Books·Canadian

The Evening Chorus

Helen Humphreys novel, set during the Second World War, was published in 2015.

Helen Humphreys

Resigned to living out the Second World War in a German POW camp, James Hunter, an English officer, begins studying a pair of redstarts near the camp. His interest in the birds captures the attention of the Kommandant and gives James cause to fear for his life. Meanwhile, back in England, James's young wife, Rose, falls headlong into a passionate affair with another man. When James's sister, Enid, is bombed out of her London flat, she comes to stay with Rose, and the two women form a surprising friendship that alters the course of both of their lives.

With wonderfully developed characters, exquisitely shaped by and reflected in the natural world, The Evening Chorus is a brilliant, beautiful evocation of place and a natural history of both the war and the human heart. (From HarperCollins)

From the book

James Hunter was captured in the winter of 1940. When the season turns and spring has started to show itself, James comes down to the river at every opportunity. He stops bashing the circuit when he realizes that he has spent weeks walking the perimeter of the camp and the ground is now as grooved as a furrow from a succession of footsteps endlessly tamping down the earth. Now, in the evenings before the prisoners are locked in their barracks for the night, James comes instead to the fence near the river and stands under one of the three trees on the bank, watching the water roll slowly downstream, towards the town that he knows is there but will probably never see.


From The Evening Chorus by Helen Humphreys ©2015. Published by HarperCollins.

now