For anyone familiar with Alexander McCall Smith’s works, they are charming, feel-good, novels, that often leave you with a smile on your face. They also inform and enlighten you about time and place, but most importantly, they remind you of the innate goodness in people.
In La’s Orchestra Saves the World, we have just those qualities. La Stone, is newly widowed when England declares war on Nazi Germany, and finds herself in a country house with time on her hands. As she becomes acquainted with her new community, she helps a neighbor with his hens, starts a garden, and uses her love of music to start an orchestra for the soldiers and citizens nearby. La doesn’t think she’s doing much, but as the novel progresses, we realize just how important her orchestra has become for the morale and the resolve of her new friends. Throw in a possible romance with a Polish pilot and you have an utterly charming novel.
3 1/2 stars (out of 5)
Published in 2008