Orphan Choir read and reviewed… a little late but done

Although I had to wait 2 weeks before I could start my Book Challenge, I manage to read and have a good think about it.

Choir in the chapel

The Orphan ChoirThe Orphan Choir by Sophie Hannah

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I enjoyed the excellent writing style for the first 25 pages and then I became saturated with what I felt was the self-indulgent rambling of a neurotic woman. I understood after reading more that the self-indulgence of the main character was probably somewhat justified, but it spoiled the whole tale for me because I wanted to throttle Louise Beeston more than finish reading! The style struck me as rather English Major but it was easy to read even when the character was bugging me. A slight loss of momentum and maybe some disconnection happened about 2/3 the way through as I felt there had not been enough contribution from the other characters. Some observations of Louise’s behaviour towards the neighbours and the local environmental health officers might have been helpful as well as some insights from her young son. The ending was done quite neatly and left a sense of mystery with a few awkward moments.The author tried to bridge the beginning of Louise as a neurotic whinger and denouement (where Louise seems to have completely changed her whole attitude to life) and wavered a bit in order to not give away too much. This would have been a good novel to workshop before it was sent off to the publisher in my humble editorial opinion. But then, maybe what Hannah did was the best anyone could hope for as it was a really knotty problem to finish without destroying the point of the story.

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