A melancholy book. Cleanly written and contemplative. It focuses more on the development of the 3 main characters than anything else.
I wasn't sure about this book - bird watching during World War II didn't sound riveting - but I was very pleasantly surprised. This is a beautiful book that truly captured me. Humphreys gives us rich, deep characters, but doesn't reveal their whole lives. This is a snapshot of a specific time in space, and despite its brevity, you find a deep connection with the characters, and are moved by the events which unfold. Focusing on three main characters connected by blood, marriage, and circumstance, we see how nature connects us all, can revive us, and how war tears us apart.
Such a lovely book. A reflection of life, loves lost and trying to carry on appreciating the smaller things that life offers.
The Evening Chorus starts out well, with the newly married James Hunter taken as WW11 POW by the Germans. He is in a work camp, and spending much of his free time studying birds. Meanwhile James' wife Rose is living alone in a small cottage in the countryside of England. Feeling lonely, Rose falls in love with another man. When James' sister Enid loses everything in the London Blitz, Enid arrives to live with Rose. As you might imagine, while there is a certain friendship between the women, there is also a great deal of tension. All of this is in the front flap of the book, so I am not giving anything away.
The story started out well and grabbed my interest. Helen Humphreys is a beautiful and simple writer. Unfortunately for me, I found that as the story broadened out to include even more plot lines that I've described, Evening Chorus just was too diluted and failed to maintain my interest in the last third of the story. The book is small hardcover, with just 289 pages, which I think would be quite a bit shorter if the book was a normal size. Though all of the varied plot lines fell together, I felt it was not as engaging as it could have been if[Helen Humphreys had focused on fewer plot lines. You may love it, but I was disappointed, perhaps because I was expecting a riveting story similar to Coventry , which I think was a 4.5 or 5 star read for me. It is beautifully written, but somehow there was just not enough detail about each character or the later plot-lines to really grab my interest
I didn't put this book down often due to a constant curiosity about what would happen next. In this sense it was a page-turner. Well-written with wonderful descriptions of nature during times of despair.
sensitive. I didn't want it to end.
"I am a part of all that I have met"
Wow. Evocative. Lyrical, and yet written with a very practical voice. There has been a lot written about both WWI and II, but this author has found a fresh outlook. It's a beautiful, beautiful book, describing ordinary people caught up in the extraordinary circumstances of WWII.
This is yet another wonder story from Helen Hemphreys. She is a master of observation of the small things that keep one going in life. And she has such insight into the individuality of her characters. Please keep writing Helen.
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