The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan

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.

4 stars

The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper by Phaedra Patrick

I went to Half Price Books when my daughter was visiting and picked up a few books. Having no idea what this book was about, I chose it because of its title.

Arthur is a widower of a year and stuck in a rut. His adult children have drifted away. Each day consists of his very strict routine. Arthur never varies it because the routine helps him feel in control.

One day he bravely faces the task of going through his wife’s things and in the bottom of a boot he finds a mysterious gold charm bracelet which belonged to his deceased wife. This bracelet with exotic and beautiful charms sends Arthur on a journey which ultimately changes his life.

A warm and inspiring tale, this book made me laugh and cry. While I am not a widow, I have found myself divorced after 30 years of marriage. And this unexpected event in my life forced me on a journey which until recently has been very rocky, so I’m so many was I identified with Arthur. Set in England, Arthur questions his 40+ year marriage and asks himself, ‘Was my wife happy in our marriage?’ He finds his answer but it isn’t an easy journey.

5 stars 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Life with a Book


I have had a book blog for a while under a different name. I learned you can not change the name of your blog. If you want a new name, you begin a new blog. So here we are today. I chose Life with a Book because I can’t imagine life without a book. My earliest memories are spending time in the library and reading. Whether it was The Box Car Children, Miss Piggle Wiggle or Nancy Drew I have always loved to read.

Now I will confess I have read few of what are to be considered the classics. And I have promised myself someday I will get around to it, but for now I read for pleasure or to learn something new. The most exciting thing about books, is that you can read for pleasure and learn something new at the same time!

So I am beginning a journey to share with you the books I read, what I have learned from them and how I have incorporated them into my life. I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I do.