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Praise for


Read more reviews for this book at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

“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 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

“BETHLEHEM is an extremely deft…novel about the love that is lost and found when family secrets are kept for generations. Karen Kelly is the real deal.”

Mark Sullivan

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Beneath a Scarlet Sky

“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


“With delicate and insightful prose, Karen Kelly sweeps us into the psyches of two deeply entwined families as their lives - and secrets - unravel. A haunting debut, BETHLEHEM will pull you in from start to finish, and leave you grappling with the timeless quandary of when to bury the truth, and when to confront it.”

Georgia Hunter,

author of We Were the Lucky Ones


Praise for


“A World War II-era family saga filled with secrets, passion and untimely tragedy, (Prospice is) a revealing peek into family life—including inside jokes, closely guarded secrets and long-standing feuds. . . An often engaging novel with dramatic plot twists. . . an easy, absorbing read.”



“Karen Kelly demonstrates a superb literary talent for crafting a complex story populated with engaging characters that attract and hold the reader’s interest from beginning to end. A thoughtful and entertaining effort, readers will be looking forward to her next novel with great anticipation.”

Midwest Book Review


“Latin for ‘look ahead,’ PROSPICE, a new novel from Karen Kelly, couldn’t be more aptly named. The story of loss, love and life—written in full, pitch-perfect detail—is an enthralling tale told for the perspective of multiple generations of contrasting but complementary females. There’s Caroline, left widowed to raise two girls on her own after World War II. Then there’s Dinah, her teenage daughter, trying to make sense of the changing world around her. And finally, there’s sweet Jemima, whose endearingly blissful ignorance of social etiquette is all too age-appropriate.

“The learning curve is steep for all three of them as they encounter life’s curveballs: moving to Caroline’s childhood home, welcoming new members into their family, and trying to navigate the rough water that all too often accompany such change. Expertly written by Kelly, an Edina native, PROSPICE’s sometimes painfully truthful, intersecting plotlines will keep readers enthralled (in short, it’s the perfect book to get wrapped up in with a warm cup of tea in hand, nestled into a favorite armchair).

“There’s Caroline’s new love with an old flame. Then there’s the undeniable mutual attraction between Dinah and her new stepbrother. And of course sprinkled throughout are pieces of Jemima’s 6-year-old wisdom. The common theme throughout? The remarkable ability of these three distinct females to look ahead.”

Artful Living


“Kelly’s novel is well and paced and features deftly drawn characters and a superb sense of setting that will immerse readers in Salem of the 1950s.”

Publishers Weekly


“This is truly impression fiction. The characters are highly compelling, the dialogue is lively and entirely real, and the storyline is very well drawn, touching on a set of fascination, often underexplored dynamics. In fact, I found the novel fascinating on the whole. . ..”

Daniel Slager,

Editor and CEO of Milkweed Editions

Reviews by

Barnes & Noble and Amazon


“Karen Kelly spins a beautiful tale of family, devastating heartaches and ultimately the triumph of the human spirit to endure through love. Kelly completely captures the passionate longing and wonder of a first love. Her choice of setting —post WWII America—makes the reader long for a time not dominated by a 24/7 news cycle and non-stop technology. PROSPICE elegantly transports the reader to a time when life moved a bit slower, but felt much more in focus. I highly recommend PROSPICE.”

“I feel compelled to do something I don’t usually do—write a book review. Usually when I consider writing a review of a book, inertia wins, and no review is forthcoming. However, once in a great while, I find a book so lovely or compelling that Newton’s first law of motion is overturned, and I actually put pen to paper and write a review. PROSPICE by Karen Kelly is such a book. It has been a very long time since I have read a book that is not only exquisitely written but also tells a story that grabs you and won’t let you go—the kind of story that keeps you up will past your bedtime. The author has a fine eye and ear for place and time, and you feel that you have been transported back to a gentler place and time. Although the novel is set in an earlier era and there is a certain soft-edged feel to the place, time and characters, this is a novel full of life’s toils and troubles as well as its unbridled joys and triumphs. It is no ‘novel of manners.’ Caroline, Tom, Dinah, Tru, Mimer, Coco and others are characters you will come to know and love, rejoicing when they rejoice and crying when they cry. Each will be indelibly imprinted in your mind and heart, like so many other characters from beloved novels. I urge you to pick up this book, cozy up by the fire wrapped in your favorite blanket, and read until 3 AM.”

Read more reviews for this book at Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

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