Friday, May 29, 2015

The Evening Chorus

The Evening Chorus
Helen Humphreys

The Evening Chorus: A Novel

Genre: Historical Fiction

Summary (from Goodreads): Downed during his first mission, James Hunter is taken captive as a German POW. To bide the time, he studies a nest of redstarts at the edge of camp. Some prisoners plot escape; some are shot. And then, one day, James is called to the Kommandant’s office.

Meanwhile, back home, James’s new wife, Rose, is on her own, free in a way she has never known. Then, James’s sister, Enid, loses everything during the Blitz and must seek shelter with Rose. In a cottage near Ashdown forest, the two women jealously guard secrets, but form a surprising friendship. Each of these characters will find unexpected freedom amid war’s privations and discover confinements that come with peace. The Evening Chorus is a beautiful, astonishing examination of love, loss, escape, and the ways in which the intrusions of the natural world can save us.

Review: This is a well-written book that presents glimpses into the lives of three related people during World War II and five years after the end of the war.  The descriptions of nature, especially birds and other wild animals, were beautifully done.  And the author captured the thoughts and emotions of the characters in an insightful way.  But this book was too bleak for me too truly enjoy.  The ending offered a modicum of hope that the characters' lives would improve, which saved it from a lower rating.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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