Hi everyone. Thanks for stopping by to see what I’ve been up to this week. I’m happy to tell you I had another great reading week. I read two more of my “Best – So Far” books. Here’s the first one, a TLC Tour book.
A good friend of mine told me early last year that she was tired of all the World War II novels. She said she would no longer read any book based on that historic event. I tried to reason with her but I had no luck. I’ve pointed out various novels I’ve read since then that are flat-out superb even though they are set during the Second World War.
Now I have one more to tell my friend about. The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, I will tell her, is about a small group of women in England and how they cope with various challenges in life. Some of the challenges are related to the war – there aren’t very many men around, and the nazis fly over their village scaring everyone. But, there’s also the drama of a baron who is demanding that his wife give birth to a boy, women raising children on their own and a thirteen-year-old girl who has a crush on a young man who actually wants to marry her sister. There’s also so many negative emotions such as grief, fear, depression, etc. When the vicar cancels the choir because there are enogh men siongers, its the last straw for the women. They form their own “ladies choir.”
This is an epistolary novel which means its told by way of letters, diaries and journals. Don’t let that put you off. Each document is told in first-person and is very complete with a multitude of details including lots of dialogue. There’s a good variety between the characters who “tell” their side of the story.
This book is available in hardcover, paperback, e-reader and audiobook. I read part of the book on my kindle, but as soon as the audio version was available I went back and listened to the whole thing. It was such a good audio that I can say this: The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir, in my opinion, is the year’s Best Audiobook – So Far. I loved each one of the SIX narrators. They really makes each character unique. The icing on the cake was the addition of singing by a women’s choir during some key moments in the story.
The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan is an excellent and well-told story. For a special treat, listen to it.
If The Chilbury Ladies Choir wasn’t good enough, I also read/listened to A Man Called Ove by Fredrick Backman. What an amazingly well-told story. The whole story revolves around Ove, a 59-year-old man who is so sad after the loss of his beloved wife that he sincerely wants to just die and go join her. Fortunately for Ove, there were enough people and events to keep Ove distracted from his goal.
The character of Ove is so different (not in a bad way) that it was enough to keep everyone in the book club talking about his personality. He reminded me a little of a person with Aspergers, but not exactly. We also analyzed the other characters in the book. I loved the pregnant neighbor and her little girls, the cat, and the boys at rhe cafe.
I can’t believe I was afraid we’d have nothing to talk about with this book. I was wrong. We went on and on. Every single member loved this book and we each vowed to read more of this author. If you are one of the few who haven’t read this book yet, I strongly suggest you do so now. There’s also a movie based on the book that two book club members saw and thought it was very good.
What I Watched:
I watched Death Comes To Pemberley this week on Netflix. Its one of the many stories based off of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. In this case the story was, in turn, based on a book written by the great mystery writer P.D. James. (Murder Comes To Pemberley)
Elizabeth Bennet and Mr. Darcy have been happily married for about six years. They are preparing for an annual ball when unwelcome guests arrive along with a dead body. This brings back Wickham and Kitty into their lives causing a great deal of stress and strain on Elizabeth and Darcy’s marriage.
This was originally a TV mini-series produced by BBC. Its a three-part story that’s about 50 minutes long for each part. Overall, meaning the acting, story, and setting, was pretty good. The two people playing Elizabeth and Darcy wouldn’t have been my choice to play the characters.(I’m a Keira Knightly fan.) What I did love was the setting. They used Chatsworth House, the same estate used in the 2005 Pride and Prejudice film, the one staring Keira Knightley. It’s the external picture of Derbyshire, Darcy’s estate and now Elizabeth’s home as well.
I’ve been watching way too much politics on TV, so this three-night watching of Death Comes To Pemberley was a nice change of pace.
Well, that’s my week. I hope you’ve had a good week as well.