La's Orchestra Saves the World

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9781846970924: La's Orchestra Saves the World

La's Orchestra Saves the World is another delightful story celebrating friendship and the healing power of music, told with the warmth and charm we've come to love from this favourite storyteller.

It's 1939 and the war in Europe casts a long, all-encompassing shadow. In a sleepy town in Suffolk, La, the generous and determined widow, forms an amateur orchestra to entertain the locals and soothe her own broken heart. She recruits Feliks, a refugee from Poland, to play the flute, and a touching friendship emerges. When the war is over and the orchestra disbands, La is left pondering her next move. What role can she play in her community now that the war is over? And can she let herself love again?
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Review:

Amazon Best Books of the Month, December 2009 Fans of Alexander McCall Smith's female sleuths Precious Ramotswe and Isabel Dalhousie will find just a few mysteries punctuating the story line of his new stand-alone novel. The story is mainly concerned with the day-to-day life and concerns of a young widow named Lavender ("La") Stone, a promising Cambridge student who, like many women of her class and generation, finished school, married well, and led a comfortable and respectable life. In La's case, things go awry when her philandering husband unexpectedly leaves her, and dies shortly thereafter in a freak accident. In 1939, she retreats to her in-law's country house to sort out the emotional wreckage of her failed marriage and premature widowhood. In this self-imposed exile, she finds solace in contributing to the war effort--tending to the hens on a neighbors farm, cultivating a victory garden, and conducting an orchestra composed of local amateur musicians. In this quiet and intimate book, La’s rural life might seem inconsequential or perhaps even quaint, but her predicament and pathos are moving. And, her daily battles represent important generational and social struggles among women to lead independent and dignified lives in the face of hardship, moral ambiguities, burdensome class and social conventions, and isolation. La Stone may be rendered with softer lines and contours, yet she bears many of the memorable and inspiring qualities of McCall Smith's well-known heroines. --Lauren Nemroff

Amazon.com Exclusive: Alexander McCall Smith on La's Orchestra Saves the World

I wrote La’s Orchestra Saves the World because I wanted to pay tribute to rather brave people. I wanted to say something about how ordinary people managed to get by during the Second World War. Most of them would not have regarded themselves as heroes and heroines, but they were. La (short for Lavender) was one of these. She worked on the land, helping a farmer with his chickens, and also started a little orchestra for British and American airmen. Music, she felt, helps. And it does--it inspires and heals.

The other group I wanted to pay tribute to was the Poles. Polish servicemen played a major role in the war. Their airmen, for example, participated in the Battle of Britain, that crucial battle that decided the fate of Europe. At the end of the war the Poles were betrayed and the contribution of their forces largely ignored. In the victory parade in London, the Poles were not allowed to march with everybody else (Stalin insisted on this). So those brave men stood at the side of the road and wept. This book is about them too.--Alexander McCall Smith

(Photo © Chris Watt)

About the Author:

ALEXANDER MCCALL SMITH is the author of the international phenomenon The No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series, the Isabel Dalhousie Series, the Portuguese Irregular Verbs series, the 44 Scotland Street series and the Corduroy Mansions series. He is professor emeritus of medical law at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland and has served with many national and international organizations concerned with bioethics. He was born in what is now known as Zimbabwe and was a law professor at the University of Botswana.

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Book Description Birlinn General, United Kingdom, 2008. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Thank you for the music.It s 1939 and the war in Europe casts a long, all-encompassing shadow. In a sleepy town in Suffolk, the generous and determined widow, La, forms an amateur orchestra to entertain the locals and soothe her own broken heart. She recruits Felix, a refugee from Poland, to play the flute, and a touching friendship emerges. When the war is over and the orchestra disbands, La is left pondering her next move. What role can she play in her community now the war is over? And can she let herself love again? La s Orchestra is another delightful story celebrating friendship and the healing power of music, told with the warmth and charm we ve come to love from one of the nation s favourite storytellers. Bookseller Inventory # AWC9781846970924

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Book Description Birlinn General, United Kingdom, 2008. Hardback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Thank you for the music.It s 1939 and the war in Europe casts a long, all-encompassing shadow. In a sleepy town in Suffolk, the generous and determined widow, La, forms an amateur orchestra to entertain the locals and soothe her own broken heart. She recruits Felix, a refugee from Poland, to play the flute, and a touching friendship emerges. When the war is over and the orchestra disbands, La is left pondering her next move. What role can she play in her community now the war is over? And can she let herself love again? La s Orchestra is another delightful story celebrating friendship and the healing power of music, told with the warmth and charm we ve come to love from one of the nation s favourite storytellers. Bookseller Inventory # AWC9781846970924

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Book Description 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. Thank you for the music. It's 1939 and the war in Europe casts a long, all-encompassing shadow. In a sleepy town in Suffolk, the generous and determined widow, La, forms an amateur orche.Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. 224 pages. 0.420. Bookseller Inventory # 9781846970924

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Book Description 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hardcover. Thank you for the music. It's 1939 and the war in Europe casts a long, all-encompassing shadow. In a sleepy town in Suffolk, the generous and determined widow, La, forms an .Shipping may be from our Sydney, NSW warehouse or from our UK or US warehouse, depending on stock availability. 224 pages. 0.420. Bookseller Inventory # 9781846970924

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