“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.”

“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.”

“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.”

“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, Head Editor and CEO of Milkweed Editions

“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.”

Reviews by Barnes & Noble and Amazon customers (comprehensively 5-stars):

“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.”

“It’s rare to read a love story so well written—intelligent, edifying, and lyrical. The characters are wholly believable, the dialogue snappy yet real, and the emotion profound. I whole-heartedly recommend this beautiful novel to anyone who loves a story they can’t put down.”

“I’m not sure what ‘women’s fiction’ is supposed to be—but I know what I like. The most satisfying novels (‘women’s’ or otherwise) are juicy and absorbing, richly detailed and real, and so well written that the writing itself disappears as the story takes on a life of its own. Prospice delivers on all these counts. The characters—young children, teens, and adults—are so well delineated and specific that they leap off the page, each speaking in his or her unique voice. And that makes their experiences all the more affecting. A lot happens in the course of this book: great love, staggering sadness, coming of age, new experiences, visits from the past. . . and at the center of it all is Dinah, a young woman whose growing pains, rears, and joys readers will all relate to. Every step of the multi-layered plot is well-planned and –executed by this extremely gifted author. (It is almost impossible to believe that she is a first-time novelist!) And there is a lot of fodder here for rumination, examination, and discussion. I titled this review ‘Attention, Book Clubs!’ because I feel it would make an excellent choice for discussion groups—but, by all means, curl up with it on your own, silence your phone, and prepare to lose yourself in the pages of Prospice.”

Prospice is a fantastic, intelligently written novel and one of the most compelling stories of love, loss, and life that I have ever read. Days after finishing this book, I still can’t stop thinking about it. I would recommend it to anyone looking for a book they won’t be able to put down and will want to start reading a second time immediately upon finishing it the first time.”

“A wonderful book. This is a book about family, love, and coming of age. Set in the late 1940s it seems to perfectly capture the era. The book is beautifully written with elegant prose and a poignant story. Oh, and you guys, don’t be afraid to read this because it’s a love story. I was up until 3 am this morning to finish the book. The highest compliment I can pay to a book is to recommend it to my friends. That email is the next thing I’m going to do.”

“FANTASTIC! Read it! An extraordinary debut for Karen Kelly. She brought to life a compelling and suspenseful love story. An intricate and positively elegant novel. Filled with raw emotion, graceful sentence structure and poetry. Regardless of your preferred genre, you will most certainly find this book a terrific read. It is a wonderful experience to read Prospice, what is sure to be a classic.”

“Enriching and engaging! Prospice is a stirring, uniquely fresh story that will engage you from the beginning. Author Karen Kelly writes with wonderful insight into the complexities of relationships, and the power of loving connection. Her interjections of rich humor and charming description will make for stimulating book club discussion! I loved this book and highly recommend it!”

“Seldom does a book as beautifully written and compelling as this one arrive on the shelves. Funny, moving, and heart-rending, with characters so well developed you feel you would know them if you met. (It is so refreshing to see teenagers presented as people instead of, well, teenagers.) Full of simile and imagery, this book is alive.”

“Enamored. I cannot describe how long I have been waiting for a book actually worth reading. Kelly has written it. I spent most of the first part of the book grinning; the second half enthralled, in tears, captivated. Her talent for imagery and simile were incredible. Simple, every day words are constructed into sentences creating images you wouldn’t think the words could create. It reminded me of a friend of mine who asked me to edit her writing because she was ‘enamored of her own verbiage.’ I am enamored of Kelly’s verbiage. What a gift she has given us.”

Prospice is a beautifully written novel. The passion and knowledge that Karen Kelly pours into this first novel is evident on every page. The novel is full of love, pain, and restoration. It is hard to believe that this is Kelly’s first novel. You must read this and get the queue for the next!”

“What a GREAT read—intense, engrossing and intelligent! A wonderfully written period piece with a lot of heart. I couldn’t put it down and can’t wait for Karen Kelly’s next novel.”

“Couldn’t put it down! I have already recommended Prospice to others. It’s a quick read with beautiful writing and memorable characters. I loved it!”

“This was a compelling story with characters that were well developed and relatable. I was sad when the story ended—hopefully the author writes a second book. I would recommend to anyone that like Anna Quinlan, Lisa Genova, Jan Karon.”

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

Prospice: The Novel