Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Whispers of War” as Want to Read:
The Whispers of War
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Whispers of War

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  645 ratings  ·  260 reviews
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
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Gallery Books
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Whispers of War, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Julia Kelly I think you'll find a lot that's new to love about The Whispers of War because it's definitely it's own story. However, as an author I really enjoyed…moreI think you'll find a lot that's new to love about The Whispers of War because it's definitely it's own story. However, as an author I really enjoyed revisiting the setting of World War II London. That means there are elements of the book's world that should feel familiar to readers of The Light Over London. Also, one of the big themes that I always like to explore in all of my books is how female friendship endures even when it's challenged—in part because my own friendships are such an important part of my life. I think you'll love seeing Marie, Hazel, and Nora pull together as they're tested in the early days of World War II.

And I certainly hope your book club will enjoy it, Janet!(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  645 ratings  ·  260 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Whispers of War
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)

Historical fiction is my favorite genre so when I saw that this book discussed internment camps in England during WWII I was very interested. I have read extensively about internment camps in the United States but didn’t know that they existed in England.

The story takes place in the present and past. In the present we meet Samantha who has come to England from Chicago to meet her grandmother’s great friend Nora. In her grandmother’s will she specifically asked that Samantha
Dec 18, 2019 rated it liked it
The title explains the book; it is quite literally chatter about the war. There is a lot of dialogue and conversation among the three friends about war coming. There is nothing militaristic except a few mentions of a blackout, and the details of the Jews suffering is negated. The synopsis mentions internment camps. But again the internment camps is only chatter among the friends and it never goes beyond their conversation.

The plot itself transpires around the social transformations during 1939
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley, kindle
Thanks to Netgalley and Simon&Shuster Canada for an egalley in exchange for an honest review.

After enjoying The Light Over London in 2019, I knew that I couldn't wait to get my hands on Julia Kelly's latest. In this dual historical timeline, Samantha journeys from Chicago to England to visit Nora, an old friend of her recently deceased grandmother, Marie. With a memorial in the making, Samantha wants to learn about grandmother Marie's life during WWII. Nora, with the assistance of her
This was a pretty easy and straight forward read for me. I read, Julia Kelly's last novel, "The Light Over London" and enjoyed it very much. This one had a nice and interesting premise but fell a little flat for me.

I liked that there were 3 strong women in the story. Their friendship was honest and true. The story had a dual timeline with past and present. In the present Samantha's Grandmother has died and she needs to travel back to England to give back a box to her Grandmother's friend. Once
Sep 03, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading this novel was both enjoyable and educational. The story of three devoted friends in WWII London and their trials and hardships during those turbulent years. Marie, Nora and Hazel are faced with the issues of being women during a time when women were considered inferior and incompetent.

Coupled with this was the extraordinary way in which German aliens were treated during the war. I had no idea that England had internment camps, similar to Japanese internment camps here in America. The
The Whispers of War is a breath of fresh air into the WWII historical fiction genre. The story doesn't focus so much on the actual war but rather on a friendship between three very different women. Julia Kelly had me hooked from page one!
Sue Seligman
Jan 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This historical novel set during World War II in London is my second book of 2020, and all I can say is Wow! Luckily I started reading this on the weekend, and I finished it in two days! This is the type of book which called to me when life interrupted my reading time, and I couldn’t wait to return to London, 1940, and the challenges faced by Hazel, Nora, Marie, and Samantha. Now I am suffering from a book hangover...trying to decide which book is next on the agenda.
But back to the novel. The
This novel takes place beginning in 1939, right before England and Germany were at war. Marie, a young woman, had been sent by her parents many years previous to England from Germany to get an education. Her best friends, Nora and Hazel, were her roommates and, after school, her best friends living in London. In 1939, all German immigrants were assigned a threat assessment letter. Marie, of course, was included. The bulk of the story begins there.

I had a little trouble in the first few chapters
Sydney Long
Oct 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-reads
Wow! I’m speechless as to how amazing this book is!

Upon the death of her grandmother, Marie...Samantha is given not only the task of presenting her eulogy but returning a precious keepsake to one of her grandmothers oldest and best friends. As with many people who were affected by World War 2, Marie kept much of it from her family. She would occasionally tell Samantha to ask her about the war sometime but life always prevented Samantha from doing that, a major regret when it became too late.

Camille Maio
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was very pleased when I won a copy of Julia Kelly's "The Whispers of War." I knew that Kelly's previous book was well received and I thought this one looked like it would be a winner, too.

It is the story of three young women in London at the start of WWII. Friends since school days, Marie is a German girl who was sent by her parents to live with her aunt and uncle, Nora is the daughter of a socialite and Hazel is the result of an unfortunate misalliance.

When the British authorities
Genevieve Graham
I'll admit, I never really thought too much about the internment camps in Great Britain and Europe during WW2. I know, of course, about the ones up in Canada which imprisoned tens of thousands of people of many different nationalities. This book takes place in London, and it is a fascinating look inside that tumultuous period of history, told through the perspectives of three friends, one of whom is German. I loved the present day timeline that framed the book, because while the granddaughter of ...more
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It’s 1939 in Britain as the war with Germany appears a certainty. While set during the start of WWII, this is less a book about the war than a story about friendship. I’ve read the most gut-wrenching books from this era. The Whispers of War is not one of those. It doesn’t delve into the horrors of war but focuses on its impact on three young women who met in school. Marie is German born and the likelihood that she will be forced to go to an internment camp grows each day. Nora and Hazel must ...more
RoseMary Achey
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Julia Kelly has given historical fiction lovers another glimpse of life during World War II. At the core of this novel are three friends who will do anything for each other. When one of the three, a German born woman living in London faces the threat of internment-the bonds of their relationship are revealed.
Natasha Lester
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.
This review is also available on my blog: Wine Cellar Library

I own every book that Julia Kelly has ever published, including those she has published under the name Julia Blake. I am very excited to have been added to Julia's ARC team!

The Whispers of War is a World War II historical fiction novel that examines the impact of the war on a group rarely discussed in history: German immigrants living in Allied nations. As Germany was the aggressor in the conflict and responsible for heinous crimes
Guylou (Two Dogs and a Book)
The Whispers of War

This is the story of three modern young women during WWII in England. They became friends in their teens while attending a boarding school for girls. Their friendship was immediate, and they bonded as sisters. They are willing to do anything to one another. Marie is German by birth but lived most of her life in England. When WWII starts, she faces the risk of being sent to an internment camp. Her friends, Nora and Hazel, will not let her down and will do all they can to keep her safe; even if it
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great WWII historic novel! Gripping, a historical novel not to miss!
Jan 16, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: review-copies
This was my very first Julia Kelly book. I've had The Light Over London sitting on my shelf for far too long so hope to pick it up soon!

I enjoyed The Whispers Of War. The story alternates between the present, Samantha - who is meeting her grandmother's best friend Nora and the past, best friends Nora, Marie & Hazel. The strength of these friendships (family really!) was truly inspiring and I loved how well the author described and really gave the reader a clear vision into who these women
Dec 20, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love historical fiction but unfortunately, this one just didn’t “wow” me. It was a little too surface for my preference, I wanted a little more depth. I didn’t connect with the characters or the storyline. It was an ok read but it left me skimming passages and didn’t grab my attention. This made a nice palate cleanser, it was a light and quick read. I prefer more out of historical fiction but a nice read if you are looking for something lighter. Thank you to the publisher for the advance copy ...more
Jan 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was such a great read. Samantha, in the present day, is told the story of what happened to her grandmother and her two friends during the Second World War. The focus of the story is about the strong friendship of Nora, Hazel and Marie. Also, because Marie was a German, there was also the threat of internment and their fear was palpable. The story also touched on how women were regarded in the workplace. Even though their ideas for improvement were good, they were disregarded and not taken ...more
Nov 20, 2019 rated it liked it

This was a nice enjoyable book. It is the story of three young women - Nora, Marie, and Hazel - living in England during WWII. They have been friends ever since rooming together during boarding school. We come to learn of their lives and loves through Marie’s granddaughter Samantha who, in the present day, is writing her grandmother’s eulogy after her recent passing at the age of 103.

All three women are strong and independent. They have careers and are involved in various
Jan 29, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: world-war-ii
First, I must say that this is the first review that I have ever written on Goodreads, but I was so angry when I finished this book well, here I am. I will begin by saying that I enjoyed this book very much. Although I was well aware that the United States forced Japanese Americans into internment camps during WWII, I was not aware that England also forced people of German and Italian decent into internment camps. The book was well written and highly readable. I usually do not read author's ...more
Linda Zagon
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Lindas Book Obsession Review "The Whispers of War" by Julia Kelly, Gallery Books, January 2020

Julia Kelly, Author of "The Whispers of War has written a captivating and intense Historical Fiction novel. The Genres for this novel are Historical Fiction and Romance. The timeline for this story is set around 1939 when it looks like England will be entering a war with Germany. The story goes to the past, or future when it pertains to the characters or events. The author describes her characters as
Alex Mason
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Whispers of War, a novel told from the perspectives of 3 friends navigating their way through World War II in Britain. This story is also partially told from the perspective of one of their Granddaughters, as she learns the history and suffering her Grandmother faced while being a German living in Britain during the war. Marie's Granddaughter, Samantha, becomes executor of her estate, and is sent on a life changing trip to England, where she meets Nora, one of her Grandmother's closest ...more
Christine Mott
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgallery
Thank you NetGalley, Gallery Books and Julia Kelly for an advanced copy. I truly am inspired with each new book by Julia Kelly. She always draws you in with the main characters and I feel like I am right there in the moment experiencing what they are. The main characters are three best friends who meet during school. They have a bond at a very young age. As Britain starts to feel the affects of World War II, the friends find themselves in unique situations as they try to protect one of them
Alexis Humphreys
I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley. All opinions expressed are my own.

There's a lot to like about this book. The story centers around the friendship between three (Marie, Hazel, Nora) very different women during WWII. I loved reading about three strong, smart women navigating the challenges of life and wartime.

The book also features a dual timeline. The second timeline follows Marie's granddaughter Samantha as she learns about her grandmother's life in London during the war.
Kara Hansen
3.5 stars. I received this book from Netgalley and Gallery Books in exchange for an honest review. This story begins in present day time when we meet Samantha Morris, who has arrived in London, England to meet with her late grandmother's best friend, Nora, from the early days of WWII. Nora is a spry 103 year old woman who wants to share with Samantha stories of Marie, her grandmother. By the time I finished this book, I really felt that the present day portion could have been omitted completely. ...more
The Whispers of War is a dual timeline story that examines the daily struggles of three friends during WWII. The bond of friendship is quite moving; each very different woman sacrificing their identities to preserve the ties that bind.

In a time of war, sides are divided. The Aliens Restriction Act is looming in the minds of England's citizens. Public opinion is highly in favor of securing her borders. Reminiscent of today's illegal citizen issues, I found this portion of a gripping wartime tale
Nov 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-read-2019
Wow! This book was so good! I thought the story of the three friends interesting and hard to put down. Loved the story and definitely recommend. Thanks to Netgalley for the early copy
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Light After the War
  • The Words I Never Wrote
  • All the Ways We Said Goodbye
  • Cartier's Hope
  • Lady Clementine
  • The Vineyards of Champagne
  • The Forgotten Home Child
  • The Secret Messenger
  • The Queen's Fortune: A Novel of Desiree, Napoleon, and the Dynasty That Outlasted the Empire
  • The Girls with No Names
  • Big Lies in a Small Town
  • Westering Women
  • Mercy Road
  • A Hundred Suns
  • Paris Never Leaves You
  • בית על מים רבים
  • Behind Every Lie
  • Dear Edward
See similar books…
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 to learn more about all of her books and ...more