I am delighted to be today’s stop on the blog tour for; When the Nightingale Sings by Suzanne Kelman. I am excited to be sharing my review of this highly emotional book with you all. Firstly, thank you to Sarah at Bookouture for the invite to this tour.
About the Book
When the Nightingale Sings by Suzanne Kelman.
Genre: Historical Fiction.
Based on an amazing true story, this powerful novel about wartime courage and extraordinary friendship, tells how two women changed the fate of the Second World War and the course of history.
1937, England: When an impossibly shy young woman named Judy Morgan finishes her studies at Cambridge University, she dreams of becoming a scientist, and changing the world for the better.
Meanwhile, a beautiful, young Jewish actress named Hedy Kiesler decides to flee her beloved Austria. The two women meet in London and—as they discover a shared passion for invention—an instant friendship is forged. But no sooner than it is, Hedy risks everything to get across the Atlantic to America, as far away from the Nazi threat as possible, hoping wildly to find fame and fortune, as well as safety.
Letters fly across the ocean between the two women, as they both find themselves falling in love with men who will change their futures forever, whilst trying to find the strength to make their voices heard, and their ideas come alive. But when the world is gripped by a war that nobody could have imagined in their worst nightmares, both Hedy and Judy know they must act now.
Then Judy experiences an impossibly cruel loss. Devastated by grief, and fueled by a fire of rage against the Nazis and their allies, she finds herself on the darkest of paths. As bombs rain down from Europe to the Far East, Pearl Harbor and beyond, Judy’s fate collides once more with Hedy’s. Because Judy holds a secret that could destroy not only their friendship but threaten the fate of the world forever…
When the Nightingale Sings is an emotional story of love and loss and a lifelong friendship!
The story open’s in the 1990s where Judy is about to receive an honour for all her work in the scientific field, at first glance you get a sense and guilt from Judy. She sent a letter to her old friend, a friend who had been by her side through the hardest of times, inviting her to the ceremony but with a hint of something which occurred in their shared past Judy is distraught her good friend Hedy won’t be there.
We are soon swept back to 1937, Judy is a shy young girl who has dreams of going to university and studying science. In Austria, the incredibly beautiful Hedy has to flee her home and her life an act of absolute courage not before long these two young women who are so different meet and their friendship lasts a lifetime. The whole theme running through both women’s stories is that of wanting to change the world and these two young women do just that.
I love that letters between the two women are woven throughout the book, which gives an insight into their emotions and what is going on at specific times during their lives. They put their hearts into their words, it was their letters that I loved the most.
The two women at the centre of the story are strong and detained, despite the horrors of what they have to live through and what happened, I won’t go too much into the circumstances surrounding why Hedy and Judy lost touch and why Judy feels guilt and wants nothing more than forgiveness, that is the real centre point of the plot and what these two amazing women were working on throughout the war.
As to be expected from a WW2 historical at times it pulls at the heart-strings, it’s hard-hitting at times especially the events it covers (again I won’t go it detail) but away from the brutality of war and its after-effects on a person, this book is all about the power of friendship and how a friendship can last a lifetime no matter how far apart those friends drift.
What people may not know is that one o the women are an actual person from history, I had heard of Hedy Lamaar before reading this, she was an incredibly inspiring woman. Not only was she one of the most beautiful women of her time, a world-renown actress but she was highly intelligent and an inventor too and if it wasn’t for her we may not have the likes of WiFi. She was a woman whose name isn’t known as much as it should be and this book gives Hedy and all those women who were forgotten in history a voice to which makes people stand up and listen.
Despite having a couple of Suzanne Kelman’s back titles sitting on my kindle, this is the first I have read by her and I feel that I have missed out on something where this fine author is concerned. What an incredible writer she is, I love her fast-paced, compelling and richly descriptive writing, I was hooked from page one and instantly invested in the lives of Judy and Hedy.
When the Nightingale Sings is a stunningly moving and poignant story of a true friendship forged through the fires of adversity.
About the Author
Suzanne Kelman is a 2015 Academy of Motion Pictures Nicholl Finalist, Multi-Award-Winning Screenwriter and a Film Producer. As well as working in film she is also an International Amazon Bestselling Fiction Author of the Southlea Bay Series – The Rejected Writers’ Book Club, Rejected Writers Take the Stage and The Rejected Writers’ Christmas Wedding. Born in the United Kingdom, she now resides in Washington State.