The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan is set in a small village not too far from Dover, England. Due to WWII life has changed for many. The local Vicar has decided due to the lack of men the choir will shut down, just at a time when people need music to lift their spirits. Music can express what we feel.
Through a newly arrived music teacher, the local women, and one young teenager’s enthusiasm the choir continues and blossoms. While the choir may be small, the women find both their singing voice and their previously unknown strengths.
The story follows the lives of several choir members through a format of letters and journal entries. This village is not spared the danger of WWII. Heartache, worry, hope, love all find their way into the lives of the women.
I enjoyed this book, although I had to go back a few times initially to keep track of the many characters. Life, no matter what it brings our way, is much easier to face with the support and encouragement of friends.