A long long time ago I saw the sweet film based on this book. Starring whatshername and Gerard Butler I remember it as a really nice feel-good film and quite American. Seconds into the audiobook I’d borrowed from the library that was set straight. This is an Irish tale set in Dublin and by gods the accent of the Irish narrator, Dervla Kirwan, was just the best thing ever. She did a great job at giving every person she voiced a specific voice and feel of their own.
What wasn’t so good about the audiobook was the fact that it turned out to be abridged. I didn’t know this beforehand and was quite surprised when it said on the back of the cover that it only took 3 hours and 49 minutes (most books last at least double that). I’ve never before read/heard and an abridged version of the book and decided to give it a go despite my misconceptions. These unfortunately turned out to hold strong.
While they’ve done a good job cutting the story down to the basics following Holly through her grief after the death of her husband and I overall enjoyed what I heard, I also feel like far too much have been left out. More than half the book has been removed from the abridged version and when I found a hardback copy in the library the other day and flipped it open I found multiple storylines and subplots that I never heard a whisper about in the audiobook. And while yes, again, the overall story was good in the abridged version, I feel cheated. I basically just heard another movie version of the book (the original Irish version rather).
(also, regarding the movie, while it’s good, it appears to be another example, just like that other book I reviewed, that Hollywood only takes the gist of a book and makes that into the movie ignoring all the gorgeous details.. The movie is still really good, but it doesn’t replace the book at all. They are two pretty different things entirely.)
In short: it’s a good read, even if abridged, and it gives you the feels, but they don’t last too long, because the characters are never given the chance to grow on you as it’s over far too quickly. If you just need something quick and easy, this is great, but if you have the time I recommend you go with the full version - I’ve taken note to someday read the proper book (or hear it unabridged) but for now hundreds of other stories await.