"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." -Jennifer Ryan, The Chilbury Ladies' Choir
This book had a little bit of everything I look for in a story. Beautiful writing, multi-dimensional characters, a wonderfully illustrated setting, and a dose of rich history. The story of the formation of the Chilbury Ladies' Choir during the spring and summer of 1940, is told through the voices of four very different women. I love a book told through multiple POVs, and in this case it was done perfectly. All characters' voices are developed to give a deep and rounded picture of who the woman is, and considering that this book is a normal length, that is quite a feat by the Jennifer Ryan.
Possibly my favorite part of this book was the way the author painted a picture of community in this small English village during the war. There is something so touching about neighbors, broken families, friends and even foes banding together in times that are so our of the ordinary. That being said, this book isn't cheesy or overly sappy. There can never be a completely happy ending in a book that deals with the Second World War (or any for that matter) but there is still a strong sense of hope that runs through the whole story, and for that and all the other above mentioned attributes, I think I can already say, even though it is only January, this will be one of my favorite books this year.
If you enjoyed books like The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society or Letters from Skye, I think you will love this as much as I did.
I won my copy of The Chilbury Ladies' Choir in a Goodreads giveaway, and have written what I think is a fair and fitting review. Thank you!