Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan


For readers of Lilac Girls and The Nightingale, The Chilbury Ladies' Choir unfolds the struggles, affairs, deceptions, and triumphs of a village choir during World War II

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. 
An enchanting ensemble story that shuttles from village intrigue to romance to the heartbreaking matters of life and death, Jennifer Ryan’s debut novel thrillingly illuminates the true strength of the women on the home front in a village of indomitable spirit.


The Chilbury Ladies Choir is a heartwarming novel set in England during World War II. It is an epistolary novel told through letters and journal entries of several women in the town of Chilbury. What is most charming are the unique personalities of the characters - the widow, the busybody, the refugee, and more. With all the men gone to war, they are forced to recreate their choir as "Ladies Only". There are secrets, romances, triumphs, and great sadness too which takes the reader on a continual roller coaster of emotion. I am not surprised that this book has reached national bestseller status. It is sure to please!

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