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Summary

1937, Europe and America. Based on a 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.   

When an impossibly shy young woman named Judy Morgan finishes her studies in Physics at Cambridge University, it is with dreams of changing the world for the better.   

Meanwhile, a beautiful, young Jewish woman decides to flee her beloved Austria, changing her name to Hedy Lamarr, and risking everything to get to America, as far away from the Nazi threat as possible.   

A powerful friendship is formed when the two women meet in pre-war London - with Judy’s passion for science a perfect match for Hedy’s brilliant talent for invention. So 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.   

As their lives repeatedly collide, in Cambridge, California, Pearl Harbor and beyond - throwing both their lives into danger and tragedy - Judy and Hedy both find themselves seeking ways to end the war.    

But neither of them will know that one of them is on a path of tragedy. A path that could change the outcome of the war, but also threaten their friendship forever....   

Fans of The Ragged Edge of Night, My Name is Eva and Beneath a Scarlet Sky, will love this unforgettable story about love, courage, and devastation set in World War Two Britain, Hollywood, and Pearl Harbor. Based on two true stories of amazing "hidden women" who changed the world, this novel shows the power of friendship in the darkest hours of history.  

©2021 Suzanne Kelman (P)2021 Bookouture, an imprint of Storyfire Ltd.

Critic reviews

“Fantastic…. [Kelman] has a knack for writing vividly detailed scenes that make the reader feel as if they are actually experiencing the event with the characters… This should be at the top of your reading list…. Impeccably researched, heartfelt and emotional (I needed tissues for the last few chapters). By far, one of my favorites of the year.” (Fireflies and Free Kicks Fiction Reviews)

What listeners say about When the Nightingale Sings

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Neither good or bad

The premise of the story might have been better if the movie star had not been real l found myself not believing its authenticity The character of Judy was fine but the friendship seemed fake and hard to believe It just seemed corny

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  • Cubbug
  • 06-03-22

A Sour Note

Shallow and trite this never gets to a level beyond soap opera drama of two women who face discrimination because they are women. It fails to develop the characters well or to tell the story in a way that is anything more than a superficial recap of history with a lot of name dropping for effect . I struggled mightily to finish hoping it would get better. It never did .

31 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-02-22

Disappointing

A book that tries to hold on to too many topics and everything comes out shallow. Too much inclination to a romantic novel, too much tedious and unnecessary details, too much sentimentality, and too little delving into the really interesting topics of the scientific work that is in the background of the story and its implications to the war. Also, the important and fascinating issue of the status of women in the 1940s who had to struggle for their place and their recognition, is described superficially. Narration is okay although it was better if Hedi Lammar's Austian accent was
more noticeable.

24 people found this helpful

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  • Cathy Quesada
  • 15-03-22

Disappointed

Don’t waste your credit or your time on this book. It was a huge disappointment. Mostly fluff story about two women with very different lives. Narration was also below average.

11 people found this helpful

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  • john
  • 21-03-22

Definitely a chick-book, but pretty good one.

If you miss the fact that women were/are underappreciated the first time it's mentioned, fear not! That theme will be spelled out on 46 of the book's pages. Still it's a good story.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Laura Maness
  • 07-03-22

Easy Listen

This was a nice easy listen. No concentration required. Very uplifting.
If you are looking for a historical fiction book geared towards wwII then keep looking.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Jasper Van Wyk
  • 29-10-21

Loved

Absolutely loved this book. Both female characters where well told and lead such interesting lives. Very well done.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Ada A Cachafeiro
  • 04-12-21

Love, faith, and loyalty.

The author's description of feeling and emotions is gripping; like the strikes on a flintstone until sparks burst out.

3 people found this helpful

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  • pam
  • 09-11-21

Great story

Wonderful story about deep emotion, and intense friendship and the struggles women have had make their name. Highly recommend it

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-03-22

Good listen

This book started out strong and then did a slow and thorough building of characters and of the story.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Tracy White
  • 15-12-21

Wonderful.

I greatly enjoyed this book. The narration was good and I loved the history. I recommend it highly.

1 person found this helpful