La's Orchestra Saves the World
4 journalers for this copy...
I had been intrigued by this title when I saw it listed among the author's works and snapped it up when I came across the audiobook at the library used bookstore. I really became quite attached to La as the book went along and was sad when it ended. I have seen some comments lamenting that there is not a lot of time devoted to the orchestra and the music they played and such, but I think the key part of the title that folks overlooked was "saves the world." The whole book was about finding something to do in life to make a contribution, however small, although sometimes it is the small things that make the most difference. In many ways that made it a quintessential story about being British in World War II, because Britain saved the world from Hitler just by holding out and fighting stubbornly until the rest of the world [i.e., the U.S] was willing to get off its rear-end and do its share. In the opening chapter, the two young men are reminiscing about La and mention that some lives seem bigger after we are grown -- and in many ways the little aspects of La's life that are such a part of this book are the things that are biggest about her. Yes, hers was an ordinary life, but she did what she could when she could and that was what mattered. And the one thing that she ultimately did for herself, at the very end of the book, was just as important in its own way -- as revealed in the beginning of the book. The one regret I had about ear-reading this book was not being able to skim the first chapter again after I finished to clarify some things, although I did pop Disc 1 in the player and listen to it again, so probably not a big loss.
I would recommend this book to anyone who likes Alexander McCall Smith's storytelling voice, which is remarkably true across his various series, even though most people (myself included) have one series of his that they love and another that they don't like at all.
Journal Entry 2
Wheaton, Maryland USA on Friday, February 26, 2016
Released 4 yrs ago (2/27/2016 UTC) at Wheaton, Maryland USA
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Taking this book to meet-up to pass it along to KateKintail.
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Journal Entry 3
Burke, Virginia USA on Sunday, February 28, 2016
Thank you! I've enjoyed other Alexander McCall Smith books (and he's a hoot if you get the chance to see him speak in person). This story sounds great, and I've already started reading it.
Journal Entry 4
Burke, Virginia USA on Sunday, March 13, 2016
I've enjoyed reading several of this author's books and seeing him speak in person. I was interested in this book because it's a standalone, something rare in Alexander McCall Smith's work. In it, a woman named La settles for a husband (who isn't very nice to her) who ends up leaving her and then dying and leaving her his house in the countryside. It takes her a while to settle into country life, learn about her neighbors, and adjust to WWII going on. It's a scary time, and La does her part by putting together a tiny orchestra that includes people from the village, people from the nearby military base, and the Pole who is working for the same farmer she works for. There's possibility of romance. There's possibility of betrayal. And there's possibility of La having one thing in her life that she does to make a difference in the world.
I really came to like La and like how important things she does feel, because she's a good person with good intentions in a difficult situation. She embodied the hard-working, noble, ordinary Englishwoman. I can't say I totally fell for this book the way I have with others, but I definitely enjoyed it and wanted to keep reading to find out where it was going. I enjoyed the orchestra and the sense of pirpose and responsibility of those in it. The orchestra is glossed over, barely even in the book. And the time jumps are strange. Until you get to the end and realize the impact the orchestra has had on everyone as well as the transformative power of music in general.
I nice read with just enough character development and thought-provoking situations.
Journal Entry 5
Springfield, Virginia USA on Sunday, March 13, 2016
Released 4 yrs ago (3/13/2016 UTC) at Springfield, Virginia USA
CONTROLLED RELEASE NOTES:
Bringing to the BCinDC meetup so that it might find a new home.
Journal Entry 6
Centreville, Virginia USA on Sunday, March 13, 2016
Picked up at today's BCinDC meetup in Springfield. It came recommended, so I'll give it a listen.
Journal Entry 7
Centreville, Virginia USA on Thursday, September 01, 2016
This is, more or less, the story of a young woman's experiences as a civilian in the English countryside during WWII. She helps a local farmer with his chickens, she starts an amateur orchestra, and she falls (somewhat unconvincingly) in love with a man who passes in and out of her life. It's a pleasant story, with little drama and almost no character development save La herself. I don't have a whole lot to say about this. Mostly it was just a nice little tale that I likely won't remember in a few months.
Journal Entry 8
Birdie's Cafe - 233 E. Main St. in Westminster, Maryland USA on Saturday, November 05, 2016
Released 3 yrs ago (11/5/2016 UTC) at Birdie's Cafe - 233 E. Main St. in Westminster, Maryland USA
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
Bringing to today's BCinDC meetup. If no one claims it, it'll go on the OBCZ shelf.
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Journal Entry 9
Rockville, Maryland USA on Sunday, November 06, 2016
I selected this book on CD at the BCinDC meet-up at Birdie's Cafe in Westminster, Maryland. Thank you very much for this book.
Journal Entry 10
Little Free Library of Twinbrook (#7720) - 5811 Vandegrift Avenue in Rockville, Maryland USA on Monday, November 07, 2016
Released 3 yrs ago (11/9/2016 UTC) at Little Free Library of Twinbrook (#7720) - 5811 Vandegrift Avenue in Rockville, Maryland USA
WILD RELEASE NOTES:
I'm releasing this book for the following BookCrossing challenge:
*** The The Release Challenge November 2016
hosted by RockDg9. This book has the word THE in the title.
Journal Entry 11
Rockville, Maryland USA on Monday, November 21, 2016
I selected this book from the Little Free Library of Twinbrook (#7720) to travel elsewhere...
Journal Entry 12
Day of the Book (street festival) on Howard Avenue in Kensington, Maryland USA on Sunday, April 09, 2017
Released 3 yrs ago (4/23/2017 UTC) at Day of the Book (street festival) on Howard Avenue in Kensington, Maryland USA
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