25/08/2015

Summer Book Review: All Together Now by Gill Hornby

My Synopsis. 
Imagine This: You live in a small town and have single-handedly raised your child. You are now in your forties and happy to live with your son who won't move out already—something you are pleased with.

Your new identity in this new town is to stay away from all sense of community, stay at home all day when you have no work and do rock and roll marathons with your son yelling at the top of your lungs. 

One evening, after your son has finally decided to go get a job—which wouldn't last, you know him—you are singing to a soulful rhythm till you hear the doorbell ring.

A novelty. No one has ever rang your doorbell. 

It's a man from the community choir, calling on you to come join. 

Reluctantly, you attend. And here are three things you note about Bridgeford Community Choir:

1. The only singing done is hardly harmonious. More of a group of people butchering songs from Sound of Music.

2. No one in the town cares about the choir.

3. No one in the choir cares about the choir.

You do not care too, really. Till you perform a soulful Abba and everyone's straining to hear more. Soon, all these choir members with their personal dilemmas are crowding into your doorway, convincing your son to leave you for Africa and "training" for a championship they've set their eyes on ever since.

A championship you know they won't win. But everyone needs a little Hope these days. The community needs it. The choir needs it. Apparently, you need it too...

And singing your lungs out, hearts out, your secrets out, your drama out, your past out, might just be the only way to reignite this Hope for the future.  
Tracey Beckford—who isn't Tracey Beckford at all—'s life summed up for your delight.


My REVIEW
I loved, loved this book! So you know in my review I'd be butchering all your fave songs in your ear to go get this book!

The storyline is fantastic! You have never read a book about a community choir this amazing, this inspiring! So Woman with hidden secrets as well as an amazing talent decides to take the community choir under her wing and whip it into something that's close enough to be a choir, at least! Meanwhile, property developers are about ruining their small town and together, with one voice—which no one in the community seems to have at all—they must prevent this.──★ 

Secondly, you'd love the main characters! It's not every author who can pull a multiple character read of both genders and still gain my attention. (Well, some try!) This book's main characters are true, real and engaging! Meet Tracey Leckford, in her forties battling with losing her only son. There's also Annie already approaching sixties too involved with her community to put away the emptiness she feels when her daughters and now her husband have moved on to another life. There's Bennett, jobless, divorced man, who's family gets off making jokes at his expense, who also lacks the enthusiasm for life. A star!──★★

Other characters are also great! My favorites, Lynn and Pat, the two oldies who are always giving of snarky asides to each other about members in the choir. There's Judith, who goes on and on about her boyfriend who everyone believes is imaginary. There's Lewis, whose democratic values lie out of deciding which song the choir should sing—so no democracy then. There's Jazzy, she fancies herself as a soloist but cannot concentrate on her singing because of her junky mother who keeps coming and leaving. Trust me, lots of well-developed minor characters you can't get enough of! A star!──★★★

This book is a laugh-out-loud read! You see this term being used all over on books but no, none are not even (close). But this book would make you laugh till strangers cast weird looks your way and wonder if they are safe around you. (Give reading at public places a go!)──★★★★

My rating is a five out of five stars!──★★★★★

Gill Hornby's All Together Now which I'd never forgive myself for reading too late in the year is available on Amazon

I recommend this book to anyone who loves something kicking, and exciting and inspirational to conclude all your summer reading! Anyone who wants a title with likable and relatable and real characters should go grab this! If you have a voice that sucks (—not very much like mine), there's no stopping you from singing at the top of your lungs even if everyone around you wants to jump in front of a moving car than have to deal with your slow torture, because, this book teaches no matter what voice you have, you shouldn't put off singing (a little). Hope is the thing with singing. 😀


My work not done here. Off to post my review on Amazon and Goodreads





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