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The Whispers of War

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  2,828 ratings  ·  572 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 de
Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Published January 14th 2020 by Gallery Books
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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)
Mary Barker Yes, Julia Kelly writes excellent books that you could confidently share with your kids, Mom or anyone. Enjoy your books.
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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 d
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: kindle, netgalley
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 grands
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 s
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! ...more
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 f
Mel (Epic Reading)
It’ll never cease amaze me how many unique, important and touching stories there are to tell in history. Particularly those stories of women in WWII strike me hardest. Their bravery, determination, and pride were second to none as most volunteered to help in any way possible before conscription happened in Britain.
The Whispers of War surprised me as it's not as sad as most WWII stories are. Julia Kelly brings us a touching, moving and brilliant story of the bonds of friendship and love.

Sarah B
I've read lots of novels that dealt with WW2 over the years but none of them had gripped me like this one had. I was totally hooked and I literally stayed up late into the night, reading, until my eyes were growing weary. And even then I really didn't want to put it down but I had to as I was too sleepy to read any more due to the late hour. And I hadn't expected this at all. The thing is this story was actually interesting! And I found myself caught up in the lives of the three young women livi ...more
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
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 ma
Kris - My Novelesque Life
2020; Gallery Books/Simon & Schuster Canada

I really enjoyed Kelly's previous novel, The Light Over London. It was a novel that focused on the characters during WWII, than the war itself. I liked that there was romance but it was more about Louise's journey on being a Gunner Girl. I had said in my review that it wasn't the "epic WWII" novel like Lilac Girls, but still a great read. The Whispers of War is also more about the human side of war. Marie, Nora and Hazel have been friends
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.

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 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 threate
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 re ...more
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 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 fin ...more
ⓐⓥⓡⓔⓔ ☞ The Bookish Blonde
What a beautiful story! I just love these ladies!
I can’t remember the last time I had to grab a tissue while reading a book🤧 (I think Me Before You?) 🤔
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.
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 aga
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 were.
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.
Jan 26, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great WWII historic novel! Gripping, a historical novel not to miss!
Mar 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2020
Pretty good historical fiction, certainly read worse, I really like the characters and the story, don't care much for romance but this book was graceful? about it. Would reread and would love to own. ...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 roma
Barb in Maryland
A solid read--the prose was good, the research was solid, the three main characters came across as real people.
I liked our three young women; I applaud the author for finding an unusual hook for the story. I thought the current-day part totally unnecessary.
Do I regret the time spent reading the book?--absolutely not. Will I pick up another by this author?--We'll see...
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 s ...more
karen wescott
Always a new spin on WW2. I learned that the British also had internment camps for people who were German born.
Allison Keith
The distrust of immigrants that arose in society at the outset of WWII and the injustices that grew out of that suspicion serves as the backdrop of this lovely tale. Three women find their bond tested and strengthened as one of them is threatened by the prospect of being sent to a German internment camp. I loved getting to know each of the three friends through their own chapters, and all are presented as strong, well-rounded women with individual voices. The bonds of female friendship and the s ...more
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Julia Kelly is the international bestselling author of sweeping WWII novels about ordinary women and their extraordinary stories told from the British Home Front. 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 J ...more

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