The start of World War II looms over three friends who struggle to remain loyal as one of them is threatened with internment by the British government, from the author of the “sweeping, stirring” (Kristin Harmel, internationally bestselling author of The Room on Rue Amélie) The Light Over London.
In August of 1939, as Britain watches the headlines in fear of another devastating war with Germany, three childhood friends must choose between friendship or country. Erstwhile socialite Nora is determined to find her place in the Home Office’s Air Raid Precautions Department, matchmaker Hazel tries to mask two closely guarded secrets with irrepressible optimism, and German expat Marie worries that she and her family might face imprisonment in an internment camp if war is declared. When Germany invades Poland and tensions on the home front rise, Marie is labeled an enemy alien, and the three friends find themselves fighting together to keep her free at any cost.
Featuring Julia Kelly’s signature “intricate, tender, and convincing” (Publishers Weekly) prose, The Whispers of War is a moving and unforgettable tale of the power of friendship and womanhood in the midst of conflict.
About the Author
Julia Kelly is the award–winning author of books about ordinary women and their extraordinary stories. In addition to writing, she’s been an Emmy–nominated producer, journalist, marketing professional, and (for one summer) a tea waitress. Julia called Los Angeles, Iowa, and New York City home before settling in London. Readers can visit JuliaKellyWrites.com to learn more about all of her books and sign up for her newsletter so they never miss a new release.
Praise for The Whispers of War
"Julia Kelly’s story about the bonds of female friendship threatened by senseless government policies is timeless and moving, and her trio of heroines had my heart from the start. A gripping tale by a writer at the top of her game."
— Fiona Davis, nationally bestselling author of The Chelsea Girls
"A story of exquisite tenderness, The Whispers of War beautifully captures just how precious female friendship can be, and shines a light onto an important but less well-known aspect of war. Add to that rich historical detail and a cast of engaging characters and you have a must-read for all historical fiction fans.”
— Natasha Lester, USA Today bestselling author of The Paris Seamstress
"The Whispers of War is a beautifully told story, and a timely reminder that history works in chillingly familiar patterns. Julia Kelly writes gripping, moving historic fiction that’s not to be missed."
— Kelly Rimmer, USA Today bestselling author of The Things We Cannot Say
"This book was refreshing in a sea of much WWII fiction. At its heart, it is the story of friendship. In this case, three women who became each other's family and whose devotion is tested in a world changing through war and new roles for women. Heartwarming and compelling, it lifts the reader to a place of beauty and joy even as the shadows of impending war threaten to shatter life as they know it. New love, family secrets, and national loyalties shape the friendships. Though WWII fiction is a regular genre of mine, I felt that The Whispers of War elevated the human story of it in ways that felt brand new. And - as I always love to learn through historical fiction - I was pleased (and horrified) to learn about the extensiveness of internments and the darkness that fear and propaganda can harbor. Kelly touched on themes that are found throughout history, giving it a human face."
— Camille Di Maio, bestselling author of The Beautiful Strangers
"Kelly skillfully balances narratives from all three friends' perspectives…Women's friendship overcomes the villainy of war in this engaging historical fiction."
— Kirkus Reviews
"Kelly’s latest outing movingly depicts the importance of female friendship in wartime... Rich with historical detail and anchored by an utterly convincing friendship at its heart, this should find a wide audience among historical-fiction fans, book clubs, and readers who enjoy stories of the important roles women play in one another’s lives.”
Praise for The Light Over London
"Sweeping, stirring, and heartrending in all the best ways, this tale of one of WWII's courageous, colorful, and enigmatic Gunner Girls will take your breath away."
— —Kristin Harmel, International bestselling author of The Room on Rue Amelie and The Sweetness of Forgetting
“Deftly weaving together past and present, Kelly tells a fresh, heartfelt story of sisterhood and sacrifice, culminating in a gut-punch finish. Perfect for fans of The Alice Network.”
— –Michelle Gable, New York Times bestselling author of A Paris Apartment
"The Light over London is a poignant reminder that there is no limit to what women can do. A nostalgic, engrossing read."
— --Julia London, New York Times bestselling author of Seduced by a Scot
"Kelly weaves an intricate, tender, and convincing tale of war and romance with skill and suspense."
— --Publishers Weekly
“Kelly deftly balances intrigue with mystery and historical detail in her latest novel… A charming imagining of the historical gunner girls.”
— –Kirkus Reviews
“Kelly has crafted two convincing, conflicted heroines in Cara and Louise, and the resolution of Louise’s romance is satisfyingly empowering. Hand this to fans of Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach (2017) and other tales of the vital roles played by women in wartime.”
"Readers who adore a richly detailed period piece will be immediately drawn in by the world of The Light Over London. Julia Kelly has delivered her most elegant effort yet: a deeply rewarding and moving novel."
— --Apple Best of the Month
“A sweeping and beautifully written novel… an epic saga of love and friendship.”
— --Women's World
"Historical fiction fans won't be able to wait to get their hands on Julia Kelly's The Light Over London....fans should bookmark [it.]"
"Kelly doesn’t disappoint us–and readers will be engrossed in Louise’s story of love and war juxtaposed with Cara’s present discoveries...We root for both Louise and Cara, understanding their fears, hopes and chances."
“A heartbreaking romance that will grip you from the very beginning. Julia Kelly weaves a tender romantic story around a girl who fights war showing how strong even tender, romantic women can be. With a bit of mystery in the story, even mystery-readers will like it.”
— --The Washington Book Review