Thursday, October 21, 2021

When the Nightingale Sings
by Suzanne Kelman

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 446
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  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…


Kritters Thoughts:  In 1937, a young woman, Judy Morgan, graduates from university and while she earned a degree, she wasn't granted one at that time.  Through a happenstance moment, she ends up meeting Hedy Kiesler who also has an interest in innovation and science and a lifetime friendship begins.  While both women go separate ways, they will keep in contact and come in and out of each other's lives, all while World War II begins and makes an impact on each of them. 

With each women getting the chance to tell their side of the friendship and story, Judy and Hedy are two women trying to make a name for themselves while men were writing the narratives.  Judy was trying to work in science and innovation while her boss barely acknowledged her.  Hedy made her way over to America and reinvented herself as Hedy Lamarr and while she dabbled on the side in science and innovation she became quite the actress.  I loved reading the back and forth of these women and how the events of the time affected them each in different ways.  

While yes, another book that takes place during World War II - this one was so different as it didn't go near the persecution of the Jewish population or even really close to the Nazi regime and their happenings.  This book remained in England and California and while it was going on in the background, this book was more about the women and how they were contributing to the war efforts in their own ways.  

A book to read alongside this one is Marie Benedict's The Only Woman in the Room.  I would say you can read both of them, as they are very different accounts of this one woman's life.   


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 130 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Bookouture.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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