The Choir

The Choir

Paperback

By (author) Joanna Trollope

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  • Publisher: Black Swan
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 127mm x 193mm x 25mm | 227g
  • Publication date: 1 September 1995
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0552994944
  • ISBN 13: 9780552994941
  • Sales rank: 151,216

Product description

In the gentle precinct of Aldminster Cathedral, crisis loomed. The urbane and worldly Dean (Purdey guns and the regular arrival of a delivery van from Berry Brothers) wanted nothing so much as to restore and beautify his beloved Cathedral - even if it meant sacrificing the Choir School to pay for it. Alexander Troy, Headmaster of the school, a conscientious man, somewhat out of his depth with his elusive and poetical wife (once seen walking barefoot in the dew across the Cathedral Close) was determined that nothing and no-one - certainly not the overbearing Dean - should destroy the Choir. As the rift widened into machiavellian dimensions, many others found themselves caught in the schism - Leo Beckford, brilliant but wayward organist, repelling the adoration of the Dean's dreadful daughter - the gentle, left-wing Bishop, trying to soothe the angry protagonists - Sally Ashworth, mother of the leading chorister, fighting loneliness and an erring and absent husband. Each frail and human dilemma took its part in the greater turmoil of Chapter and Close and the final battle for the survival of the Choir.

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Author information

Joanna Trollope is the author of eagerly awaited and sparklingly readable novels often centred around the domestic nuaunces and dilemmas of life in present-day England. She has also written a number of historical novels and Britannia's Daughters, a study of women in the British Empire. Joanna Trollope was born in Gloucestershire and now lives in London. She was appointed OBE in the 1996 Queen's Birthday Honours List for services to literature.

Review quote

"A beautifully drawn portrait of Cathedral life" Sunday Express "One of the most interesting writers to have emerged in the past few years" -- Carla McKay Daily Mail "A modern Barchester Chronicle" Sunday Telegraph "Richly satisfying" Evening Standard

Editorial reviews

From a descendant of the Bard of Barchester, a seventh novel (The Men and the Girls, 1993, etc.) - and an upcoming Masterpiece Theatre dramatization - that breathlessly chronicles minor intrigue on a venerable English cathedral close. Though gritty Aldminster and its ancient cathedral are less famous than the lightly disguised Salisbury that Anthony Trollope himself immortalized as Barchester, and though the present story's politics, both temporal and spiritual, are moderated by contemporary realities, the whole still has an old-fashioned feel. Characters, even adolescents - despite references to rock music, anti-nuclear demonstrations, and apartheid - sound like the cast of a 1930s drawing-room drama. Mostly, they are period figures caught up in a quintessentially Old England conflict as Cathedral Dean Hugh Cavendish embarks on a devious scheme to get the money needed to repair his beloved cathedral. His announcement that the choir can no longer be funded by the Cathedral Chapter immediately divides the close, as does his decision to secure more money by selling the choir school headmaster's historic house to the city council, who want to use it as an advisory center. While the Dean plots on, the opposition rallies: Headmaster Alexander Troy, whose wife has temporarily disappeared; Leo Beckford, the talented but idiosyncratic organist and choirmaster; and Ianthe, the Dean's daughter, who has her own reasons for opposing her father. Caught in the middle is young Henry Ashworth, whose sublime voice makes a recording of the choir a bestseller, but whose grandfather is against local funding for the choir and whose mother is in love with Leo. The intrigue will be fast, furious, and only rarely high-minded. A thin and relentlessly quaint there'll-always-be-an-England story: The passion is as tepid as breakfast toast, but scenes of angelic faces singing sweetly in the choir will no doubt play well on TV. (Kirkus Reviews)