For the Love of Laura Beth (A Chicago Christmas Book 4)

Aubrey Wynne
Narrator: Sara K. Sheckells

HISTORICAL:  This story is set in Kankakee, Illinois in the 1950’s.  Laura Beth Walters and Joe McCall are in love with each other when fate intervenes.  Joe’s mother dies, leaving his father a widower with medical bills and no money remaining for Joe’s college tuition.  Shortly thereafter, Joe is drafted to serve in the Korean War, and they decide to get married right before he leaves to serve.   Laura Beth is the glue that holds the McCall family together when their wife and mother passes away, and she remains the glue while Joe is fighting in the war.  While he is away, Laura Beth bears them a daughter.   

This audiobook covers some heavy topics including postpartum depression and extreme heartache.  When Joe returns from the war, he is forced to become the glue that holds his family together when a tragedy occurs.  While much of this story is quite believable, the understanding of genes and DNA mapping seems advanced for Illinois in the early 1950’s.  Joe’s re-acclimation to civilian life after witnessing the horrors of war seems a little too easy, as well.  Nevertheless, this story has a lot of heart.  It is a simpler time and people do what needs to be done, in spite of heartache and loss.

The narrator does a good job of conveying both the mood and the intensity of the story.  The recording quality is good and the pacing and tone are fairly even.  The portrayal of Joe sounded weak at the start of the audiobook but improved by the end.  There aren’t any noticeable mouth sounds or unexpected noises in the recording.  It is easy to follow the storyline and the actions of each character because they are portrayed clearly and distinctly.  This audiobook tugs on the listener’s heartstrings.

Carey Sullivan