Adriane Devries's Reviews > La's Orchestra Saves the World

La's Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith
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Jul 28, 11

bookshelves: summer-read-novels

A young woman moves to the English countryside to build a new life for herself after a fractured marriage and unexpected inheritance. Amid unsettling rumors of Hitler’s rise to power, she busies herself with the “war effort” by easing an elderly farmer’s workload, fretting over broken eggs and foxes in the henhouse rather than the bombings in the big city. She meets new friends who through a shared love of playing instruments form a tiny orchestra that provided “camaraderie, the sense of national purpose, the conviction of being engaged together on something immense and dramatic.” Their utterly non-professional, yet heartfelt music spoke the universal anti-war language of love and forgiveness and of shared humanity, and the playing of it created a blessed sense of normalcy when it would be so easy to succumb to despair. As in the Merchant of Venice: “How far that little candle throws his beams/ So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”

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