Review of ‘Breaking Character’ by Lee Winter, audiobook narrated by Angela Dawe
After listening to the audiobook of ‘Winter Jacket’ by Eliza Lentzski narrated by Angela Dawe, I needed to listen more by this incredible narrator. The wlw fake celebrity romance ‘Breaking Character’ was a good segue and didn’t disappoint me.
When famous British actress Elizabeth Thornton shares the set with American former child prodigy Summer Hayes, a series of random accidents made the press portray them as girlfriends. The mistake escalates when a French director offers the pair a career-changing role assuming that they can act on set the intimacy they share as a couple. How hard could it be to fake a relationship for a while?
Lee Winter knows how to write a story about older ice queens and inexperienced younger women who idolise them. For instance, icy political correspondent Catherine Ayers and entertainment journalist Lauren King in ‘The red files’; or ruthless assassin Natalya Tsvetnenko and her naive target Alison Ryan in ‘Requiem for immortals’; or media mogul boss Elena Bartell and crime reporter Maddie Grey in ‘The brutal truth’. In ‘Breaking character’, Ms. Winter explores a fake relationship of the celebrity variety between two actresses playing as a couple and how their relationship evolves as they share more than their professional lives.
This book is great on character building, from the mains and the secondary to the ‘real’ and the ‘fictional’. Winter does a great job at portraying each one. Some you’ll love, others you’ll despise, but every single one of them have their defined nuances. So much so that the reader is able to witness the transition from actress to film character, how they cope with the emotional strain of acting and how they bare themselves literally and metaphorically. The same happens with secondary characters. For example, each one of Elizabeth’s friends represents a different type of Hollywood celebrity: the self-centrered, the womaniser, the introvert, the eccentric genius, etc.
‘Breaking character’ gives a good insight about an actress’ profession: how they expose their feelings and bodies, how they get typecast by their looks or age, how high is the price of fame and how competitive and cut-throat Hollywood could be. The romance is very slow-burn but, in my opinion, it feels a bit rushed at the end. However, this is an entertaining and engaging read that won’t disappoint Lee Winter’s fans.
The audiobook version narrated by Angela Dawe is absolutely fantastic. Ms. Dawe knows how to take the written text to new heights, making the overall listening experience magnificent. Her performance of the varied range of feelings is out of this world, so much so, that the listener can see the scenes unfolding in their minds’ eyes. Ms. Dawe is one of the best narrators for interpreting different accents and she gives a masterclass here: New Zealander, Australian, English, American, French, you name it. All spot on. As usual, her voices are all distinct and, as a bonus, her portrayal of Elizabeth oozes sensuality. 5 stars.
Length: 11 hrs and 47 mins of pure bliss
Available on Scribd