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Best known for his monumental series of Aubrey/Maturin naval adventures, the late O'Brian began his writing career during the early 1950s with several closely observed character studies of ordinary people. His second novel, The Catalans-also published as The Frozen Flame-is set in a remote corner of southern France, where Alain Roig returns to his home after working for many years in East Asia. He finds his family in turmoil because his middle-aged cousin intends to marry a much younger woman who complicates matters by falling in love with Alain. Simon Vance's well-modulated narration makes this a delightful book for audiences. Recommended for libraries with mature listeners who appreciate close family studies.
—R. Kent Rasmussen