***Performance *****Story ****Overall
****Growing up hard —– Review by Rox Burkey
Joyce Yarrow follows a young girl, Sandie Donovan, who makes choices partially based on circumstances of poverty, grief, temptation, and the influence of opportunistic individuals in this coming-of-age story. Her trip to Arizona opens her eyes and then rips apart memories of her childhood.
Readers and listeners will follow Sandie’s life as she matures following her father’s betrayal. Her survival instincts are honed to near perfection with people who cultivate her abilities to lie, cheat, and steal. An untypical female protagonist, Sandie is flawed but clever, imaginative, and loyal to a fault as she gets in and out of serious trouble in her adventurous journey called life. She becomes extremely relatable with her sad situation as she strives to overcome and change her destiny. Sandstorm is a compelling tale that tugs at one’s heart yet disturbs one’s sensibilities. Will her encounters in the theatre and with cosmetology provide salvation or ruin her forever?
The narration by Jennys Nunez felt stilted and slower than the tempo created by the author’s descriptions. In places the voices were too similar to easily distinguish the characters. Some words had inconsistent accents. There were no technical issues with the delivery of the audio elements, but it took away from the story.
Fans of action and adventure will enjoy this story of the life and times of a young girl surviving along a path riddled with problems. It is relatable to people who make mistakes and eventually learn from them as they are learning to stand on their own. The ending was a surprise not to be missed.
About the Author
Joyce Yarrow is an award-winning author of literary novels of suspense that, according to Library Journal, “appeal to readers who enjoy unusual mysteries with an international setting.”
Her coming-of-age novel SANDSTORM, won a the 2022 gold medal in Women’s Fiction at the CIPA/Evvy Awards and her historical thriller, ZAHARA AND THE LOST BOOKS OF LIGHT, has been awarded 5 Stars by Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine and translated into Spanish and Portuguese. Joyce’s other published novels of suspense include ASK THE DEAD, RUSSIAN RECKONING, and RIVERS RUN BACK (co-authored with Arindam Roy).
A New York City transplant now living in Seattle, Yarrow began her writing life scribbling poems on the subway and observing human behavior from every walk of life. She is a Pushcart Prize Nominee with short stories and essays that have appeared in Inkwell Journal, Whistling Shade, Descant, Arabesques, and Weber: The Contemporary West and the Los Angeles Review of Books. Yarrow is a member of the Sisters in Crime organization and has presented workshops on “The Place of Place in Mystery Writing” at conferences in the US and India.
About the Narrator
Jennys has used her voice throughout her career. She has worked in the medical, IT, Management, and Customer Service fields. Because of her extensive work in customer service and the medical field, she brings excellent storytelling skills, along with a deep appreciation for effective communication.
She understands the value of excellent communication and the importance of conveying not just words, but the emotion behind the words.
She will bring that emotion of your project to life.
What you can expect from Jennys:
- Versatile voice range to find that unique voice for your amazing text.
- Attentive customer service no matter how big or small the project is. Every customer matters.
- Professional equipment in a sound treated home studio for fast turnaround time and quality sound.