The Chilbury Ladies' Choir
"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 home front, in a village of indomitable spirit, at the dawn of a most terrible conflict.

The Chilbury Ladies' Choir Details

Book TitleThe Chilbury Ladies' Choir
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The Chilbury Ladies' Choir Reviews

  • Elaine
    Feb 22, 2017


    I wasn’t sure about this book when I first started but it oh so quickly, within a page, it had totally won me over! It is a delightful story, told from four different points of view, set in the village of Chilbury in Kent. It is 1940 and most of the local men have gone off to war ...

  • Kim
    Feb 20, 2017


    This was a lovely book set in Chilbury in Kent during the war years. The women of the village are upset when the vicar disbands the choir because the men have gone to war. When Prim, a music teacher moves in she gets a ladies choir set up and events for them to sing at and competitions...

  • Jennifer
    Feb 19, 2017


    World War II fiction has become a passion of mine, and this book is a true standout representing The Greatest Generation. Told in letters and journal entries written by those on the homefront in a quaint English village, this book is superbly written, emotionally rendered, and full of ...

  • ❀⊱Rory⊰❀
    Feb 16, 2017


    3.5 Stars.A bit heavy handed and soap opera-ish at times, but enjoyable. The writing is solid and the characters, for the most part, likeable.It follows the lives of several English women, living in a small village in Kent, during the early months of World War II. There is choir practi...

  • Katie/Doing Dewey
    Feb 15, 2017

    Katie/Doing Dewey

    Summary: This beautiful epistolary novel gave each character a unique voice and was very moving."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'...

  • Susan Hampson
    Feb 10, 2017

    Susan Hampson

    For me this was a really cosy, curtains drawn, curl up on the sofa with a hot chocolate and bickie kind a book. The story is told from letters, diary and journal entries from the residents of a small Kent village between March to September 1940. Even here there has to be ca...

  • Jan
    Feb 7, 2017


    I absolutely LOVED this book! Through letters and diary entries I was drawn into this charming community of women struggling to make sense of the war that is ravaging around them. With each missive I became more involved in their lives, laughing with them, dreaming with them and even c...

  • Sara
    Feb 6, 2017


    Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways for the opportunity to read this book in advance.This was such a fun read, it was genuinely difficult to put it down and take a break from it. The characters were lovely, if flawed. They weren't the most three-dimensional characters I've ever had the pl...

  • Malia
    Jan 30, 2017


    "Perhaps there is something good that has come from this war: everything has been turned around, all the unfairness made grimly plain. It has given us everyday women a voice - dared us to stand up for ourselves, and to stand up for others." -Jennifer Ryan, The Chilbury Ladies' ChoirThi...

  • Judy Lesley
    Jan 30, 2017

    Judy Lesley

    I received an e-ARC of this novel through NetGalley and Crown Publishing. Thank you.Author Jennifer Ryan made some fine choices for the points of view expressed by a wide range of characters in this epistolary style novel covering about seven months in 1940 as the fighting was beginnin...