Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Beauty Chorus by Kate Lord Brown

4 Star

New Year's Eve, 1940: Evie Chase, the beautiful debutante daughter of a rich and adoring RAF commander, listens wistfully to the swing music drifting out from the ballroom, unable to join in the fun. With bombs falling nightly in London, she is determined that the coming year will bring a lot more than dances, picnics and tennis matches. She is determined to make a difference to the war effort.

5th January, 1941: Evie curses her fashionable heels as they skid on the frozen ground of her local airfield. She is here to join the ATA, the civilian pilots who ferry Tiger Moths and Spitfires to bases across war-torn Britain. Two other women wait nervously to join up: Stella Grainger, a forlorn young mother who has returned from Singapore without her baby boy and Megan Jones, an idealistic teenager who has never left her Welsh village. Billeted together in a tiny cottage in a sleepy country village, Evie, Stella and Megan must learn to live and work together. Brave, beautiful and fiercely independent, these women soon move beyond their different backgrounds as they find romance, confront loss, and forge friendships that will last a lifetime.

Kathryn - 4 Star

Truthfully I was a little apprehensive starting to read this novel as I’d just finished a book about World War I that had some visually gory details. I was hoping not to have another tough read like this back to back and was quickly thankful this novel, although set in World War II, was not so graphic and I was given a reprieve. 
I got into this storyline immediately and was drawn into the intertwining lives of these three women doing an unusual job at an unusual time.  The whole business surrounding aviation in WWII was completely new to me and I read each detail with fascination so the educational parts of the novel were equally as engrossing as the fictional story line.  I think the plot was really well thought out and gave a good idea of life for the female pilots.  I can’t imagine how strange it must have been trying to get on with such dangerous jobs while being made to feel like you didn’t belong doing the job with the men. 
I only have a couple of lingering things that didn’t quite fit- first there’s a story being told by a famous female pilot during the first part of the novel and she’s explaining a bit about her final flight before she crashed and I found it distracting and irrelevant.  Secondly the very end of the novel turned a touch James Bond for me, although I could appreciate that it added a bit of drama, I found it too much and unnecessary.
Having read the final pages of The Beauty Chorus I was really wishing it wasn’t over yet and I could find out more about the girls and their futures, definitely a good story.
Thank you to Corvus Books  for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

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1 comment:

  1. I read a WWII-women-in-aviation book earlier this year that was not what I wanted it to be -- this one sounds like a better fit/more what I'd expect. Plus I love the cover. LOVE it! Will keep my eyes out for it...



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