I feel like I profess my love for Sophie Green’s writing every time she releases a new book. I always enjoy her characters, and the settings she places them in. I’m particularly fond of the way she gives the women in her stories wonderful and authentic feeling intergenerational friendships. Obviously I jumped at the chance to get my hands on a copy of her latest novel, The Bellbird River Country Choir which came out in July. Check out the synopsis and my thoughts below.
Synopsis of The Bellbird River Country Choir
Bellbird River, 1998: Teacher and single mum Alex is newly arrived in the small NSW country town of Bellbird River after escaping the city in search of a change of pace and the chance to reconnect with her young daughter. Across town, well-known matriarch Victoria and her globe-trotting, opera-singing cousin Gabrielle find themselves at a crossroads in their personal and professional lives, while local baker Janine and newcomer to the district Debbie are each secretly dealing with the consequences of painful pasts. With its dusty streets, lone pub and iron-lace verandahs, Bellbird River could just be a pit stop on the road to somewhere else. But their town holds some secrets and surprises – and it has a heart: the Bellbird River Country Choir.
Amid the melodies and camaraderie of the choir, each of the women will find the courage to leave the past behind. And together, they’ll discover that friends are much closer to home than they’d ever realised.
My review of The Bellbird River Country Choir by Sophie Green
Green has written another wonderfully warm novel about friendship and family in The Bellbird River Country Choir. For me, this one had a slightly different vibe to her previous books, with the various protagonists’ stories less tightly woven together into one, as well as maybe being a little less heaviness/heartbreak for the women as their stories unfold.
As always, I loved seeing the relationships develop between the women, and the way that they learn more about themselves at the same time as they are getting to know each other. Each of the women in the story is at a kind of crossroads in their life, and I liked seeing how their decisions and actions are shaped not just by their pasts but by their growing friendships and the way they support each other.
I felt like Victoria and Gabrielle were probably the stars of this book, but I also really loved the way that Alex’s character was used to look at mother daughter relationship – with Alex on both end of that as a mother herself, but also dealing with the needs and expectations of her own mother.
One of the things I always love about Green’s books is the sense of nostalgia for the time period she is writing, and this one was no exception – it was fun to spend some time in the late ’90s with these characters.
I think The Bellbird River Country Choir is going to be a great read for fans of Green’s previous books, and anyone who is wants to take a little break away with some new (literary) friends.
The Bellbird River Country Choir by Sophie Green
Out now from Hachette Australia
Source: I received a free paperback copy from Hachette Australia (thank you!)
Category: Aussie contemporary romance fiction
Format: Paperback, 426 pages
The Bellbird River Country Choir on Goodreads.
My review of The Shelley Bay Ladies Swimming Circle.
My review of The Inaugural Meeting of the Fairvale Ladies Book Club.