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The Chilbury Ladies' Choir
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May 2020: Other Books > [Poll Ballot] The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan - 4 stars

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Joy D | 3197 comments The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan - 4 stars - My Review

Historical fiction set in Chilbury, Kent, England in 1940, where the threat of bombing raids is an ever-present danger. Most of the young men have gone to fight in WWII and the vicar wants to shut down the chorus, but the women make the controversial decision to carry on as a female-only choir. One man and five women tell the story in first person through letters and journals, all of different ages, temperaments, and social standing.

The five female characters are wonderfully quirky and experience personal growth. We have a widow with a nursing background and a son fighting in France, a midwife with a nefarious plan to make money, a thirteen-year-old with an extravagant imagination, her flirtatious older sister who allows an enigmatic artist to paint her portrait, and a young Jewish girl evacuated from Czechoslovakia. The male narrator is a colonel is billeted with the widow. The plot suffers from a few implausible elements, and the thirteen-year-old girl was too worldly for the period.

I listened to the audio book, read by a cast, and they did an admirable job with the narrative. Several choral hymns added verisimilitude to the audio. It was an enjoyable listening experience and a positive message of working together in the face of hardship.


message 2: by Joi (new) - added it

Joi (missjoious) | 3782 comments The audio sounds excellent!


Joy D | 3197 comments Yes. The audio is really well done. The characters are truly wonderful. The voice actors did a great job. And the snippets of choir singing was a nice addition. I probably liked it more than I would have if I had read it.


message 4: by Amy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Amy | 8282 comments I adored this book and it slipped in as in the Top Ten the year I read it. I thought it was unforgettable. The power of music to move and heal was incredible!


Joy D | 3197 comments Amy wrote: "I adored this book and it slipped in as in the Top Ten the year I read it. I thought it was unforgettable. The power of music to move and heal was incredible!"
So glad to hear you enjoyed it too, Amy!


message 6: by Barbara M (new)

Barbara M (barbara-m) | 2184 comments This one is on my list. I'll have to note it as a good Poll Ballot choice. Plus check to see if I can get the audio.


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