The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys

The Evening Chorus by Helen HumphreysThis is a quiet novel about love and loss, regret and contrition, and the aftermath of war. This is Humphreys’ 3rd novel set in WWII (Coventry, and the sublime The Lost Garden): each of them is different and perceptive. Humphreys is becoming one of my favourite authors.


The Lost Garden – Helen Humphreys

the-lost-garden-helen-humphreysHelen Humphreys also wrote Nocturne which I recommended last month. Humphreys is a poet, so this is a short novel (set in 1941 England) with exquisitely chosen words. A lost garden is a metaphor for life and more specifically for love: longing, faith and loss. A beautiful book.

Nocturne by Helen Humphreys

Nocturne by Helen Humphreys.jpg(thanks to Amy/Steph). Really excellent writing; book was read in one setting so clearly I was engaged by the story. The book describes the experience of the author’s life together with her brother, and details after his death. Perhaps I was primed by the [Miriam] Toews AMPS [All My Puny Sorrows] but I have a personal preference for introspective and insightful writing. Humphreys captures the cruelty of disease and the numbness of grief. She writes: fear the worst because the worst has happened” (first Matthew and then Anne).