Monday, February 13, 2017

Chilbury Ladies' Choir


The Chilbury Ladies Choir by Jennifer Ryan

The men have all gone to war and it's up to the women to maintain without them. That means even defying the church vicar, who has decided to disband the choir for lack of men,  and filling the church choir with women.  This is unheard of - a woman's choir?  Never!  But the vicar is no match for a village full of women and so the choir takes shape under the direction of Miss Primrose Trent who moved to town from London and  immediately established the Chilbury Ladies' Choir.  It's not that she had an easy time of it, but the women want and need the companionship, support and music and so they prove to be unstoppable.

There are five women who carry this story. The widow Mrs. Tilling, the village nurse has a son just off to war,  sisters, eighteen-year-old Venetia and thirteen-year-old Kitty are daughters of Brigadier Winthrop, head of Chilbury Manor, a tyranical and abusive man, in need of an heir,  Edwina Paltry a self styled midwife up to scheming, Silvie, the young Chech refugee sent to England by her family and who sees everything from an unattached point of view.  It is through their journals and letters we learn about life during war,  resilience during resistance,  love's heartbreak and endurance and healing through music.  

There are many books written about the home front and how the families of our soldiers maintained a life while living in fear for their men. The Chilbury Ladies' Choir is a wonderful, rich story of  people coming together during the worst of times with humor, love, resilience, and community.

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