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A young woman arrives at the grand ancestral home of her husband’s family, hoping to fortify her cracking marriage. But what she finds is not what she expected: tragedy haunts the hallways, whispering of heartache and a past she never knew existed.

  Incorporating vivid details from the rich history of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Bethlehem is a multi-generational saga about the lives and fortunes of two intertwined families and the secrets that they buried during the gilded, glory days of Bethlehem. It is at once a mystery, a love story, a tragedy, and a nod to the epochal juggernaut of industry that was Bethlehem Steel in its heyday. It is a story of temptation and regret, but most of all, it is a story of forgiveness.
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Author bio



Karen Kelly has a BA in English from Vanderbilt University,
and lives in Edina, Minnesota.

A stirring tale of the strength women conjure and the secrets they cling to when youthful joys fade and heartache takes hold. Set against the backdrop of the Pennsylvania steel industry in the 1920’s and 1960’s, BETHLEHEM explores how far mothers will go to protect their families, and how far wives can be pressed before they push back. With passion and insight, Kelly has crafted a deeply moving story of empathy and forgiveness.

Lynda Cohen Loigman,

author of the Goodreads Choice Finalist
The Two-Family House and The Wartime Sisters

BETHLEHEM has stories to tell, and even those stories carefully hidden generations ago eventually resurface. Mystery, first love, and long-held secrets fold together in this atmospheric tale of a family coming to a long overdue reckoning… and finding a way to rise from the aftermath.

Lisa Wingate,

New York Times bestselling author of

Before We Were Yours

BETHLEHEM is a slow burn of a novel, starting out with simple tales and quiet details that build to a rich and touching and moving tale. Generations of family secrets come unburied in the course of this novel, in ways that show how large the heart can be, and how healing the truth can be. The prose is vivid, the characters crackle with life, and the story of these two families will capture you. I read the last fifty pages with a continuous lump in my throat.

Stephen P. Kiernan,

author of The Baker’s Secret and The Curiosity


Contact Karen Kelly

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