The Chilbury Ladies' Choir [electronic resource] / Jennifer Ryan.
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- ISBN: 9781101906767 (electronic bk)
- Physical Description: 1 online resource
For readers of Lilac Girls and The Nightingale , The Chilbury Ladies' Choir unfolds the struggles, affairs, deceptions, and triumphs of a village choir during World War II. As England becomes enmeshed in the early days of World War II and the men are away fighting, the women of Chilbury village forge an uncommon bond. They defy the Vicar's stuffy edict to close the choir and instead "carry on singing," resurrecting themselves as the Chilbury Ladies' Choir. We come to know the home-front struggles of five unforgettable choir members: a timid widow devastated when her only son goes to fight; the older daughter of a local scion drawn to a mysterious artist; her younger sister pining over an impossible crush; a Jewish refugee from Czechoslovakia hiding a family secret; and a conniving midwife plotting to outrun her seedy past. An enchanting ensemble story that shuttles from village intrigue to romance to the heartbreaking matters of life and death, Jennifer Ryan's debut novel thrillingly illuminates the true strength of the women on the home front in a village of indomitable spirit.
Electronic reproduction. New York : Ballantine Books, 2017. Requires OverDrive Read (file size: N/A KB) or Adobe Digital Editions (file size: 10290 KB) or Kobo app or compatible Kobo device (file size: N/A KB) or Amazon Kindle (file size: N/A KB).
- Booklist Reviews : Booklist Reviews 2017 January #1
Among the many changes that WWII brings to the little English village of Chilbury is the demise of the church choir, since all of the men are away. The women are still at home, though, and form the Chilbury Ladies' Choir. Ryan structures her novel in the form of letters and diary entries written by several members of the choir: nice, widowed Mrs. Tilling; waspish and scheming midwife Edwina Paltry; posh Venetia Winthrop, who becomes entangled with an artist who may or may not be a spy; and Venetia's 13-year-old sister, Kitty, who is trying to navigate her way through adolescence and first love. Working with multiple perspectives can be tricky, but Ryan generally does a convincing job of differentiating the women's voices as they offer their perspectives on various characters and plot threads that include black marketeering, espionage, baby swapping, sexual orientation, unplanned pregnancy, air raids, a Jewish refugee, romance, and moreâwith so much going on that the choir story line gets lost. Still, readers who like home-front and small-English-village settings will enjoy this. Definitely hand it to fans of the PBS series Home Fires. Copyright 2017 Booklist Reviews.
Jennifer Ryan lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband and two children. Originally from Kent and then London, she was previously a nonfiction book editor.
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