Whistling Women by Kelly Romo

Whistling Women by Kelly Romo
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Historical, Women’s Fiction
Length: Full Length (447 pgs)
Rating: 3 stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

Life went terribly wrong for Addie Bates in San Diego, and she’s been running from dark memories ever since. For fifteen years, the Sleepy Valley Nudist Colony has provided a safe haven for Addie to hide from the crime she committed. But when the residents pack up to go on exhibit at the 1935 world’s fair in San Diego, Addie returns and must face the thrilling yet terrifying prospect of reuniting with her estranged sister, Wavey.

Addie isn’t the only one interested in a reunion. When her niece, Rumor, discovers she has an aunt, Rumor is determined to bring her family together. But it’s not so easy when the women are forced to confront family secrets, past and present.

Set against the backdrop of the 1935 world’s fair, Whistling Women explores the complex relationships between sisters, the sacrifices required to protect family, and the devastating consequences of a single impulsive act.

This book wasn’t anything I expected and it’s a good and bad thing.

You might be wondering. Why would I start a review with the above sentence? When I opened Whistling Women by Kelly Romo, I had sort of an idea what I was getting into–there are sisters, there’s strife and an interesting story of how they might get back together as a family. As far as that goes, I wasn’t steered wrong. The story has its interesting parts and characters that kept my attention. I liked Rumor. She’s spunky and forthright. I rooted for her.

That said, there were parts that, well, dragged for me. I’m not knocking Kelly Romo’s writing style. She’s written a vivid story and paints an interesting picture of 1930’s California. I even liked the quirkiness of Addie. But the story definitely dragged for the first half of the book. I struggled, even though I wanted to keep going in order to reach the pay off. That’s not to say this was a bad book. It wasn’t. There’s a lot of potential to the book and with a little more editing, it can be great.

What was the thing I totally didn’t expect in the book? The nudist colony. I won’t elaborate so I don’t ruin the story for you, but it wasn’t where I thought the story would go. It’s definitely quirky.

If you want a book that’s heavy on heart and a little different, then this might be the book for you.

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