Customer Reviews for

La's Orchestra Saves the World

Average Rating 4
( 35 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 35 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted January 3, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    A great read!

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book from start to finish! The author has a fantastic way of enticing you to want to read more and more. The layout of the book is what makes the story come together and the plot is one that any person from various generations can relate to. It is truly talent when a writer can combine a tale of journey(s), love, betrayal, adversity, friendship, desire, generational differences, and culture all in one story so fluently and seamlessly that when it all comes together in the end you find yourself longing for the story to continue. Bravo!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2012

    Anonymous

    I enjoyed this book very much, although it was very bitter-sweet. It had a bit of a slow start but picked up further on.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 19, 2012

    Delightful. Fun and serious at the same time!

    La's Orchestra Saves the World is a lovely addition to Alexander McCall Smith's impressive list of wonderful books. Set in England during and after WWII, it describes the personal journeys of a set of interesting characters in the framework of a historic time about which all of us, especially Americans I would say, would do well to learn more. Read it. It's one that you'll want to keep.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Large and small betrayals and the gift of love in war-torn Brita

    Large and small betrayals and the gift of love in war-torn Britain during WWII.

    London, Cambridge and Suffolk all play their part in this historical novel by Alexander McCall Smith. Set in the time around World War II, it builds a convincing picture of war-torn Britain where human kindness wars with the darkness of suspicion and fear. Real characters fill the village streets, farm the fields, and feed the airmen stationed nearby. But if foreigners are dropping bombs, can a Polish pilot with a German accent really be worthy of trust?

    Betrayed by her husband, Lavender—called La—has settled into the routine of a quiet life, comfortable enough, rich enough and insulated enough from what goes on around her. But the war intrudes and this new betrayal leads her to live again, signing on to volunteer, meeting strangers, and even, finally, starting an orchestra. Like the war, her orchestra won’t last long—just a temporary diversion she thinks. And, like the war, it lasts till the fighting’s done.

    Lawns turn to potato plots, neighbors to friends, and the Polish airman awakens La’s heart with his gentle formality. But when suspicions of wrong-doing grow, will honest truth turn into betrayal of love?

    La’s Orchestra Saves the World is a beautifully evocative novel of Britain at war, and of hearts warring with themselves. I can vouch for the truth of the countryside drawn by the author. My Mum can vouch for the honest depiction of the people. And readers will quickly be drawn into La’s world with its love and complications, delighting in her music and looking forward to her redemption.



    Disclosure: I borrowed this book from a generous friend.

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  • Posted February 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Highly Recommended - you will enjoy this book!

    This is a tender story of courage and love during World War II: love and loyalty for one's country; love, trust and dependence upon one's neighbors and local community; and of course, the heart's yearnings that are beyond our control whether in wartime or peace. The characters are true, full of quirks and actions that are completely believable. As in our own lives, there is a parallel between the personal and the world view; we have love, betrayal, hope.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2010

    A beautifully written book set in England in WWII.

    The story has a mysterious beginning that holds the reader's attention until the very end. One gets a sense of the English people and of their fortitude during the difficult times of WWII. It is a book that captures one's heart.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    La's Orchestra Saves The World

    I love Alexander McCall Smith's "Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency" series, so I thought I would give this book a try. While I didn't love this book, it was a worthwhile read. I learned about life during WWII in England. This book has sadness, but also warmth and human caring. I felt parts of it were a bit trite, but I enjoyed reading it and liked how it ended.

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  • Posted February 12, 2010

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    La's Orchestra Had an Okay Sound

    This book was okay. I liked the message of community involvement and that music can and does calm tensions. However, the book starts with a flashback so that the reader knows that La is dead. Also, Henry was too bitter for my taste. I have read better Alexander MCCall books

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  • Posted February 7, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Orchestral Hit

    Alexander McCall Smith's writing transports the reader to another time and place. It's a gentle reminder of the hardship endured during the war and the determined way the English people carried on with life and tried to make their lives better despite their circumstances. This is a quiet, gentle story. A very good read.

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  • Posted February 6, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    La Stone, you have to meet Precious Romatswe!

    McCall Smith has a gift for understanding the woman's psyche, as evidenced in his characters in the #1 Ladies' Detective Agency book series. Sadly, the central character of this book lacks the grit of Precious and Grace. While the "lady detectives" take matters into their own hands, La Stone waits for things to happen. Set in Suffolk during World War II, the young widow, La Stone, who is rich and bored, brings together an orchestra--most of the work done by others. She falls in love, but does nothing to assure that romance will follow. La should spend some time with Precious--her life would certainly improve.

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  • Posted February 2, 2010

    La's Orchestra Saves the World: Testimony to ordinary decency and the impact of small actions on those in our world.

    McCall Smith has a tremendous ability to translate the everyday into a story and commentary that spells out the underlying values and philosophy of the characters, and, inevitably, the author. This story reminds me that the little things do count. The fact that there are so many little things in a life sometimes causes us to discount their value, even to ourselves. The outcome of this story speaks to the improvement in the quality of life by simple gestures. In a day of increasing emphasis on minimalism to counteract the overwhelming influx of information, and the complexity of relationships, McCall Smith reminds us that everything that makes life bearable, and sometimes, enjoyable, comes back to personal growth and the values of kindness and doing what can be done by one.

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  • Posted February 1, 2010

    Disappointing

    I picked up this book because I usually enjoy reading about events in that era and in that place. While it is an easy read, I must say that the main character had a pretty boring life even in the middle of WWII. It never got more interesting either. I also don't appreciate being left hanging with what happens to certain characters. Two were minor but one was pretty major and one never finds out what happened to them or where they went or why.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

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    La, de, dah

    I am a huge fan of McCall Smith's No. 1 Ladies Detective Series and eagerly await new books in the series. I've read a few other books by him, but wasn't nearly as impressed with them. I decided to buy this on a whim after reading the summary of the plot. I was, sad to say, disappointed. The idea of people coming together to make music to escape the reality of WWII bombing in England made me curious, but the book just never reached the promise for plot and characterization. It's a quick read, but it left me empty. There are so many other GOOD books on this time period that one can read.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I like just about everything he writes.

    My wife and I listened to the book in our car and really enjoyed it. I would have liked to know a little more about why the young boys only lived with La for 3 or 4 years (I couldn't figure out exactly how long they stayed with her). What happened to La's relationship with their father? I wanted to know.

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  • Posted January 30, 2010

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    La's Orchestra Saves the World

    As always, McCall Smith is very, very entertaining.

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    Posted January 3, 2010

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    Posted June 19, 2011

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    Posted November 23, 2011

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    Posted December 30, 2009

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    Posted December 5, 2010

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