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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)
This is a great departure from the Scotland Street series I usually read. A heartwarming story of WWII in England and a young widow's gift to a small rural community. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Beverly J. Magel
Uplifting! La is such an inspirational lady. May we all follow her lead, hens and allPublished 3 months ago by evelyn Siqueland
Tangible, personal story of living in Southern England during WWII. The focus is on a young woman trying to find her place in the world after her husband leaves her, and all the... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Johanna Haas
This book was a seltion of my book club. I like to read books avout England. I have traveled to England serveral times.I felt bad for La. she did not have a very happy life. Read morePublished 5 months ago by starkeysloan
This book has it all: history, beautiful scene-painting, humor, sadness, suspense.... It's definitely my favorite of his books. Loved it!Published 6 months ago by annie
Loved this story and always enjoy a happy ending. BUT it was too short and undeveloped. Not up to his usual standard.Published 7 months ago by Dr. Memory S. Hughes-Seaman
I always enjoy Alexander McCall Smith, and this book was no exception. I love the simplicity of the story, but also gives some food for thought.Published 8 months ago by Anne Swanson
I liked it because La enjoyed, eventually, the simple things of life. It is a simple story bringing to light a period which
many in the up coming generation have little... Read more
I really enjoyed the simple pace of this book. I liked the way La thought about being on her own and was determined to make each situation work regardless of the circumstance.Published 9 months ago by Laura S. Williams