Ann's Reviews > La's Orchestra Saves the World

La's Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith
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's review
Dec 27, 2009

really liked it
Read in December, 2009

This was the first of my Christmas gift books -- so I started it yesterday (Boxing Day!) It is by one of my favourite writers -- but very different from any of his other series.

It is set before and during the second world war, mainly in Suffolk, England. The main character, La (short for Lavender) has an unsuccesful marriage (husband leaves her for a French woman, then has an accident and dies.) She moves to Suffolk to get away from memories and to re-build her life. She becomes part of the war effort by digging up her flower garden to plant a victory garden and by taking care of trhe hens of an arthritic local farmer. She meets and is attracted to a Polish (or is he?) airman who is displaced and now working on one of the farms.

But the major thing she does is bring together people from all walks of life who play instrumenst and they form an orchestra to be a morale booster. At one point she is tempted to stop it, but is persuaded to keep going to prove thast they won't give up. A final victory concert is held and finally many years later a reunion peace concert to push for nuclear disarmament.

A good read!
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