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Ratings and Book Reviews (7 92 star ratings
7 reviews
)

Overall rating

4.4 out of 5
92
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  • 5 person found this review helpful

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    The Chilbury Ladies' Choir

    What a lovely book! Well researched, good character development and very well written. Interesting style - everything is conveyed in the form of a letter or someone's journal...and to discover that there had truly been a "mass observation" requesting women to journal their feelings during the war was quite a revelation. What a gold mine of memories for a talent like Jennifer Ryan to transform into a lovey treasure.
  • 1 person found this review helpful

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    Endearing story

    Prim was right. It's not about winning. It's about finding humanity in the face of this war. It's about finding hope when everything around us is collapsing. This was a great WWII centric book that takes place in an English village in 1940. The entire novel is a collection of letters, journals, diaries, and telegrams written by a number of women in the community. Jennifer Ryan writes a compelling story about a group of women who join together and sing their hearts out to uplift their community as they wait for those fighting to return. Music takes us out of ourselves, away from our worries and tragedies, helps us look into a different world, a bigger picture. All those cadences and beautiful chord changes, every one of them makes you feel a different splendor of life. After the vicar announces that there will be no more choir, the new music teacher in town, Prim, decides to take on the job of choirmistress. Her piano student, thirteen year old Kitty Winthrop serves as the naive but very curious character watching all the comings and goings of the local townspeople. Of course, her biggest target is her older and very vain sister, Venetia. In Kitty's eyes, Ventia is trying to steal her man right from under her. Venetia on the other hand, has no interest in her local boy suitors, especially when a mysterious artist takes up residence. Of course, Kitty and Venetia's father, the Brigadier, has his own set of issues. His wife is expecting and the war took his only heir. He will do ANYTHING to get what he wants. Including making a deal with the devil- in this case, the cunning Miss Edwina Paltry, Chilbury's midwife. Finally, my favourite Mrs. Tilling, the local nurse who has sent her only son off to war and is quite jarred when a local Colonel( who I did adore too) is set to lodge in her home. Nothing gets by this character and she is both a comfort to some characters and a pest to others. Most of my favorite quotes come from her journal excerpts. Funny how a bit of singing brings us together. There we were in our own little worlds, with our own problems, and then suddenly they seemed to dissolve, and we realized that it's us here now, living through this, supporting each other. That's what counts In addition, the author has included information about the inspiration behind the novel, some wartime recipes, and a detailed map plan of the community of Chilbury. Just an all around great novel to relax with! Perhaps there is something good that has come from this war: everything has been turned around, all the unfairness made grimly plain. It has given us everyday women a voice-- dared us to stand up for ourselves, and to stand up for others. Original Goodreads Review published 28/02/19
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    Lovely!

    This book was just simply lovely. A heart-warming story within a very dark time in history.
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    Good read

    I found this book an easy read and the story was great. The book is written through letters from women to women during WW2 giving details of how these women in a small town got through difficult times
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    Delightful book

    What a delightful book. I loved this book. The characters are so well-developed, and we learn so much about them. Each character tells of the same or similar incidents in the diaries, journals, or letters they are writing where they describe events and feelings. I could hardly put this book down, and could have kept reading more.
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