Friday, December 18, 2020

Review: Audiobook: Agatha Arch is Afraid of Everything by Kristin Bair O'Keeffe

Agatha Arch really IS afraid of everything! From Fava beans (don't ask) to lightning storms, it would be almost be easier for Agatha to list the things that she wasn't afraid of instead of the things that she is. When she catches her husband of eleven years in a delicate position with the dog walker in their shed Agatha takes a hatchet in hand and goes to work. What follows is the story of Agatha facing the fears that she has one fear at a time while gaining necessary perspective.

It's hard not to love unexpected heroine Agatha Arch, even though she's prickly even at the best of times! As she navigates her fears and heartbreak and disappointment and yes, even her hope for the future, her human side comes out and makes her all the more endearing. I rooted for her to overcome her obstacles from the very beginning despite the fact that she isn't what we would consider to be a traditionally likeable character.

The unexpected secondary character here was in fact not Agatha's cheating husband but the Facebook mom's group that Agatha just couldn't stay away from for very long. I could relate to many of Agatha's grievances but could also see myself in some of the mom's posts. That aspect of the story alone made it worth the listen!

I listened to the audiobook version of this story and I really liked it in that format. The reader's voice seemed to suit the story and it flowed well. I was easily able to pick up where I left off when I had to turn it off and come back to it later. I've had it before where I start an audiobook, find something about it annoying, and end up not finishing it but this wasn't the case here. Both the reader and the story being told were compelling.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story about an untraditional heroine and how she overcomes what is a common and very real fear of many people! Agatha is a flawed character with lots to love about her and I found the writing to be enjoyable and the conclusion satisfying. I can recommend this in either format- either listening to it or choosing to read a paper copy.

My thanks to the publisher as well as Netgalley for providing me with this copy for review.

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