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Whistling Women, a historical fiction novel by Kelly Romo

A buried secret keeps two sisters apart

Life went terribly wrong for Addie Bates in San Diego, and she'd been running from those 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 is 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 lasting consequences of a single impulsive act.

Editorial Reviews

“Romo wonderfully immerses the reader in an unusual and exciting place and time to tell a moving story of the secrets that both bind families together and tear them apart.”

—  Megan Chance, author of THE VISITANT


“A charming, quirky family saga like no other, WHISTLING WOMEN is a totally relatable, endlessly surprising, and masterfully written gem of a novel. I loved it from the first page, and hated to see it end!”
—  Molly Cochran, author of MIREILLE

"I was fully invested in the well-drawn family of this sparkling period novel. It's 1935 the tail end of the depression and the World's Fair has come to San Diego. Secrets, courage, small town life and a passionate teen determined to unravel family secrets kept me turning the pages to see what would happen next.”

—  Consuelo Saah Baehr, author of THREE DAUGHTERS

"Readers who love Lisa See’s Shanghai Girls (2009) and the work of Kate Morton will enjoy the intriguing and multi-layered Whistling Women."
—Stephanie Turza from BOOKLIST, the Review Journal of the American Library Association

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