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Children's LiteratureWhen Marly's father returns from the war, he is not the same man he was when he left. Once happy and attentive, he is now withdrawn and tentative. Marly's mother decides to move the family to rural Vermont in hopes of providing her husband with a chance to get back on his feet. Marly is thrilled with the move and finds life in Vermont filled with miracles: the sap running each spring, the beauty of the land, the wonder of the seasons. The biggest miracle of all is the change in her father. This Newbery Award-winning homage to the restorative powers of nature is beautifully told through the optimistic eyes of young Marly. As she falls in love with Vermont in every season and their homespun neighbor, Mr. Chris, Marly's happiness spills off the page. This beautifully-written story is fully realized in this Full Cast Audio recording. Presented with a full cast, the listener can readily delineate the characters and the audio has a theatrical feel to it. In any performance, the listener is not meant to be aware of the acting but, rather, of the story itself. In some instances in this audio, however, the acting was noticeable and, therefore, somewhat intrusive. Nevertheless, the story and performance are strong enough to overcome this small glitch. All in all, a strong presentation of a magnificent novel for children and, I dare say, adults. The length is 4 hours and 40 minutes on 4 CDs 2004, Full Cast Audio, Ages 8 up.
—Joan Kindig, Ph.D.