Choral Society

Choral Society
By Prue Leith


Three single women in their fifties meet when they join a choir. Lucy, recently widowed, is a cook and food journalist; Joanna, a successful business woman, never married; Rebecca is a divorced interior decorator. Each of the women is at a crossroads and they quickly form a bond.

The trio decide to combine their talents to restore a crumbling pile in Cornwall and turn it into a cookery school and spa. The project brings its own conflicts, both professional and personal. The novel's themes touch on the sustaining power of female friendship and how a woman copes with mid life and onwards.

Prue's narrative voice is warm, witty, wise, very accessible. Her characters are sympathetic and engaging: very different women but each with demons to face as she gets older and confronts a future without - perhaps - a man in it. Her knowledge of food and business adds detail and zest, enriching an already compelling tale.



She’s best known as a food writer, restaurateur and cook, but in Choral Society Prue Leith has whipped together all the ingredients to create a rattling good read.

If this novel was a meal, it would be a light, fluffy souffle.

For there are no deep hidden meanings here, just a well put-together morsel which will satisfy female readers of a certain age - and not a calorie in sight. ..........

..... The reader is taken on a hugely entertaining journey.
— Swindon Advertiser - January 2009 and Associated Press
Three women in their fifties - one widowed, one divorced, one never married - meet when they join a choir (a nude choir? No, I think that’s been done). Leith, the cookery writer, has a light hand with undemanding fiction. We’ve had chick-lit, and hen-lit. This could be called “bag-lit” - feelgood romance for the post-menopausal. And why not? Middle-aged women are the greatest buyers of new fiction, so we’re surely allowed to have a little fun. I particularly loved Rebecca, who “could not afford a real relationship with someone who could not improve her lifestyle” - but that doesn’t stop her frisking about with the choirmaster. Make a nice cup of tea and enjoy.
— The Times - February 2009
....Prue Leith’s subtle characterisations never sound a wrong note and her comfortably interwoven narratives make for a satifying and illuminating read.
— The Daily Telegraph - February 2009
....Prue Leith tackles this previously unexplored area with sympathy and gusto .... Post 40 and 50 there is, as this novel suggests, much to play for.
— The Daily Mail - February 2009
... Each character is shown not only through her own eyes but also from the other women’s viewpoints, giving a more rounded impression of each one’s strengths and inadequacies ... the novel is above all about the redemptive power of friendship .... there’s plenty of sex and shopping. Imagine Sophie Kinsella for grown-ups and you get the picture.
— The Daily Express - February 2009
Widowed, divorced and never been maried - three single women in their fiftes find friendship when they join a choir, then learn that love is not just for the young. All the right ingredients for a fulfilling read.
— Woman and Home - March 2009
....Choral Society is an uplifting tribute to female friendship
— Good Housekeeping - March 2009
....This is a very good read, written with feeling and sensitivity and an understanding of how true friendships can enrich us all.
— Cotswold Bookstore - March 2009