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The Spies of Shilling Lane

A Novel
Narrated by: Jayne Entwistle
Length: 11 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (74 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

From the best-selling author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir comes a thrilling new WWII story about a village busybody - the mighty Mrs. Braithwaite - who resolves to find, and then rescue, her missing daughter.

Mrs. Braithwaite, self-appointed queen of her English village, finds herself dethroned, despised, and dismissed following her husband’s selfish divorce petition. Never deterred, the threat of a family secret being revealed sets off hot-foot to London to find the only person she has left - her clever daughter, Betty, who took work there at the first rumbles of war. 

But when she arrives, Betty’s landlord, the timid Mr. Norris, informs her that Betty hasn’t been home in days - with the chaos of the bombs, there’s no telling what might have befallen her. Aghast, Mrs. Braithwaite sets her bullish determination to the task of finding her only daughter. 

Storming into the London Blitz, Mrs. Braithwaite drags the reluctant Mr. Norris along as an unwitting sidekick as they piece together Betty’s unexpectedly chaotic life. As she is thrown into the midst of danger and death, Mrs. Braithwaite is forced to rethink her old-fashioned notions of status, class, and reputation, and to reconsider the question that’s been puzzling her since her world overturned: How do you measure the success of your life? 

Listeners will be charmed by the unforgettable Mrs. Braithwaite and her plucky, ruthless optimism and find in The Spies of Shilling Lane a novel with surprising twists and turns, quiet humor, and a poignant examination of mothers and daughters and the secrets we keep.

©2019 Jennifer Ryan (P)2019 Random House Audio

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Loved It!!

So different from the typical murder mystery child being kidnapped, husband & wife issues. This book was so delightful. Beautiful narration. I didn’t want to stop listening. Bravo Jennifer Ryan and Jayne Entwistle!!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

Slapstick + sentiment do not mix

I'm not sure whether the author intended this story to have moments of slapstick, but that's how it seemed to me. Then there are the scenes of sentiment of regret for choices made, or not, and the mending of fractured familial relationships, all set against the backdrop of WWII. Frankly it just didn't work for me. Most glaringly, the characters made drastic behavior changes that were completely unrealistic. Very disappointing.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wonderful book.

one of the best books I have read in a long time.
It was funny, exciting, and maybe a little to sentimental at the end. But thoroughly enjoyable.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

The Spurs of Shilling Lane

Excellent book, outstanding research and writing accompanied by great naration. Ending is a bit contrived but pleasing and does not diminish the incredible writing skills of Jennifer Ryan.