The Whispers of War

Written by Julia Kelly
Review by Helen Piper

Julia Kelly, author of The Light over London, offers up another fascinating insight into the lives of wartime women with The Whispers of War. Traveling back to 1939, through the eyes of three friends, Kelly creates a vivid picture of the fearful anticipation permeating London prior to war. The three friends Nora (a socialite), Hazel (a matchmaker), and Marie (a German expat) gather at the Harlan’s Women’s Club for their monthly dinner to get a respite from their complicated lives. But world politics and the German invasion of Poland complicate matters even more for the trio, especially for Marie. When she is labelled an enemy alien, her friends try to help her to remain free, an endeavor that could endanger them all.

The Whispers of War is a gripping story of female friendships and resilience. It touches on emotional themes within the war and internment in WWII Britain, a sensitive topic to this day. Kelly made me care for all the characters, and the plot kept me up into the small hours. This novel is a fascinating account of three different women’s fates during the war and their astounding mettle. The plot is evenly paced, but the characterization is the main strength of the book. I warmly recommend this read.