The Evening Chorus

by Helen Humphreys

On Sale: 02/03/2015

The Evening Chorus

by Helen Humphreys

On Sale: 02/03/2015


Governor General's Literary Award - Fiction - Shortlisted

About the Book


Resigned to living out the Second World War in a German POW camp, James Hunter, an English officer, begins studying a pair of redstarts near the camp. His interest in the birds captures the attention of the Kommandant and gives 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, is bombed out of her London flat, she comes to stay with Rose, and the two women form a surprising friendship that alters the course of both of their lives.

With wonderfully developed characters, exquisitely shaped by and reflected in the natural world, The Evening Chorus is a brilliant, beautiful evocation of place and a natural history of both the war and the human heart.

Critical Praise

“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.” - Toronto Star

“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.” - Boston Globe

“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.” - National Post

“[H]ypnotic. . . . The Evening Chorus deserves a special place on your reading list this winter.” - NPR

“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.” - Booklist (starred review)

“[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.” - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Product Details

  • ISBN: 9781443415484
  • ISBN 10: 1443415480
  • Imprint: HarperCollins Publishers
  • On Sale: 02/03/2015
  • Pages: 304
  • List Price:28.99 CAD
  • BISAC1 : FICTION / General
  • BISAC2 : FICTION / Literary

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