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Thirteen-year-old Oksana lives on the streets of Russia with her pregnant mama and abusive aunt - both prostitutes. When Mama swells into labor, Oksana makes a decision to save herself from abandonment, a decision that torments her forever. But her plan fails when her aunt dumps her in an orphanage before she has the chance to say goodbye to her mama or tell her the secret that haunts her.
Scattered Links is a story of family and the consequences that come from never learning how to love. It's a story of a girl's inability to bond with her adopted family and the frustrations that follow.
How can a child understand the mechanics of forming a healthy relationship when she never had a mother who answered her cries, held her when she was frightened, fed her when she was hungry, or loved her unconditionally?
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Awful Sound Quality!
This has got to be the WORST Audible book recording I have ever heard -- and I'm usually not too picky. The stops and starts are apparent and there are many of them. It seems as if the reader had been using two microphones or else using two dramatically different distances from the mike, because the sound would change from a sort of 'talking under water' effect to close, whispery and hoarse. It would switch between these two from phrase to phrase and you could tell there were pauses in the recording.
The choice of reader is questionable. While I would like to give credit to a young reader, this protagonist was supposed to be 13 at the beginning of the book and judging from the voice, the reader was quite a bit younger. She did the voices well, and very much the way I would expect a young person to do it. The sound quality is not her fault, but likely the fault of whoever was supervising/directing the recording. You can't just walk away and leave a child in charge of a microphone and expect perfect delivery. Kudos to Hayley for reading the whole book and sticking to it. I believe she did her professional best but needed more guidance.
As for the story, it will make you cry. It's sad and scary that young women in Russia have so few options and such painful futures. If it was at all possible, I would gladly adopt one of these older girls. No one should have to live like that. If you're not into Christian references then, warning, this book is full of them. And the evil people are truly evil , so if you prefer nuanced characters, that might be a problem. Keeping in mind this is a YA book and the story is told from the perspective of the adolescent female protagonist. That brings me to another issue: first person, present tense is an awkward choice for any story. It would have been better told from past tense. Still, it is a good story, overall, and seems to depict the trials of adjusting to adoption and repatriation very well.
Lots of flaws here, but worth the listening.