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The Chilbury Ladies Choir

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir: A Novel - Jennifer Ryan

Author: Jennifer Ryan

Rating: 3.5 stars


I received this book free in exchange for an honest review.


Book Blurb: As England becomes enmeshed in the early days of World War II and the men are away fighting, the women of Chilbury village forge an uncommon bond. They defy the Vicar’s stuffy edict to close the choir and instead “carry on singing,” resurrecting themselves as the Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. We come to know the home-front struggles of five unforgettable choir members: a timid widow devastated when her only son goes to fight; the older daughter of a local scion drawn to a mysterious artist; her younger sister pining over an impossible crush; a Jewish refugee from Czechoslovakia hiding a family secret; and a conniving midwife plotting to outrun her seedy past.


This was an enjoyable read. It reminded me of  The Guernsey Literary Potatoe Peel and Pie Society.  Like that book, this story is told through letters and journal entries. We are introduced to a series of women (and  a few men) who remain in Chilbury village during WWII.  


What I Liked:  The writing was enjoyable. The characters are quirky and likable. My favorite would have to be Kitty- the young girl coming of age during the novel. And the characters took surprising turns. I had my mind made up about a few- but lo and behold there was more beneath the surface.  I enjoyed being surprised.


What I Didn't Like: The book did seem to drag a bit. There are some pivotal parts of the war addressed, like Dunkirk, and it is handled well.  I can't pinpoint why I couldn't get as invested as I wanted to be with this novel. It was just... missing something.


Overall I would recommend it though.