The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan

Writing: 4 Plot: 4 Characters: 5
#uplifting #historicalfiction #epistolary

chilburyI love British WWII novels that focus on home front life and this novel is a perfect example of the type. The story of a group of women who make the decision (against conventional wisdom) to continue singing in their choir once all of the men have left is told through the letters and journals of the main characters: Mrs. Tilling, a somewhat timid widow and bulwark of the community; Kitty Winthrop, the 13 year-old daughter of the Brigadier, a bully who needs a male heir to hold on to the family fortune; Venetia, Kitty’s beautiful older sister; and Edwina Paltry, a midwife whose morals may be easily deformed by the offer of cash.

Just the right amount drama, romance, and action to keep you reading. The story has many interesting plot twists (some of the problems are solved a little too easily in my book but not egregiously so). Timely descriptions of issues of the day make appearances in the form of a Jewish refugee from Czechoslovakia, a dying homosexual soldier, and a variety of pregnancies. The writing is excellent. Really pleasant read – a great story with characters I would have loved to meet.

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