The Chilbury Ladies' Choir

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir

by Jennifer Ryan

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Overview

"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' Choir," the women of this small village soon use their joint song to lift up themselves, and the community, as the war tears through their lives.

Told through letters and journals, THE CHILBURY LADIES' CHOIR moves seamlessly from budding romances to village intrigues to heartbreaking matters of life and death. As we come to know the struggles of the charismatic members of this unforgettable outfit-- a timid widow worried over her son at the front; the town beauty drawn to a rakish artist; her younger sister nursing an impossible crush and dabbling in politics she doesn't understand; a young Jewish refugee hiding secrets about her family, and a conniving midwife plotting to outrun her seedy past-- we come to see how the strength each finds in the choir's collective voice reverberates in her individual life. In turns funny, charming and heart-wrenching, this lovingly executed ensemble novel will charm and inspire, illuminating the true spirit of the women on the homefront, in a village of indomitable spirit, at the dawn of a most terrible conflict.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101906750
Publisher: Crown/Archetype
Publication date: 02/14/2017
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

JENNIFER RYAN lives in the Washington, DC area with her husband and two children. Originally from Kent and then London, she was previously a nonfiction book editor.

Read an Excerpt

MRS. TILLING’S JOURNAL
(Continues…)



Excerpted from "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir"
by .
Copyright © 2017 Jennifer Ryan.
Excerpted by permission of Diversified Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Reading Group Guide

In order to provide reading groups with the most informed and thought-provoking questions possible, it is necessaryto reveal certain aspects of the story in this novel. If you have not finished reading The Chilbury Ladies' Choir, we respectfully suggest that you do so before reviewing this guide.

1. What is the main theme of the book? Which of the characters is most changed through the course of the book?

2. Which character do you like most? Why? Which character do you like most? Why?

3. Which character do you most relate to? Why?

4. What was the funniest moment of the book? Why do you think it was funny?

5. Do you think that Mrs. Tilling made the right choice to help Carrington, even though it would have been illegal for her not to have handed him over to the police? A great deal has happened since the Second World War in this regard. What does that say about the society and culture in which we live?

6. In what way does Venetia alter through the course of the book? What are the biggest moments of change for her?

7. Why doesn’t Mrs. Tilling hand Miss Paltry over to the police? Why is she being nice to her?

8. What does it say about the way her character has changed over the course of the book? Would you have handed her in?

9. Are there any recurrent symbols throughout the book? Why do you think they were chosen?

10. Are there any allusions to other books hidden throughout? What are they, and why are they relevant?

11. Did you feel for Venetia’s dilemma after Slater left? In what ways have times would her choice have been easier today? Why do you think that is?

12. Tragically, we already know what will probably happen to Silvie’s parents, even though none of the characters do at this point. How does that affect you when reading the book?

13. What impact did the war have on women, work, and society? How do you think women’s equality has progressed since the Second World War?

14. And now, a show of hands: did you shed a few tears while reading Chilbury? Be honest now, there are some sad and very moving parts. Which did you find most heartrending, and why?

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