A heart-warming stand alone novel about the life-affirming powers of music and company during a time of war, from the best-selling and beloved author of The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency. When Lavender, La to her friends, moves to the Suffolk countryside, it's not just to escape the London Blitz but also to flee the wreckage of a disastrous marriage. But as she starts to become a part of the community, she detects a sense of isolation. Her deep love of music and her desire to bring people together inspire her to start an orchestra. Little did she know that through this orchestra she would not only give hope and courage to the people of the community, but also that she would meet a man, Feliks, a shy upright Pole, who would change her life forever.
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by Alexander McCall Smith
"While Emily Gray's narration is excellent, this story, spanning the years before WWII and after, may seem a little too charming for the horrors and atrocities of the period. After only a few years of marriage, La, short for Lavender, retreats to a Suffolk farmhouse after being abandoned by her unfaithful husband. As the war intensifies, La joins the Women's Land Army and endears herself to the quirky townspeople with her kindness, which includes organizing a small orchestra. Emily Gray depicts the novel's characters with exceptional energy, clarity, and distinctiveness. Her portrayal of La is especially poignant as it mirrors the title character's maturing outlook on life while struggling with loss and heartbreak. Many listeners will discover that the story lingers longer than they might expect. M.H.N. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine"
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