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La's Orchestra Saves the Worldby Alexander McCall Smith
Synopses & Reviews
From the best-selling author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series comes a delightful and moving story that celebrates the healing powers of friendship and music.
It is 1939. Lavender — La to her friends — decides to flee London, not only to avoid German bombs but also to escape the memories of her shattered marriage. The peace and solitude of the small town she settles in are therapeutic...at least at first. As the war drags on, La is in need of some diversion and wants to boost the town's morale, so she organizes an amateur orchestra, drawing musicians from the village and the local RAF base. Among the strays she corrals is Feliks, a shy, proper Polish refugee who becomes her prized recruit — and the object of feelings she thought she'd put away forever.
Does La's orchestra save the world? The people who come to hear it think so. But what will become of it after the war is over? And what will become of La herself? And of La's heart?
With his all-embracing empathy and his gentle sense of humor, Alexander McCall Smith makes of La's life — and love — a tale to enjoy and cherish.
"Set mainly during WWII in England, this quiet story about a woman who makes a new life for herself falls short of bestseller Smith's best work. After La Stone's husband leaves her for another woman in France, La retreats to a small cottage in Suffolk given to her by her mortified in-laws. The isolation and peacefulness suit La, who joins the Women's Land Army soon after the outbreak of war. When Feliks Dabrowski, an attractive Polish ex-pat, is assigned to the same farm where La is assisting with chores, La is attracted to him, despite her suspicions that Feliks hasn't been fully truthful about his past. La's idea to launch an amateur local orchestra to boost morale proves an unexpected success and helps give her purpose during the war's darkest days. While the understated prose appeals, La just isn't as interesting a creation as the author's two female sleuths, Precious Ramotswe (The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency) and Isabel Dalhousie (The Sunday Philosophy Club)." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Set in England at the onset of World War II, McCall Smith's new tale is a metaphor for the transformative power of music.... crafted with the author's usual wit, wisdom and grace." Washington Post
"The author's name will make this a strong seller, but readers hoping for another Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society will be left wanting." Library Journal
"Smith shows his heroine, who believes that "music could make a difference in the temper of the world," triumphing over the details of everyday life by immersing herself in them...completely" Kirkus Reviews
From the bestselling author of The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series: a delightful and moving story that celebrates the healing powers of friendship and music. La escapes World War II-ravaged London and a shattered marriage and relocates to a small African village. But can she really escape her past — or create a new life?
About the Author
"Alexander McCall Smith is best known for The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, beloved New York Times and international best sellers. A practicing professor of medical law and the author of over fifty books, ranging from children's fiction to folktales to The Criminal Law of Botswana, he lives in Edinburgh.
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