My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I enjoyed The Listener quite a bit more than I thought I would at first. While part of the story-line was fairly predictable, I was nonetheless caught off guard with the ending. Yes, I rather liked the ending. It left me with one of those ‘oh!‘ moments when I read the last paragraph… I like that feeling!
The Listener is certainly deserving of a four star rating here. Shira Nayman has written, in her second novel, a most compelling story of human frailty. Her treatment of the main staff and patient characters was especially well done, and she adds a nice depth to the secondary characters as well.
In The Listener, the author uses a descriptive and compassionate narrative style that easily engenders empathy in the reader for the characters Shira has created. She deals with the subject of mental illness, both those being treated and the persons treating them, with an understanding and compassion that only one who has experience in the field can.
The author shows with a startling clarity that the casualties of war go far beyond those who served and their families. The consequences of war are not unlike the ripples in a pond when one drops a stone in its center… spreading out and touching everything and everyone in their path.
None of us are immune from the fragile nature of the human mind.
I would recommend The Listener without hesitation.
Veronica Marie Lewis-Shaw
22 June 2012