For today’s book I chose an historical work of fiction, La’s Orchestra Saves the World by Alexander McCall Smith.

I really enjoy reading historical fiction. This is especially true of World War II. Some of my favorite  books have used different parts of the War as their backgrounds. To me, it is a wonderful way to learn about things that happened from a personal point of view.  If you tell me that 300 people were killed in a bombing, I am sad. If you tell me that Jane Doe, the woman whose story I know intimately, was killed in that bombing, I cry. We, as humans, have a hard time connecting with numbers and large ideas sometimes. It is too easy to de-personalize the tragedy. When you read specific stories about how individual lives are torn apart by tragedy… THAT we can relate to.

I believe the term is Empathy. I can put myself in the character’s metaphorical shoes and imagine that my husband, daughter, home, country is going through what the character is going through.

Here is an official book description of La’s Orchestra:

“When Lavender, La to her friends, moves to the Suffolk countryside, it’s not just to escape the London Blitz but also to flee the wreckage of a disastrous marriage. But as she starts to become a part of the community, she detects a sense of isolation.  Her deep love of music and her desire to bring people together inspire her to start an orchestra.  Little did she know that through this orchestra she would not only give hope and courage to the people of the community, but also that she would meet a man, Feliks, a shy upright Pole, who would change her life forever.”

Rule #69- Read a book that takes place in a different time and place than you are familiar with. You might learn something!