“The Chilbury Ladies” Choir” by Jennifer Ryan is a novel that brings to light the resourcefulness of women in times of struggles and want. The village of Chilbury was like any other small village in England in 1940. Most of the men, young and not-so-young, were serving in the military, trying to stop Hitler’s Nazi machine from invading. This left the women and girls of the town on their own. In spite of the shortages and constant worry, the women tried to make the most of their situation. The church’s choir was disbanded by the vicar because there were no men to sing. The women were not happy about this and welcomed Ms. Primrose Trent, a music professor, into their midst. She decided that they could have a wonderful all-women’s choir and went about making it happen contrary to the vicar’s wishes.
Even though Chilbury was a small village, there was plenty of intrigue, illegal activities, romances, broken hearts, and life and death. Told by letters and journal entries of some of the most notable characters in the book, the reader is transported back to pre-war England. Even though war has not formally been declared, preparations are being made for a possible invasion by the Nazi’s. Chilbury is only twenty plus miles from Calais, France – a mere stepping stone for invasion. There are spies, black market thugs, and nefarious activities happening. This book shows that even through all this upheaval, people can come together to make the most of their difficulties. The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, through their music, charms and inspires the residents of the area to take heart and keep up the spirit.
I loved this book. I read it in one day because it was so interesting and there was so much going on amongst the characters; that I just couldn’t wait to read. I received a Kindle copy of this book from NetGalley.com in return for my honest review.