Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Fiction Review: The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir is American author Jennifer Ryans' first book.  It is very clearly inspired by Annie Barrows and Mary Ann Shaffer's lovely and wonderful 2008 novel The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  The cover even reminds me a bit of that brilliant and touching novel.  This is itself a lovely novel that also takes place in a small English village during World War II.  This is an ensemble drama as well, and deals with the struggles of those left behind.  Instead of literature, it is music that provides the connection between the various voices that speak here.  This is a charming and touching novel, but it is not quite on the level of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  I can't help but be bothered, also, by the obvious way in which this book attempts to piggyback on the popularity of Barrows and Shaffer's early novel.  I do love that this novel gives us World War II from the perspective of women and others not on the frontline.  The story is told in the form of letters and diary entries.  It is a strong novel, but it is a little bit too much of what we've seen already.
(This book was received from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.)

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