Monday, March 23, 2020

Review: The Whispers of War by Julia Kelly

The Whispers of War 
by Julia Kelly
Release Date: January 14th 2020
2020 Gallery Books
Kindle Edition; 336 Pages
ISBN: 978-1982107796
Genre: Fiction / Historical / WWII
Source: Review copy from publisher

3 / 5 Stars

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.

My Thoughts
The Whispers of War was very well-written and if you enjoy lighter versions of events around the beginning of WWII, then this one may be perfect for you.   For me however, I had been intrigued by the mention of German internment camps mentioned in the description and wanted to learn more about them, but was considerably disappointment when I learned they were only described in passing as places and none of the settings were actually there.  What you get instead is some mention of blackout curtains, how the Germans lost their jobs in droves, the classification system of Germans living in England, and the plight of women trying to become more independent.  While the was interesting, it was not what I was looking forward to reading.

First of all, I do want to start with the Prologue as I found it completely unnecessary to the story.  Typically, these add mystery and suspense, but for the life of me, I couldn't figure out why it was included, except to add a bit of romance to a story that didn't really need it?  Can someone please enlighten me as to why every story needs a romance in order to be thought good?  It's why I couldn't stand Lost Girls of Paris.  

The title is actually a good one as it sort of represents what the book was about, talk about the war, and no real mean and bones in between all the 'whispers'. It's not that it wasn't entertaining, it was, but I wanted there to be more and I feel like the author downplayed the fear that was experienced by the Germans and other groups living in England during this time period, especially when war was declared and the people started being rounded up.  I also don't think the story needed to be divided up into three sections; the whole thing could have been written from Marie's perspective and that would have been fine.  In fact, Hazel's section was a bit boring.  Filler, really.  Don't get me wrong, the women had interesting lives and I enjoyed reading about them, but that still doesn't change my opinion about the POV. 

The Whispers of War is one of those books that I would recommend to those who are just venturing into reading this genre. The author's writing style is fabulous, as always, just light on action and events, especially during this time period.  Again, for people who do not like to delve into the horrors of the war, this would be perfect, but for me, I felt like it was way too light for what was really happening.  I wanted the guts.