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Review: The Angry Women's Choir by Meg Bignell

Title: The Angry Women's Choir

Author: Meg Bignell
Year published: 2021
Category: Adult fiction (historical)
Pages: 416 pages
Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Location: (my 2023 Google Reading map)Australia (Tasmania)

SummaryFreycinet Barnes has built herself the perfect existence. With beautiful children, a successful husband and a well-ordered schedule, it’s a life so full she simply doesn’t fit.

When she steps outside her calendar and is accidentally thrown into the generous bosom of the West Moonah Women’s Choir, she finds music, laughter, friendship and a humming wellspring of rage. With the ready acceptance of the colourful choristers, Frey learns that voices can move mountains, fury can be kind and life can do with a bit of ruining.

Together, Frey and the choir sing their anger, they breathe it in and stitch it up, belt it out and spin it into a fierce, driving beat that will kick the system square in the balls, and possibly demolish them all. 

Review: I was in the mood for a fun book and this one delivered. Check out that cover; it really set the mood. There were moments when I laughed out loud and thought about sending quotes to various people. However, in amongst the fun there are serious subjects: domestic violence; terminal illness; eating disorders, and more.

I think the thing I liked the most about this book is the camaraderie amongst the women in the choir. They come from a variety backgrounds, are varying ages, and classes, yet they are there for one another through it all with whatever support they need. We all need a group like that.

The thread that holds the choir and the story together is fighting oppression. Women need to stand up, speak up, make their voices heard. And we need our women (and men) friends to do it. Beware, there is LOTS of swearing in this novel, but it's mostly one character and it suits her. This is a book that makes me want to go out, protest something, feel alive, and DO something. I felt uplifted by this novel, loved that it made me smile and cry and feel.

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • Big Summer Book--407 pages

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