The Angry Women’s Choir

The Angry Women’s Choir by Meg Bignell, Can be read in a few days depending on your speed, Adult Fiction

(Last of the Aussie April reads!)

As an older millennial who has lived through more than her fair share of “one in a generation” events, I’ve been intrigued by some of the books coming out by authors my age who are channeling their own frustration and rage into their books. The Angry Women’s Choir embraces the coming of range genre with gusto.

As evident by the title, this book is about a women’s choir—the West Moonah Women’s Choir to be exact—who gather together to sing and share their anger. Freycinet Barnes joins the choir after accidentally being run over by two of the choir’s members (really) and discovering that her husband is cheating on her and suddenly needing an outlet for her pent-up rage. Like many women of a certain again, Freycinet is frustrated at the state of her life, state of her marriage, and state of her relationship with her kids. Through the choir, she not only finds her voice, but she also finds ways to bring a pre-marriage version of herself that she buried but still desires.

This was another fantastic read from April. The reach of the choir and their movement felt a little unbelievable to me, but the characters and their stories more than make up for it. As this book is told through multiple POVs, we get to hear from more than just Freycinet. While she is the main voice we hear, each of the choir members and Freycinet’s daughter get to their parts of the story.

And because of the various voices, we delve into a plethora of topics, including preparing ones family for their early death; eat disorder; perfectionism; lost identities; depression; and, most importantly, anger. Considering how often women are chided for being angry or “emotional,” I loved that this book just embraced the emotion. The stories are beautifully told, but fair warning that one character’s story in particular might have you reaching for a box of tissues. 

(P.S. Like Love and Other Puzzles, while this is technically an adult book, I think older teens will enjoy it, too.)

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