory of my career had been changed forever. I adore narrating and doing VO, and every job feels like a gift.

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.

Number of Times I’ve heard the Narrator(s):

This is my first time listening to Jenn Lee.

The narrator has a beautiful narrative voice – she pulls you into this story by how she assertively inhabits Mrs Parsons. You believe fully she’s stepped into her shoes and given us a keenly insightful portrait of Mrs Parson’s as if she were a composite of her sharing a side of her the woman herself might be surprised to have learnt was being shared with so many.

Regards to the Narrator’s Individual Character performances:

Mrs Parsons: This is a singular character narrative – wherein, it is akin to watching a single actor in a stage play. The best example I can give is the performance of Holland Taylor in the adaptation of Texas Governor’s Ann Richards life of which I had the pleasure of streaming via Broadway on Roku. It was an evocative piece in its own right – and similar to an audio play (of which I accredit “The Fall of Mrs Parsons” being similar in vein, context and execution), you had to rely on Taylor’s presentation of Richards to formulate your opinions about the woman, the office in which she held and the message within the telling of her story. Similarly of course, you leant on Lee to evocatively create the environ in which Mrs Parsons inhabits your sensory perception of her life – the nuances of her observations, the meloncholic presentation of her memories and the artfulness of her solitary journey towards accepting the inevitable and living with the truth of what fuells our responses to grief, loss and a centreing of self-liberation.

The characters in the background:

The characters mentioned in the background of Mrs Parsons story are in-part inclusive to round her journey and her time spent with us walking beside her on this interal and external journey she’s undertaking. Their not the featured focus of the story, as that is fully eclipsed by Mrs Parsons herself and the curious ways in which Bond has allowed us this entreaty into her life at a moment where most would close the door to outsiders. Instead, those characters or persons rather, offer further insight and augmentation of how Mrs Parsons is handling her perception and acceptance of this stage of her life. They offer markers of time, wherein we see different facets of Mrs Parsons life and of course, as it is a swirlment of memory and observations with flashpoints of introspective intuitiveness, those persons are as important as the fuller message of why we’re focused on Mrs Parsons herself.

How the story sounded to me as it was being Read: (theatrical or narrative)

This is a spoken narrative performance – of a one woman’s play so to speak. If I hadn’t seen Holland Taylor’s play last year, I might not have had a frame of reference in which to augment my impressions – however, Lee like Taylor has a particular knack for etching out a person’s character, drawing the audience into their lives and letting the listener form their own impressions thereafter. They embody these people just long enough to give us a fullness of their persons but it is how they’ve articulated their lives which speaks volumes in the end because once you reach the last moments you’ll spend with Mrs Parsons (or with Ann Richards) you’ll find yourself in need of wanting more of their lives; more of their souls and in essence find yourself bereft for their absence.

Regards to Articulation & Performance of the story:

Articulation:

Lee breathes such wonderful life into Mrs Parsons; as she’s a woman of a certain age, having lived a considerable amount of time within the confines of her marriage and of life itself. You can tell how long she’s been around simply through her own observational notes about life whilst she’s out and about in towne but moreso than that, it how Lee presents Mrs Parsons to us, the audio listeners. She etches out this woman who is hankering after connecting to someone who will understand the discourse of what she’s trying to relate to us. She has a lot to say and a lot to work through – none of which is easily unpacked as Bone had layered her story lovingly well. Lee, of course, took his words and ran with them which made how she articulated the character of Mrs Parsons into a work of joy for the listener.

Performance:

I do not emotionally feel crushed by stories very often. Most recently it is my binge watching joys of White Collar which has me in full remorse and grief of having to ‘let go’ of a series six seasons into its finale. At the current moment, I’m two episodes away into finding out the fate of the characters and especially of Neal himself. Emotionally I’m distraught and overcome – which is the same state of mind I found myself perplexed to be inside when I came to the final curtain on The Fall of Mrs Parsons. As forementioned on my review, this is a story which pierces your soul and it has a way of triggering an interpersonal response in the listener. This is fuelled by how Lee performed the story and how she interpeted how Mrs Parson’s was meant to be performed. Again, her and Holland Tayler ace narrative performances such as this and it was an honour to listen to Lee perform The Fall of Mrs Parsons.

Notes on the Quality of Sound & the Background Ambiance:

This was my first production produced by the Audiobook Empire and it is surely not my last! I was most impressed by the production of the audiobook as much as I had been the narrator’s performance and the author’s words therein. Audiobooks like this one are a treat of joy to my listening ears – they are wicked brilliant in both quality and sound whilst you can accurately hear the narrator’s voice without any distractions in the background. Given this was a one woman’s play – there wasn’t a need for background ambiance or accompanying soundscapes.

One quick note: If your listening to this story on a tablet and forget to clear your cache or storage queues for Audible, you’ll have the same experience I had – where all dialogue and narration cuts out with thirty minutes left! It’s a quick fix and generally I remember to clear those areas of my tablet but with a bit of a chaotic year thus far along, it simply escaped me. Thereby, once fixed, I happily heard Ms Lee resume her narration and felt as enraptured by Mrs Parson’s story as I had before the audiobook quit playing.

Preference after listening to re-Listen or pick up the book in Print?

It is true – I generally would lament I prefer to have a print copy in hand whilst I can listen to an audiobook by earphones – however, in this particular interest, I belay that preference. I truly cannot think of a way in which I would prefer my standard option in this instance because of how attached I became to Lee’s performance. I think my own head and frames of reference my cloud the life of Mrs Parsons if I tried to read a copy of this story whilst hearing Lee’s narration and for that reason alone, I’ll always refer back to the audiobook vs a copy in print. Trust me. If you want to feel as swallowed whole by an emotionally charged story as I had myself – queue the audiobook and forget all other editions! This is definitely a story for all readers of Women’s Fiction and Literary Introspective Fiction.

In closing, would I seek out another Jenn Lee audiobook?

I am wicked hopeful Ms Lee is going to be narrating more stories for the Audiobook Empire – if she hasn’t already, as they have just started to release their catalogue of audiobooks (from what I gathered via their website). I am truly captured by how authenticity for owning the characters she’s protraying and also her ability to intuit and emote so much depth out of a singular character to where you do not need any other character outside of the lead. This audiobook had such a profound effect on me on so many levels, I can only look forward to new characters and new stories to endeavour to greet through the performance of Ms Lee!

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This Audio blog tour is courtesy of:

Host badge for Audiobookworm Promotions.Follow the Virtual Road Map

as you visit others participating:

The Fall of Mrs Parson's audio blog tour banner provided by Audiobookworm Promotions and is used with permission.
I look forward to reading your thoughts & commentary!
Be sure to leave notes, takeaways and commentary to let me know if this has been a story on your bookish radar and/or if it is one you’re going to be adding to your own TBR! I’d love to hear your thoughts about this kind of story and others you might have already read on similar themes.

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Reading this story contributed to my #AudioBookMonth listens:

2021 #AudiobookMonth badge created by Jorie in Canva.

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If you’d like to follow my #audioreads,
kindly view my archives of audiobook reviews!

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{SOURCES: Book cover for “The Fall of Mrs Parsons”, book synopsis, author biography, author photograph of Phil Geoffrey Bond; the narrator biography and photograph of Jenn Lee as well as the audio tour banner, promo graphic for “The Fall of Mrs Parson’s” and tour host badge were all provided by Audiobookworm Promotions and are used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets were embedded due to codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: #AudiobookMonth 2021 badge, Audiobook Review banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2021.

I’m a social reader, I tweet my bookish life

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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)

read more >> | Visit my Story Vault of Book Reviews | Policies & Review Requests | Contact Jorie

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Posted Thursday, 3 June, 2021 by jorielov in #AudiobookMonth, #JorieLovesIndies, 20th Century, Audiobook, Audiobookworm Promotions, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Blog Tour Host, Indie Author, Introspective Literary Fiction, Literary Fiction, Realistic Fiction, Twitterland & Twitterverse Event, Widows & Widowers, Women of a Certain Age, Women's Fiction




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