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Teddy Rose Book Reviews Plus More


Giveaway: The Beauty Chorus by Kate Lord Brown

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on May 31, 2011
Posted in My Past Giveaways  | 42 Comments

Thanks to Devon Pool of McArthur and Company, I am giving away one copy of The Beauty Chorus to one of my Canadian readers.  See my review, here.  

Book Description:
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.

To Enter:
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That’s 31 or more possible entries! Sorry, this giveaway is only open to Canada.

The winner’s mailing address: No P.O. Boxes

Winners will be subject to the one copy per household rule, which means that if you win the same title in two or more contests, you will receive only one copy of the book.

This giveaway will end on Tuesday  June 14th, 11:59 P.M. E.S.T. The winners will be notified by email. Winners must respond within TWO days or will be disqualified.

 

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When I was asked to be a tour host for Kate Lord Brown and her book, The Beauty Chorus, I jumped at the chance. I wondered how the woman of the ATA decided to go from their sheltered lives to the ATA. Today, Kate is here to give me her answer. Please welcome Kate Lord Brown to So Many Precious Books, So Little time.

 
I asked myself exactly that question – how did these women go from their somewhat sheltered lives and join the Air Transport Auxiliary? They did an incredibly dangerous job, flying anything anywhere across war-torn Britain, ferrying everything from Spitfires to huge bombers to the fighter squadrons. They flew without radios, without arms. The bravery and modesty of these women just blew me away – when you speak to surviving veterans, they say they were just ‘doing their job’. These were the women that inspired ‘The Beauty Chorus’.
I think crucially, they also say that it was the most extraordinary time of their lives. If you think back to wartime, it was a unique opportunity for women to fly – and after the war many of them had to go back to ‘real’ life – there just wasn’t much chance for women to fly commercially. So, you had women joining from all over the world. In all 166 women joined the ATA, and they had pilots from 28 countries. Women came from Canada, the US, from as far away as Asia (like the character Stella). You had debutante party girls who had been part of the privileged pre-war flying scene like Evie, and you had young inexperienced girls like Megan who could fly a plane but not drive a car.

Can you imagine how thrilling and terrifying it must have been to join a boat bound for England, having to avoid the Nazi attacks on boat convoys on the way over, and then finding yourself flying these incredibly powerful planes? The women came from all walks of life, and the only thing they had in common was wanting to ‘do their bit’ for the Allied war effort, and their love of flying. The true story of their skill and bravery blew me away, and The Beauty Chorus I hope pays testament to this. They were amazing women, and it was a privilege uncovering their story. It was a remarkable time when women worked alongside men on equal terms and for equal pay – and I hope Evie, Stella and Megan reflect the strength and bravery of the real Spitfire girls.

KLB

Kate studied Philosophy at Durham University, and Art History at the Courtauld Institute of Art. She is currently taking a Masters degree. She worked as an art consultant, curating collections for palaces and embassies in Europe and the Middle East, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. She was a finalist in UK ITV’s the People’s Author competition in 2009. Her debut novel ‘The Beauty Chorus’ is published by Atlantic in 2011.

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Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.

The Beauty Chorus by Kate Lord Brown

Posted by Teddyrose@1 on May 30, 2011
Posted in Books Read in 2011WWII  | 8 Comments

It is New Years Eve, 1940 and Evie Chase is determined to make a difference in the war effort.  On January 5th, 1941 she enlists  in the ATA to ferry  across WWII Britain.   Her father is a wealthy RAF commander and is not happy with her decision and takes away her allowance, but Evie sticks to her principals and moves into a mice infested cottage with two other new members of the ATA, Stella and Megan.

Stella is the mother of a baby boy but has left him with her parents in law.  She is trying to sort out her feelings regarding her “dead” husband.  Megan is a teenagers from a Welsh village, who has left for the first time.

Together the three woman train together and live together and become fast friends and allies.  Once they start ferrying planes, Evie meets a pilot from the U.S.A. and falls in love.  They are engaged to be married when tragedy strikes and her fiancé is killed in combat.  Stella and Megan also find love.  

Beau is the trainer of the three woman and one of their commanders.  He and Evie mix together like cats and dogs most of the time.  He is also engages to a rich girl that he grew up with but the relationship is quite rocky.  He was burned badly in combat and she called off the engagement.  She abandoned him when he needed her most and then when he was better, came back  and begged forgiveness.  Can he forgive and does he want to?

Despite the fact that just about everything that happened in this book was totally predictable, I did enjoy it.  I knew nothing about the ATA and learned about its history.  The characters were well thought out and three dimensional.  You could call this book a character study.  That is it’s true strength.  I would have liked a bit more plot and surprise.  I knew what was going to happen with each character well before it happened with only a couple of exceptions.  

This is Kate Lord Browns first book and a good attempt.  I am looking forward to seeing how she grows with her writing.  If you like character studies and want to learn more about the ATA in WWII, this is a book for you.

3/5

Thanks to Devon Pool of McArthur and Company and to Net Galley for this book.  Please watch for a guest post from Kate Lord Brown tomorrow.

Did you review this book?  Please post the link in the comments.


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Copyright 2007-2010: All the posts within this blog were originally posted by Teddy Rose and should not be reproduced without express written permission.