Laura's Blog

Listening to the Audiobook of Under a War-Torn Sky

- by Laura Malone Elliott

February 3, 2015

It has been such a pleasure listening to Elizabeth Wiley's narration of Under a War-Torn Sky in the new unabridged audiobook, recently released by Tantor. A professor at the College of William & Mary as well as working actor and singer, Liz trains young actors to master and performauthentically the world's dialects and accents. So she was a perfect choice to capture all the nationalities and their varying accents within Henry's escape--French (both Parisian and country); German (Nazi cruel and the softer German of regular army); British (aristocratic and working-class); and "American" with nasal Northerners as well as that mellifluous flow of Henry's Tidewater drawl. She gets it all perfectly, even when toggling back and forth between them within a single scene. She can even manage a rather amazing machine gun firing!

Yes, I am definitely a fan. I should add that Liz also gives a wondrously paced and dramatic performance in addition to nailing all those voices and languages. Listening while I drove errands, I found myself pulling into parking lots to let her finish a chapter--her performance was that enthralling (and I definitely knew what was going to happen next! ha ha) Gruff Clayton, adoring Lily, sophisticated, steely Madame Gaulloise, joyful Pierre, spoiled Billy, and impetuous, damaged Claudette all come alive through Liz's portrayal while she expertly transitions Henry from poetic dreamer to fearful lost boy to the resilient traveler determined to make it home alive.

For teachers who like to read this novel to their classes but hesitate over the French dialogue, worry no more. This CD is for you. Even better, YA Sync (a program designed to keep teens reading over the summer) has chosen the audio Under a War-Torn Sky for this summer's releases, providing a free link to the novel for a week. Find out more at:

Find Liz at the top of this group of talented actors/directors/theatre managers--all W& M grads and Elizabeth Wiley proteges doing stunning work in Washington, D.C. theatre.



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