The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir

"Just because the men have gone to war, why do we have to close the choir? And precisely when we need it most!" As England enters World War II's dark early days, spirited music professor Primrose Trent, recently arrived to the village of Chilbury, emboldens the women of the town to defy the Vicar's stuffy edict to shutter the church's choir in the absence of men and instead 'carry on singing'. Resurrecting themselves as "The Chilbury Ladies' Choi...

Details The Chilbury Ladies' Choir

TitleThe Chilbury Ladies' Choir
Release DateFeb 14th, 2017
PublisherCrown Publishing Group
Number of pages384 pages
GenreHistorical Fiction, Fiction, Historical, War, World War II, European Literature, British Literature, Music, Adult, Adult Fiction, Romance

Reviews The Chilbury Ladies' Choir

  • Paromjit
    This is a hugely enjoyable novel delivered through the medium of letters and journals. It is a quintessentially British story set in Kent about a community of women contributing to the war effort, trying to survive and live life whilst the world as they know it is crumbling around them. Helping them to cope with the grief and loss is the Chilbury Ladies Choir set up by incomer Primrose, despite the opposition of Mrs B. who thinks its a scandal to...
  • Diane S ☔
    Charming, delightful, alternating with heartbreak and life's realities in a small English village during WWII. With very few men left in the village, the women in the village decide it is their duty to keep things going, maintain normality as much as possible and this includes restarting the disbanded choir, with women only members.I love reading books that are written as letters, journal entries, articles etc. I honestly don't think I would have...
  • Fran
    "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir" is an epistolary novel providing a snapshot of the experiences of a group of mostly women during World War II over the time period from March-September 1940. Able bodied men have joined the war effort and the Vicar has decided to disband the choir saying that only a mixed chorus will do! Enter Primrose Trent, music professor. Prim restructures the choral music for women's voices only, the Vicar concedes defeat, and Th...
  • Sabaa Tahir
    Read this book over a couple of months because I didn't want it to end. Such detail, such heart, and some excellent village intrigue and cabal, all set agains the backdrop of World War II. One of my favorite adult books of recent memory. Jennifer Ryan is going to be an auto-buy for me from now on.
  • Liz
    Reminding me of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, this book is written as a series of letters, journal or diary entries. As opposed to a single writer, here we have a variety of writers of all ages and stripes. Starting at the beginning of WWII, the village is dealing with the absence of most of its men. The vicar disbands the choir as it lacks the necessary tenors and basses. But here comes a new music instructor to the nearby Unive...
  • Brenda
    3.5 stars. The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir is an endearing, uplifting and refreshing story about five members of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir who are left behind as the men go off to fight in the war. It's a story of grief, deception, struggles, romance and hope as the threats from the Nazi’s reaches their village and shattering lives. Through journals and letters we see how the women grow and change, forge a bond and draw strength from togetherne...
  • Malia
    "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' ChoirThis 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 ...
  • Karen
    A novel that unfolds via letters and journals? Yess!! I am a sucker for this type of book so snatched it up. And what a fabulous book it was. Jennifer Ryan’s “The Chillbury’s Ladies Choir” sits right up there with my other favorites written in this style. The letters and diaries truly felt authentic.“There is a way of life here that I don’t believe any war can crush, that will endure long after we’re gone.”This story begins in an ...
  • Thomas
    This was a lovely story about so much more than the ladies' Choir in Chilbury, England. It is set in 1940, from spring to fall. The lives of the women of this choir are told through letters and diaries. It is a village in the southeast of England dealing with war--bombs, rationing, men gone off to war, etc.There are stories of unrequited love, schoolgirl crushes, unwanted pregnancies and more. The characters are believable--a scheming midwife wil...
  • Cindy Burnett
    4.5 starsWhat a fabulous book! World War 2 historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, and Jennifer Ryan writes a beautiful story with a very entertaining cast of characters. Chilbury is a small town in England close to the coast on the eastern side. As the story opens in 1941, most of the men have been called up to fight causing the vicar of the local church to disband the choir until after the war. A group of women, lead by a spirited newc...
  • Diane Barnes
    I was a bit disappointed in this book. I looked forward to reading a WWII novel set in a English Village, an epistolary novel written from the viewpoint of the women left behind when the men went off to war. Let me say right off that it was a very good story with some intrigue, some mystery, and an unusual plot.What bothered me was that the letters and journals seemed a bit contrived. I've never yet seen a journal that quotes entire conversations...
  • Jennifer
    World War II fiction has become a passion of mine, and this book is a true standout representing The Greatest Generation. Told in letters and journal entries written by those on the homefront in a quaint English village, this book is superbly written, emotionally rendered, and full of interesting characters. A must-read tale of friendship, love, and a community coming together when it is needed most. I hope the author plans to write a follow-up b...
  • Carla Johnson-Hicks
    This story is set at the beginning of WWII on the coast of England in the small fictional town of Chilbury. Most of the men have left for the war effort and the ladies of Chilbury are saddened that the Vicar has disbanded the choir. He feels there are not enough male singers. Prim, a music professor newly moved to Chilbury thinks that the women should continue to sing in the choir and convinces the vicar. Once the women realize that there is noth...
  • Laura Ayers
    The Chilbury Ladies' Choir is a sweet story about several women on England's coast during WWII. Told through a series of letters and journal entries, the book tells the story of Mrs. Tilling, Venetia and her sister Kitty, Silvie and Edwina Paltry. I was surprised, but mostly pleasantly so, at the number of issues that the author touched on: politics, war, child abuse, abortion, single mothers, and women's rights. It is somewhat reminiscent of the...
  • Blaine DeSantis
    A very nice first book by author Jennifer Ryan. This continues my pattern of reading books set in England and books that take place during the World Wars. Not complaining, because there are some very good new books coming out about the war and this is one of them. Here we focus on the beginning of the war in Britain and how it affects the small town of Chilbury, a town that has lost almost all of the male citizenry due to the war effort and wakes...
  • Faith
    I was expecting more from this book, but it turned out to be conventional women's fiction with gossip, jealousy and unwanted pregnancy set during WWII. Since the story was told in the form of letters and journal entries, it was a little disjointed. Also, this stylistic convention wasn't convincingly done. I don't think people usually include full conversations in their correspondence and journals. I didn't hate it, but it was a very slight story....
  • Donna
    This WWII Historical Fiction book was a solid 3 stars for me. 'Cozy' seems to be a word that some of the reviews are using to describe this. I would have to agree. It was cozy and had a certain charm to it. I liked that the author tried new ways of saying things (some were more successful than others.) This kept things from bogging down. I liked the characters; they were wonderfully quirky. I think that was the best part. Some of the stories were...
  • Roman Clodia
    This comes with comparisons to The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society and The Summer Before The War: but the likenesses are superficial only (epistolary narrative, women in a home-front setting): Ryan is undoubtedly well-meaning but writes with the insight of a teenager - everything is writ large with very little subtlety or nuance, and it's ridiculously easy to see exactly how the various plots are going to work out from very early on...
  • Elaine
    I wasn’t sure about this book when I first started but it oh so quickly, within a page, it had totally won me over! It is a delightful story, told from four different points of view, set in the village of Chilbury in Kent. It is 1940 and most of the local men have gone off to war - indeed it starts with the funeral service for Edmund Winthrop, the son of the local big wig and a vicious bully killed in a torpedoed submarine. It is at the Church ...
  • ❀⊱Rory⊰❀
    3.5 Stars.A bit heavy handed and soap opera-ish at times, but enjoyable. The writing is solid and the characters, for the most part, likeable.It follows the lives of several English women, living in a small village in Kent, during the early months of World War II. There is choir practice, intrigue, scandal, secrets, romance, tragedy and a few bombs. No jam making though and only one child evacuee. The ending seemed a bit open, with years of the w...
  • Andrea
    This is a lovely book, which is written in the form of letters and diary entries. The men of Chilbury go off to fight in the war and due to the lack of male voices the vicar shuts down the choir. The women of the village rise up and reinstate the choir as a ladies only group and use it as a way to cope with all that is going on around them. The women all pull together and help each other with the different challenges that the war confronts them w...
  • Sara
    Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways for the opportunity to read this book in advance.This was such a fun read, it was genuinely difficult to put it down and take a break from it. The characters were lovely, if flawed. They weren't the most three-dimensional characters I've ever had the pleasure to read about and know, but this book is so effortlessly readable that it didn't really matter to me. I often felt like I was watching an extended episode of...
  • Julie Durnell
    I thoroughly enjoyed this book told in the epistolary style-there was such growth in the group of women who banded together to form a ladies choir in face of war with Germany. Each one of them changed a little during this year or so in 1940 England; Prim being my favorite as she marched into town and undaunted started this choir with no men. Somewhat similar to The Summer Before the War.
  • Joanna Park
    4.5 starsIt's 1940 and in Chilbury the war is in full swing and starting to make an impact on their everyday lives. The men of the village have all joined up and the news from Europe is that Hitler is in France, looking to invade Britain next. Left behind to cope with their new reality the woman of Chilbury try to take their minds off their loved ones away fighting as much as possible. However when the vicar closes the village choir due to there ...
  • Linda Baker
    It's 1940 in the Kent village of Chilbury and the village has just suffered its first war-related loss, that of Edmund Winthrop, torpedoed in his submarine. It can't be said that there is great mourning, as young Edmund was a scoundrel and a bully. Not even his father, the brutal Brigadier Winthrop, is much saddened, other that he now lacks an heir. He has two daughters, the beautiful Venetia and irrepressible 13-year-old Kitty, but they cannot i...
  • Jo (Bloomin'Chick)
    Exceptional! So many layers to this novel. More thoughts to come closer to release date of 2/14/17. Thank you to NetGalley and Crown Publishing for providing me with an e-edition! *Update 2/6: Full spoiler free review now on the blog! Link in profile!
  • Deb
    I read a lot of historical fiction set during World War II, It is a time period that I find interesting. I especially like novels that give me glimpses into civilian life in the different countries involved, so I was happy to be on the tour for The Chilbury Ladies' Choir. The book did not disappoint, it's a lovely story, told in a epistolary style through the journals, letters and documents of the main characters. Mrs. Tilling (a widowed nurse wi...
  • Ariel
    This is an epistolary story told in narration, notices, and letters that various people send. The setting is a small village in England in WWII. The men of the village are off fighting and the ladies are left to carry on as best they can. They decide to resuscitate the Chilbury choir since it was dissolved due to lack of male participation. Beside choir practice the ladies of the town have their hands filled with air raids, forced lodgers, family...
  • Judy Lesley
    I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley and Crown Publishing. Thank you.Author Jennifer Ryan made some fine choices for the points of view expressed by a wide range of characters in this epistolary style novel covering about seven months in 1940 as the fighting was beginning to truly commence in World War II. I like that there is such a variety of characters represented: a thirteen year old girl and her eighteen year old sister, a nur...
  • Cathy Daniel
    My first favorite book of 2017! I LOVED this book even more than I hoped! I laughed, I cried, I was moved. Touching book in many ways. Delightful and fun in many other ways as well. The ending was so satisfying and the way all the lives tied up together in the end was magnificent!! This book was hard to put down. I liked how everybody wasn't good and sweet. There were not so nice characters and the not so nice characters didn't suddenly unrealist...