The Chilbury Ladies' Choir

by Ryan, Jennifer

Format: Book on MP3 Disc 2017
Availability: Available at 1 Library 1 of 1 copy
Available (1)
Location Collection Call #
Penn Hills Library Audio Visual PL RYA
Location  Penn Hills Library
Collection  Audio Visual
Call Number  PL RYA
"Just because the men have gone to war, why do we have to close the choir? And precisely when we need it most!" As England enters World War II's dark early days, spirited music professor Primrose Trent, recently arrived to the village of Chilbury, emboldens the women of the town to defy the Vicar's stuffy edict to shutter the church's choir in the absence of men and instead "carry on singing." Resurrecting themselves as "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir," the women of this small village soon use their joint song to lift up themselves, and the community, as the war tears through their lives.Told through letters and journals, THE CHILBURY LADIES' CHOIR moves seamlessly from budding romances to village intrigues to heartbreaking matters of life and death. As we come to know the struggles of the charismatic members of this unforgettable outfit-- a timid widow worried over her son at the front; the town beauty drawn to a rakish artist; her younger sister nursing an impossible crush and dabbling in politics she doesn't understand; a young Jewish refugee hiding secrets about her family, and a conniving midwife plotting to outrun her seedy past-- we come to see how the strength each finds in the choir's collective voice reverberates in her individual life. In turns funny, charming and heart-wrenching, this lovingly executed ensemble novel will charm and inspire, illuminating the true spirit of the women on the homefront, in a village of indomitable spirit, at the dawn of a most terrible conflict.Cast of Narrators: Gabrielle GlaisterLaura KirmanImogen WildeAdjoa AndohTom CleggMike Grady
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Among the many changes that WWII brings to the little English village of Chilbury is the demise of the church choir, since all of the men are away. The women are still at home, though, and form the Chilbury Ladies' Choir. Ryan structures her novel in the form of letters and diary entries written by several members of the choir: nice, widowed Mrs. Tilling; waspish and scheming midwife Edwina Paltry; posh Venetia Winthrop, who becomes entangled with an artist who may or may not be a spy; and Venetia's 13-year-old sister, Kitty, who is trying to navigate her way through adolescence and first love. Working with multiple perspectives can be tricky, but Ryan generally does a convincing job of differentiating the women's voices as they offer their perspectives on various characters and plot threads that include black marketeering, espionage, baby swapping, sexual orientation, unplanned pregnancy, air raids, a Jewish refugee, romance, and more with so much going on that the choir story line gets lost. Still, readers who like home-front and small-English-village settings will enjoy this. Definitely hand it to fans of the PBS series Home Fires.--Quinn, Mary Ellen Copyright 2017 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In 1940, at a time when women's roles were still firmly rooted in home and hearth, the ladies of Chilbury, England, find themselves at the bleeding edge of progress as the ramifications of World War II begin to infiltrate their little town. The men of Chilbury head to battlefields, and the village choir becomes the first casualty of the war. When a female professor of music insists the choir can be reassembled as a ladies' choir, the small community is at first scandalized by such an idea. But this is soon lost to other more salacious events. There is the brigadier who hires an unscrupulous midwife to swap his baby girl for a boy, and his teenage daughter seduces a handsome artist who's come to town under mysterious circumstances. An upstanding single woman (a widow whose only son has gone to fight) is tapped to take a colonel into her home, and a 10-year-old Czech evacuee finds out what happened to her family. As the war advances on Chilbury, even more lives are changed when a German bomb kills a young mother as well as the choir mistress, young men are sent off to war, and spies and black market profiteers lurk in the quiet lanes. Told in the form of diaries and letters in the voices of the female characters, Ryan's novel, reminiscent of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, captures the experience of the war from a woman's perspective. Readers may have come across this kind of story before, but the letter/diary format works well and the plot elements satisfyingly come together. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved."
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects Choirs (Music) -- England -- Fiction.
World War, 1939-1945 -- England -- Fiction.
Historical fiction.
Playaway (Preloaded audio player)
Publisher [New York, N.Y.] :2017
Edition Unabridged.
Contributors Glaister, Gabrielle, 1960- narrator.
Kirman, Laura, narrator.
Wilde, Imogen, narrator.
Andoh, Adjoa, narrator.
Clegg, Tom (Voice actor), narrator.
Grady, Mike, narrator.
Random House Audio Publishing, publisher.
Findaway World, LLC, distributor.
Participants/Performers Read by Gabrielle Glaister, Laura Kirman, Imogen Wilde, Adjoa Andoh, Tom Clegg, and Mike Grady.
Language English
Notes Unabridged.
Tilte from Playaway label.
One set of earphones and one AAA battery required for playback.
Accompanying material may vary.
System Details Issued on Playaway, a dedicated audio media player.
Description 1 audio media player (12 hr., 30 min.) : digital, HD audio ; 3 1/4 x 2 in.
ISBN 9781509441259
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