Regular readers of my blog will know that I love to listen to a good audiobook. Sometimes even if the book has been out for a while.
Say, more than a decade.
Okay, maybe that’s more than a while, but still… with apologies to those who have already read The Shepherd’s Voice by Robin Lee Hatcher, I’m going to go ahead and review it, because I just finished listening to it, and enjoyed the experience a great deal.
This RITA Award Winning Inspirational Historical Romance was originally published in 2000, but I got my hands on a copy of the 2011 audio edition at my local library. I’m so glad that I did.
If you are a fan of Robin Lee Hatcher’s novels or you enjoy historical romance where faith plays a central role, and you haven’t read this yet, you just might want to change that.
Set during the Great Depression in Ransom, Idaho, The Shepherd’s Voice tells the story of Gabe Talmadge and Akira Macauley. After 10 years in prison, Gabe cannot find work so he returns home out of desperation, hoping to find employment and maybe even acceptance from his father, a wealthy and influential man in the town of Ransom. But his hopes on that front are dashed when his father sends him away hungry and alone. Things begin to turn around when Akira offers Gabe a job on her sheep ranch and helps him regain his shattered faith and his hope for the future. But when tragedy strikes, his past comes back to haunt him.
This is a charming story featuring a number of Biblical truths exemplified. Redemption, mercy, love, salvation, forgiveness. It’s got it all. There’s a fair amount of scripture quoted in this one as well, as the characters explore how best to deal with the challenges they are facing from a Biblical viewpoint.
Did I mention challenges? They are facing plenty of those. Gabe’s father is scheming to take Akira’s land and undermine their relationship. Town gossips are doing what town gossips do. And an angry drunk seeks revenge. But the challenges and conflict keep things interesting from beginning to end, as does the constantly evolving relationship between Gabe and Akira. In the end, I was fascinated by how the various story threads come together in unexpected ways, and the reader sees how “all things work together for the good of those who love God.”
Specific to the Audio edition:
I thought that the narrator, Pam Ward’s voice had a peaceful, calming quality to it, which made for pleasant listening and seemed to suit the story well. She was adept at doing young and old, male and female voices, as well as introducing accents when called for. I found it easy to distinguish one character’s voice from another, and the voices seemed well suited to the characters. Overall, an excellent audiobook experience and one I would gladly recommend.