audio book, fiction

The Darling Buds of May: The Larkin Novels Volume 1 (Naxos Audiobooks)

The Darling Buds of May
Author: H.E. Bates
Read by: Philip Franks
Publisher: Naxos Audiobooks
Genre: Fiction
ISBN: 978-1-84379-998-6
Total time: 4 CDs / 4:21:42

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Cedric Charlton arrives on the Larkin doorstep, determined to get Pop to complete his tax form. But the crafty junk dealer has other ideas. Distracting him with food, alcohol, and his beautiful daughter, Mariette, Pop tries to keep him from his mission.

Charlton wants to keep his focus, but finds he enjoys Mariette’s company too much to consider leaving any time soon. And the joys of the country become dearer and dearer to his heart. As his visit is extended, he experiences his first strawberry season, as well as a horse riding competition, and learns how to eat country-style. Will he choose to go back to his tax office, or will he stay with the Larkins for a while and see what country living has to offer him?

The Darling Buds of May is read by Philip Franks, who does a wonderful job with these voices. While listening, one can easily picture each of the unique characters, as well as the scenery around them. The story is told from multiple perspectives, and it reads more like a play than a novel, with only the props missing. This light-hearted and humorous story is best enjoyed while relaxing on a summer day. I really enjoyed this recording and hope Naxos Audiobooks plans to do more in this series.

Reviewer: Alice Berger