Book Review: La’s Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith

Easy little book to read when you are feeling frazzled with the
holidays approaching at breakneck speed.  Takes place in England,
primarily during World War II.  “La’s” husband has run off with
another woman . . .

and she has moved from London to rural Suffolk.  World War II
is about to break open and she looks for work which will help in
the war effort.  It turns out to be minding the hens for an ailing
neighbor.  Everyone is worried, but ” . . .wars did not last forever;
one hundred years at the most.”

La and a friend decide to start an orchestra to keep up general
morale in the farming community.   A Polish refugee enters the
scene, is also working at the farm.  Turns out he can play the flute.

A. M. Smith is a careful talented writer and knows his history–I
was interested when the church the orchestra uses for rehearsals
turns out to be a “tin” church–made of corrugated tin.  I looked
this up and found that there were several in England, built as early
as in the 1850s

A neighbor’s grown son becomes a problem for La–and I wondered
how the author would resolve that issue.

The book moves along well, even if the plot is a little contrived
at times.  And the ending flies twenty years ahead to the cold war
nuclear standoff conditions in the world—misplaced in my view.

So, uneven in praise, I stand behind my view that it’s good for a
few nights reading.

alexander mccall smith la's orchestra 002


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