Keeping up with my obsession for Brit Chick Lit, Annie Lyons is on the blog today with her new release, one that shows the importance of community, friendship and hope even when the world, as you knew it, is falling apart. Please read on for my review of
The Choir on Hope Street
Hope Street is a small neighborhood, like so many in the world, where many of the residents can exist quite neatly within the small area. An aging community center becomes the catalyst for the story, as a developer’s interest may result in changes to the neighborhood, unwelcome changes. We start the story with Natalie: a children’s book author with a husband, son and gay best friend who is also responsible for bringing her books to life. Things are busy, but good and comfortable, at least until Nat’s husband announces he doesn’t love her anymore. Nat’s world is, understandably, upended, and when she is wandering sightlessly in traffic after walking her son to school, she is hit by Caroline, the original “too busy appearing perfectly put together and in control” woman with little patience or liking for those who don’t meet her rather impossible standards. Naturally, Natalie dissolves into an emotional mess much to Caroline’s discomfort, but she has a plan. Well, a plan that is less about Natalie and more about her zealous determination to create a committee to save the Community Center.
Oh this was fun, as Natalie went through a series of emotional moments from barely hanging on to the plot right over into her fun-loving, never quite allow things to get you down wonderful self, she was certainly the easiest to understand. Caroline is that mean girl who can’t abide deep emotion, preferring to compartmentalize her life, her interactions and her friendships are superficial at best, mean girl at worst. Caroline is DESPERATE to be needed, but only in positions where she feels there is some sort of control and admiration for her work. And, the Community Center, with the brilliant idea of starting a choir to compete for a prize that will not only help them to raise much needed funds BUT also get them publicity – she’s all in.
And the community comes together: people from all walks of life who were, at first, simple acquaintances become friends of the best sort: supportive, encouraging and helpful: whether for a quick sitter requirement or a shoulder and a hug. Never a dull moment as they sing, learn and discover, even as lives and trials go on. Most importantly, both Natalie and Caroline come to grow and change. Natalie starts to make changes and become more settled in her own life, with her husband at loose ends. And Caroline, from ignoring and shunting her mother off to a care home to discovering long-held family secrets and finding a new appreciation for her mother, her life and her newly found friends in the community, the story has one memorable moment after another.
Exactly what you’d want from a story about a community banding together, with characters that grow, change and develop in front of your eyes as the story unfolds. A wonderful escape into a story that will leave you smiling.
Title: The Choir on Hope Street
Author: Igiaba Scego, Jamie Richards
Genre: Contemporary Woman's Fiction, Family Saga, Romantic Elements, Setting: Britain
Published by: HQ Digital
Published on: 6 April, 2017
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Audio Length: 8 Hours: 26 minutes
Get Your Copy: Amazon ♦ Barnes&Noble ♦ iTunes ♦ Kobo ♦ Book Depository ♦ Google ♦Audible
The best things in life happen when you least expect them
Nat’s husband has just said the five words no one wants to hear – ‘I don’t love you anymore’.
Picture-perfect Caroline has to welcome her estranged mother into her house after she was forced out of an exclusive nursing home.
Living on the same street these two women couldn’t be more different. Until the local community centre is threatened, galvanising Caroline and the people of Hope Street into action. But when the only way to save the centre is to form a community choir – no one, least of all Nat, expects the results…
This spring, hope is coming!
A copy of this title was provided via Publisher via NetGalley for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.