The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan is a historical fiction novel set during the early days of WWII in a small town of England. Told through letters and diary entries, the story follows a few of the women in the local town ladies' choir as the struggles of war hit closer to home.

One of my favorite characters, Mrs. Tilling, leads the town through her quiet steadfast determination to not let the Nazis take away all of their happiness. Her character's transformation from a subservient wife and mother to a strong woman with a voice made me want to applaud her by the end of the book! One of my favorite quotes of the book came from her chapter...

"Everything was black in the moonless night, the blackout rules forcing all of the light out of the world. But with a cautious smile, I realized that there are no laws against singing, and I found my voice becoming louder, in defiance of this war. In defiance of my right to be heard."

I enjoyed the shenanigans of the other townspeople as well and my heart hurt right along with them when things went badly and the war turned up right on their doorstep. I think this story made more of an impact to me because it dealt with the personal lives of the people left behind, the women specifically, left to keep their world turning without the men they had learned to rely upon.

I'd love to see a sequel to this book! I was so proud of Mrs. Tilling by the end and would love to hear more about her time surviving the war with her fellow villagers and everything that followed in their lives during its aftermath.

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir by Jennifer Ryan
384 pages
Crown Publishing


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