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You know how an audiobook narrator can make or break a story? Now that I've finished A Corner of the Universe, I'm not sure if I actually liked it, or if the audiobook narrator was just THAT good. Hattie is about to turn 12 when she is floored to find out that she has a secret uncle that she has never met. She's even more shocked when she learns that her uncle Adam has a mental illness, and has spent almost his whole life living away from home in hopes of becoming "normal". But this summer, the school where Adam has been hidden away is closed, and he explodes into Hattie's life in a completely unforgettable way. The book itself isn't bad, but it's the audiobook narrator's incredible interpretation of Adam's character that brings it to life. Her version of Adam is so lively and so full of feeling that the whole book just sparkles. Like Al Capone Does My Shirts, A Corner of the Universe paints a sad picture of how people with special needs lived in the past (if I had to choose one, I'd choose Capone – Hattie's character can't hold a candle to Moose). I can't say for sure whether this book is a winner or not – but the audiobook is wonderful.
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