The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan

Well! What can I say?! This book was/is FANTASTIC.

There are not many books that I wish would never end, this is one of them. Like I have told you before, I no longer read blurbs before I read the book, and I don’t judge a book by its cover, however, if I had been back to my original ways (like a most people who read books – no judging) I would never have picked this book up, it wouldn’t have appealed to me. This is a time when I am so thankful that I decided to read anything and everything.

Where to start????

I have to point out that I cannot quote the book or name the characters – this is purely because the book is an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) and therefor has not been published for the public yet, so things could be altered before it is published.

So here goes….

The way this book was written is brilliant. It is written in the words of different people, through diary entries and letters, living in Chilbury in the 1940s during World War 2.

Through this way of writing a book you can learn more about characters than in the average book. (Let me see if I can explain this whilst making sense!) You can see the way that people are viewed, whilst seeing the real person….no….that doesn’t make sense.

Ok, so here is how I will explain it….. One person (let’s say Mrs X) writes a journal entry about how they dislike a certain man (Mr A), they think they are ignorant or whatever. Then you read a letter by Mr A, saying he misses people, etc, and you realise why he is coming across as distant or rude….this theme runs through the book. It is like real life! You meet someone you don’t like, but you don’t know the reasons why they act like they do. I am finding it pretty hard to explain….all I can say is read the book when it comes out on the 23rd February 2017 (Amazon let’s you pre-order here).

The heartwarming stories and the typical good guy/bad guy characters add simplicity. I didn’t find it hard to keep up with each character either, I guess some people might, but I found that to me the book was that good that I could remember everything.

I do have one complaint and one suggestion.

THE COMPLAINT : The style of writing for the entries was not in keeping with the characters. The words were written more like a novel than journal entries. A 13 year old girl does not write in the style that she writes in her journal entries in the book…and that theme seemed to follow with other characters. I think it would have been more true to the idea if everything had been written and set out like a real journal (it would require adopting several different writing styles to give each character a different writing personality).

THE SUGGESTION: I think the title should be different. Maybe “Chilbury’s War” or something similar. There was far more to the book than a choir, and it didn’t have a bigger part in the book than other things that happened, so maybe something a it more ‘general’ would have been better. Plus, a lot more than the choir brought them together!

I would recommend this book to women (in the main), who enjoy women’s war novels….or people like me who will read anything.

I wouldn’t recommend this to people who are looking for a historically accurate novel or a novel that is actually mainly based on a choir.



If anyone has read this book or is looking to pre-order it….please tell me what you thought 😀



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