My Lost Family—Truth Can be Stranger than Fiction

My Lost Family

By Danny Ben-Moshe

Published 2019

Feb 2021

This audiobook is another Audible Original.  It is also available as a series of podcasts.  It is a series of interviews with Danny Ben-Moshe’s family members with narration by Ben-Moshe in between to frame the interviews and help the reader understand the story he was piecing together from these interviews.

When Danny’s mother was around 15, she met a man who became her first husband.  They had two children together and lived with her mother for financial reasons.  The couple divorced and the mother and children remained living with her mother.  The father came regularly to take the children out for afternoon visits.  One day when Danny’s mother was 19, he and the children never returned and were gone without a trace.  The police were never involved.  She assumed he must have taken the children to Tehran which was his city of birth.  She indicates repeatedly she was very young at the time with no resources to travel to find them.

Danny is her son by a second marriage.  He grew up knowing that he had two half-siblings from a previous marriage and that the children were likely in Iran according to his mother.   Forty+ years from the time his mother lost her children, Danny decides to see if he can track them down.  The audiobook/podcast series is the result of that work.  Apparently he made a film in 2017 about the project and this version was made afterwards.

Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction and this story may be one of those cases.  Danny does find his siblings and his father as well as other women his father knew and loved.  The pain suffered by the mother and her children caused by this abrupt rupture in their relationship and the gap of time before they find each other again is quite deep and is not readily healed.

Although not the usual reading material for this reader, this reader found the story fascinating and the work well done.  Danny works hard to not cast judgement on any of the parties involved but rather lets them speak for themselves and leaves the reader to decide how to process the information.

Audible is clearly getting into the content business and thus far the content this reader has consumed has been interesting and well worthy of the time spent with it.

The Sisters—An Engaging Audiobook Novella

The Sisters

By Dervla McTienar

Published 2020

Read Feb 2021

This audio novella was published as an Audible Original and is only available currently as an audiobook from Audible.  It apparently serves as a prequel, by about 10 years, to her three book (so far) Cormac Reilly crime series and was written between the publication of the second and third books in the series.

The author first introduces us to Aifric, a newly minted barrister working in a law firm of indeterminate size and who needs cases to increase her meager income.  A case comes her way temporarily as the assigned barrister has apparently fallen off the wagon and is indisposed.  It’s a murder case that will appear before a judge that afternoon.  After a stressful and unsatisfying day working on the case, Aifric returns to the tiny apartment she shares with her sister Carrie, a young member of the Dublin police force who is celebrating a case with some members of her team, much to the chagrin of Aifric. Aifric purposely leaves the case file on the table that evening and Carrie opens it, reads it, and decides to poke around a bit.  At this point the story nicely takes off.

The author balances useful and engaging detail with the crispness required for a story of this length (about three hours of listening time).    The crime solving aspect provides appropriate suspense and simultaneously shows the driving desire of Carrie to become a detective.  Her “poking around” is likely to get her into trouble but as she delves deeper despite warning from her superior, her sense of justice drives her to get the real story revealed.

Thus we have a taste of the author’s crime story writing ability.  We learn about her interest in the challenges women face as lawyers and police and we are treated to a glimpse of these challenges done without a heavy hand.

This reader is likely to explore her full length books as result of listening to this audio novella—certainly Amazon’s plan which succeeded this time with this reader.