The Lost English Girl (Hardcover)

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Staff Reviews

This is a beautiful story about a mother who makes the gut-wrenching decision to send her daughter Maggie away to keep her safe during the start of WWII in Liverpool. Weaving in and around that primary storyline are many others that provide insight into all of the characters - Viv's upbringing in a strict Catholic family and the repercussions of her unplanned pregnancy and quick marriage to Joshua, a Jewish man; Joshua's dreams of becoming a great Jazz musician that get sidelined by his service in the Royal Air Force; Viv's work as a "postie" during the war and; and of course the Thompsons, the family in the countryside to whom Maggie is sent. Well-written, and a very good read.

— Michelle


Combining “fast-paced historical fiction with a hint of suspense” (Booklist), this epic saga from Julia Kelly explores love, motherhood, and betrayal set against World War II.

Liverpool, 1935: Raised in a strict Catholic family, Viv Byrne knows what’s expected of her: marry a Catholic man from her working-class neighborhood and have his children. However, when she finds herself pregnant after a fling with Joshua Levinson, a Jewish man with dreams of becoming a famous jazz musician, Viv knows that a swift wedding is the only answer. Her only solace is that marrying Joshua will mean escaping her strict mother’s scrutiny. But when Joshua makes a life-changing choice on their wedding day, Viv is forced once again into the arms of her disapproving family.

Five years later and on the eve of World War II, Viv is faced with the impossible choice to evacuate her young daughter, Maggie, to the countryside. In New York City, Joshua gives up his failing musical career to serve in the Royal Air Force and try to piece together his feelings about the family he left behind. However, tragedy strikes when Viv learns that the countryside safe haven she sent her daughter to wasn’t immune from the horrors of war. It is only years later, with Joshua’s help, that Viv learns the secrets of their shared past and what it will take to put a family back together again.

Telling the harrowing story of England’s many evacuated children, Kelly’s The Lost English Girl “will hook readers from the first page” (Publishers Weekly, starred review).

About the Author

Julia Kelly is the award-winning author of books about ordinary women and their extraordinary stories. In addition to writing, she’s been an Emmy-nominated producer, journalist, marketing professional, and (for one summer) a tea waitress. Julia called Los Angeles, Iowa, and New York City home before settling in London. Readers can visit to learn more about all of her books and sign up for her newsletter so they never miss a new release.

Praise For…

“From the first pages, Kelly’s latest grabs readers’ attention with the character of courageous Viv Byrne as she strives to fight societal norms . . . fast-paced historical fiction with a hint of suspense.” --Booklist

“Readers will fall in love with unassuming Viv in particular; when faced with heartbreaking events, she exhibits incredible courage. This will hook readers from the first page." --Publishers Weekly starred review

“A fascinating novel about a woman’s struggle with an out-of-wedlock pregnancy, her parents’ harsh treatment of both mother and child, and the separation from her child under the threat of an imminent war.” --Library Journal

“Well-paced, highly emotional… an excellent read with a satisfying ending.” --Historical Novels Review

"Enthralling." --Woman's World

The Lost English Girl is a captivating story, full of tears, anger and love. It will take your heart for a ride and may make you cry, but it’s all worth it.” --Bookreporter

“This emotional novel about forgiveness honors the immense fortitude manifested by families separated during wartime.” --The Christian Science Monitor
Product Details
ISBN: 9781982171704
ISBN-10: 1982171707
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: March 7th, 2023
Pages: 416
Language: English