The brilliant new novel about love, war and the ways of escape
Shot down on his first RAF mission, James Hunter, an English officer, spends the Second World War in a German POW camp. While other prisoners plan daring escapes, James begins studying a pair of redstarts near the camp. His interest in the birds captures the attention of the Kommandant, giving James cause to fear for his life. Meanwhile, back in England, James’s young wife, Rose, falls headlong into a passionate affair with another man. When James’s sister, Enid, loses everything during the Blitz in London, she comes to stay with Rose, and the two women form a surprising friendship that alters the course of all three of their lives.
Humphreys, the award-winning and bestselling author of six novels and two works of non-fiction, returns to the Second World War with her most exquisite, powerful novel yet. The Evening Chorus is a brilliant evocation of an unforgettable time and place and a natural history of both the war and the human heart.
“[H]ypnotic. . . . The Evening Chorus deserves a special place on your reading list this winter.”
“I am very glad to have spent some of my moments on earth reading The Evening Chorus. I reached the end with a sense of wonder that so much life and pain and beauty could be contained in so few pages.”
“Sometimes a fictional character is so powerful I read the last pages of a book at a glacial pace to stall the inevitable ending. . . . Humphreys creates characters that are achingly human, and thus sympathetic.”
“Absorbing, richly characterized, and marked by smart, delightful twists and turns, the novel’s fruitful visitation of war and its aftermath never fails to captivate. If there is such a thing as a cultural vocabulary of war, Humphreys adds welcome new words to it.”
“Humphreys creates a narrative arc that is compact and sinewy, yet from her spare prose and refined imagery springs an arresting novel of regret, contrition, and redemption that glimmers with transcendent moments of hope and valor. An ingeniously elegant and instinctively restrained tale about the durability of the human spirit.”
“[A] heartbreaking yet redemptive story about loss and survival. . . . Humphreys deserves more recognition for the emotional intensity and evocative lyricism of her seemingly straightforward prose and for her ability to quietly squirrel her way into the reader’s heart.”