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The Chilbury Ladies' Choir

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir

Book Review - The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan

Mark your calendars for October 25, 2017 at 7pm Central for our October Virtual Book Club discussing The Childbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan. Feel free to join us even if you haven't finished (or even started!) the book - we are a pretty laid-back, easy-going group. For more information, visit our events page or our Facebook page.

Reading The Childbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan in Chicago, IL

Reading The Childbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan in Chicago, IL

It has been a while since I've read a historical fiction novel and I was happy to return to my favorite genre. The Childbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan is written from the perspective of several members of the local choir through their journals, diaries, and letters to friends. The novel takes place during WWII in Chilbury, a small town in England not far from Litchfield and London. This book somewhat reminded me of Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons by Lorna Landvik. There were quite a few characters in each book and chapters were written from the perspective of different characters (we may be reading Mrs. Tilling's journal in one chapter, a letter from Venetia to her best friend in London in another chapter, and so forth.)

Reading The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan in Chicago, IL

Reading The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan in Chicago, IL

Some of my favorite characters included:

  • Prim: When all of the other women thought the choir should be shut down when there weren't enough men in town, Prim enthusiastically suggested that they start a women-only choir. She single-handedly got the rest of the women to join and compete in a local choir competition.
  • Mrs. Tilling: A widowed woman whose son was just sent off to war, Mrs. Tilling took in a Colonel who needed a spare bedroom to stay in while he was working in town. She was also the town nurse who was known for being a very caring and sincere woman. She was one of my favorite characters.
  • Venetia and Kitty Winthrop: These two are sisters, Venetia is the oldest and a bit of a spitfire. She is beautiful and the local boys swoon over her. Kitty is "almost 14" and believes herself to be just as mature as her older sister. Venetia is in love with an artist who is new in town and disappears suddenly during an air raid, Kitty has a crush on a local boy named Henry, but Henry is in love with Venetia.
  • Edwina Paltry: My least favorite character, but she provided a lot of the conflict in the story. At the beginning of the book we learn that Venetia and Kitty's brother died and their father is in need of a male heir in order keep the family fortune in the family. He pays Miss Paltry to ensure his wife has a boy, no matter what it takes. Mrs. Tilling suspects Miss Paltry is up to no good.
Reading The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan in Chicago, IL

Reading The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan in Chicago, IL

Whew, that's a good start. There are a lot of characters, but this gives you an idea of a few of the main ones and the main plot lines. I'm so excited to discuss this book with you at the end of the month. If you've never joined a book club before, ours is a fun one to try out and see if you like it! If you've never joined a virtual book club before, it is really easy to join! There is a link you can use if you have a computer or you can call in by phone. I even got a tweet from the author saying she'd try to join us! I hope to see you all there!

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir: A Novel
$13.05
By Jennifer Ryan

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