Romance, glamour and adventure in the skies: an enthralling debut inspired by female pilots in World War Two. 166 women signed up to fly Spitfires and bombers from factories to airfields across England. It was an adventure that would cost many their lives.
New Year’s Eve, 1940: Evie Chase, the beautiful debutante daughter of an adoring RAF commander, gazes out at the sky as swing music drifts from the ballroom. With bombs falling nightly in London, she resolves that the coming year will bring more than just dances and tennis matches. She is determined to do her bit for the war effort.
2nd January, 1941: Evie curses her fashionable heels as they skid on the frozen ground of her local airfield. She is here to volunteer for ‘The Beauty Chorus’, the female pilots who fly much-needed planes to bases across the country. Soon, she is billeted in a tiny country cottage, sharing with an anxious young mother and a naive teenager.
Thrown together by war, these three very different women soon become friends, confidantes and fellow adventuresses. But as they take to the skies, they will also face hardship, prejudice and tragedy. Can their new-found bond survive their darkest hours?
Reissued in a very timely manner to coincide with the 75th anniversary of VE Day and based on the heroism of or female pilots during WWII, this is a historical read to lose yourself in and enjoy the exploits of these women at that fascinating point in our shared history.
Evie Chase and her fellow members of the ATA are such memorable characters and I’m so happy that I was invited onto this blog tour and got the chance to ‘meet them’ on the page. Thank you so much to all the team at Midas PR for consistently introducing me to such a vast array of books and expanding my reading tastes with such interesting and diverse choices. The Beauty Chorus is a great read and I’ve been interested to follow the tour as I really wanted to see what all the other bloggers thought too.
In 1940, Evie Chase is an Air Transport Auxillary pilot and I loved finding out all about her introduction to such an unorthodox job for a woman. Soon she has to cast aside her glamorous outfits and dedicated follower of fashion ways to end up in a remote cottage, sharing with two very different girls – Stella an emotional young mother all the way from Singapore and idealistic Megan who has never set foot outside her own village beforehand finds it hard to settle away from her Welsh background.
If you are like me and love books set in this era that you can really get caught up in and ones that will make you think about their events long after you’ve finished reading them, then. I’m always a sucker for any book that’s got the slightest connection to this period in history and I was really drawn in by Evie, Megan and Stella’s story and it definitely sent me off in an online hunt to find out more about the AWA for myself – especially as I teach at a military boarding school myself.
I love books that transport me in time and place and I read this last week, in a wholly different time and space to these three characters but feeling connected with them across the years – totally losing myself in this unforgettable story and Kate Lord Brown’s fantastic deft sense of characterisation and feel for the small details that really helped make this credible. such as Evie’s ability to perform a perfect dive. Even my History Teacher husband had to wrack his brains to tell me more about the AWA and it got me thinking about how many other episodes of our collective history that I’ve never even heard of…
The Beauty Chorus vividly tells the tale of all three girls’ experiences and this is a clever device that allows you to draw parallels and see the differences between their experiences and relationships as their individual stories unfold in an incredibly lifelike way. Their story is so captivating that it’s easy to forget that this is not telling a fictional tale, events such as these three characters experienced actually happened and this novel gives you a real window into the lives of these women living through these times and witnessing the ordeals that they managed to endure together.
Kate Lord Brown uses dialogue very skilfully in order to make these characters come to life as separate and individual people within these pages. This is a fascinating and satisfying read, where their brave exploits are wonderfully realised and these as well as their everyday lives are brought to life for a generation who can only imagine the moments that these characters lived through and the important part that they and others played in our country’s history.
If you want a memorable and beautifully written book that brings a moment in history alive and introduces you to a part of history that should be much better taught, you’ll love this book and I know a few book-loving friends who are definitely going to be pinching it from me once I shout a bit more about how much I’ve enjoyed it.
Why don’t you treat yourself to a copy and find out more about this memorable story for yourself?
Writer On The Shelf
Kate Lord Brown grew up in a wild and beautiful part of Devon. She read Philosophy at Durham and Art History at the Courtauld Institute and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, curating collections for palaces and embassies in Europe and the Middle East.
Kate has travelled and lived around the world with her airline pilot husband and gained a MA in creative writing from the Manchester Writing School MMU. She was a finalist in the ITV People’s Author contest 2009, and her international bestseller The Perfume Garden was shortlisted for the UK Romantic Novel of the Year 2014.
Kate currently lives in the Middle East with her family, and she was a regional winner in this year’s BBC International Radio Playwriting Competition.