My Funny Valentine—A Jasper Falls Novel

Lydia Michaels
Narrator: Amber Battaglia

CONTEMPORARY: Erin Montgomery lives through a childhood of emotional, verbal, and physical abuse in the small town of Jasper Falls. Her father is admired in public, but is a terror to his family in private. Erin and her brother are abandoned by their mother when Erin is still a child. No one in town connects her frequent school absences or bruises with abuse, so Erin learns to hide the truth from everyone—even from her best friend, Finn. Giovanni Mosconi bullied Erin when they were younger. He is trying to become a comedian, and he ends up doing his routine at the lone bar in Jasper Falls on the night of a blizzard - and heckling Erin. Later, Erin’s car slides off the side of the road, and Giovanni discovers her unconscious and nearly frozen body.

This story is filled with emotion. Both Erin and Giovanni have some major demons to slay in their own personal lives. At times, they each react inappropriately to stimuli that trigger negative responses. Erin is abandoned many times in her life, and Giovanni is daring to create a life different from the one his family expects of him, causing conflict. Both the pace and the level of tension stay steady throughout this story. Lydia Michaels does a masterful job of conveying heartache and trauma experienced by a child at the hands of a father, and the defense mechanisms that are ingrained as a result.

Amber Battaglia is an amazing narrator for this audiobook. She captures various accents, including an authentic-sounding Irish lilt, and moves believably between both male and female characters. The sound quality is excellent, and there are no noticeable mistakes or extraneous noises in the recording quality. She brings these characters to life and evokes strong emotions in the heart of the listener!

Carey Sullivan