La Stone is a widow who, as the Nazi threat looms, assembles a ragtag orchestra in rural Suffolk in hopes of altering “the temper of the world.” She falls for one of her recruits, a Polish pilot with a suspicious past. But patriotism trumps passion, leaving La to worry if her life will always be “a play in which I have no real part.” In McCall-Smith’s quintessentially English world, perserverance, pots of tea and the power of music will show the way.
(Ellen Shapiro for People magazine)
Of all the books I’ve read concerning WW II I believe that this would be the first one I’ve come across where the protagonist is the furthest away from warfare and gore. What I mean is that I’ve seen through the eyes of the persecuted Jews and those (who weren’t Jews) close to them and I can’t recall ever reading from a Briton’s point of view. Personally, it’s refreshing to view things from another angle, to see how life carried on relatively far from the heavy rain of lead bullets, how the country side and its people were affected and how they were coping.
La’s Orchestra Saves the World is the story a young woman who suffered through heart break, then a war that brought about its own miseries but also turned out to be an opportunity for her to meet certain people who would shape the rest of her life. This is a story of how a woman’s quiet courage and music helped inspired hope in the townsfolk through the dark days for five years. It told me of the fright of risking loving again even if the other may not feel the same.