The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys

March 28, 2015 at 7:36 pm Leave a comment



Here is the book I’m reading right now – The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys. I loved her previous books, so picking up her latest novel was a no-brainer the last time I was at the Mulberry Bush Bookstore in Parksville.

I’m only about halfway through, but already I feel right at home. Humphreys is a writer who takes things slow. Her writing is meditative and full of quiet beauty. Reading her work is like reading a collection of poems – you read a few pages and savour. Great novels are often page-turners, but this is a different kind of book. Like fine wine: sip, don’t gulp!

The Evening Chorus is a war-time story about a character named James who lives in a German POW camp. He describes two different types of people in the camp: those who try to escape (and always seem to be captured) and those who find an activity that helps them cope. James falls into the latter group and is known as the Birdman among his like-minded peers (the Artist, the Reader, etc) for his study of a pair of nesting redstarts.

It’s a beautiful idea for a book: looking at why and how we can find meaning even in difficult times by taking solace in whatever means might be on hand, whether it’s books, scraps of paper or a quiet pair of birds. 

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Entry filed under: Reading.

Banana oatmeal muffins with blueberries  Triple lentil chili

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