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Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan



"Just because the men have gone to war, why do we have to close the choir? And precisely when we need it most!"

As England enters World War II's dark early days, spirited music professor Primrose Trent, recently arrived to the village of Chilbury, emboldens the women of the town to defy the Vicar's stuffy edict to shutter the church's choir in the absence of men and instead 'carry on singing'. Resurrecting themselves as "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir", the women of this small village soon use their joint song to lift up themselves, and the community, as the war tears through their lives.

Told through letters and journals, The Chilbury Ladies' Choir moves seamlessly from budding romances to village intrigues to heartbreaking matters of life and death. As we come to know the struggles of the charismatic members of this unforgettable outfit -- a timid widow worried over her son at the front; the town beauty drawn to a rakish artist; her younger sister nursing an impossible crush and dabbling in politics she doesn't understand; a young Jewish refugee hiding secrets about her family, and a conniving midwife plotting to outrun her seedy past -- we come to see how the strength each finds in the choir's collective voice reverberates in her individual life.

In turns funny, charming and heart-wrenching, this lovingly executed ensemble novel will charm and inspire, illuminating the true spirit of the women on the home front, in a village of indomitable spirit, at the dawn of a most terrible conflict.


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About The Author





Hello, and thank you for being interested in my author page. I'm the author of The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, which is coming out February 14th, 2017. It is my very first novel. Before becoming a writer, I was a nonfiction book editor, editing books about politics and economics, travel and health, and biography and memoir. I worked in London before moving to the Washington, DC, area ten years ago with my husband and two children.

I was born in a village in Kent, England, not too far away from the fictional village of Chilbury. The novel is based on the stories of my grandmother who was twenty when the Second World War began, mostly hilarious tales about bumping into people in the blackout, singing in the air raid shelters, and the freedoms women had during the war years--the excitement and romance. She also belonged to a choir, and her choir stories dramatized the camaraderie and support they all took away; the knowledge that they weren't in this alone. The Chilbury Ladies' Choir uses my dear grandmother's stories as its backdrop.

If you have read The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, thank you. I very much hope that you liked it. And if you have yet to read it, I hope you enjoy it as much as I loved writing it.


 


My Review




The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir is a series of letters and journal entries that capture a time from March to August 1940 in a small English Village, and a time that we all know now is the advancement of Germany in Europe.
We meet the people of the village and what they are going though during this period, and learn history at the same time, guess I was not aware that England was being bombed at this era.
A lot does happen here in this quaint town and we quickly turn pages to find answers, so of which we are not going to be happy about. These people are really open about their feelings and speak very openly in their written words, and we feel like we are watching them in real life. You are going to really like some of these individuals and others walk on the shady side, and I had to chuckle at the end of the book about one of them.
A real eye opener of life in England prior to America getting into WWII, and yes I remember that Pearl Harbor awakened a sleeping giant, and the German’s must have been cringing when that happened.
I received this book through Blogging For Books, and was not required to give a positive review.


 


  


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