The Final Revival of Opal & Nev

By Dawnie Walton
Narrated by Janina Edwards, Bahni Turpin, James Langton, André De Shields, Dennis Boutsikaris, Steve West, Gabra Zackman

May 2021 Group Selection



Motivation to Move: 4.8 Sneakers
Quality of Narration: 5.0 Sneakers
Overall Experience: 4.9 Sneakers
Moving and listening time:13 hours 17 minutes


If musical historical fiction were a book genre, The Final Revival of Opal and Nev by Dawnie Walton would rank at the top of the list.

The story chronicles Opal Jewell and Nev Charles’s rise starting in the ’60s and culminates in a recent day with a revival performance taking readers down a melodic memory lane.

As we listened, our minds called upon real legends – the edgy androgynous images of Grace Jones, the eyebrow-raising fashion flair of Cher, and the fanatical appeal of the Billie Eilish. Watson’s musical references throughout the book will make the reader yearn for a playlist of the artists. Some songs are just a reference because they evoke images of the Confederate flag, others because they are classics, such as Motown, gospel, the Beatles, and British rock.

The latter half of Opal and Nev is raw and real, with words and references to Black Lives Matter, Trump, and racial tension.

Watson deserves praise for weaving together music, motivation, and humanity into one cohesive story that comes full circle. The ensemble cast of narrators is outstanding, likened to a theatrical production.

You can find a full curriculum of behind the scene book extras in our FaceBook Discussion Group by searching #opalandnev in the spyglass at the top right of the page. You can also access the book extras on Pinterest page under The Walking Book Club, Opal and Nev.

Here’s what our members have to say about The Final Revival of Opal and Nev:

“Awesome narration”⁠

“I want an Opal-inspired concert T-shirt now!!!”⁠

“Loved story & narration.”⁠

“The story felt so real!! 4 chapters in, and I couldn’t figure out how I had never heard of them and started searching for their music!”⁠

“I love this! Accents are so important for an audiobook… If it’s not right, it distracts from the story.”⁠

“Fabulous book and narration!”

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