‘It is uplifting to know that there are people who can write like this, with clarity, a bit of devilment and a hint of a smile. Why can’t more people write like this?’ – The Age
‘alive, full-hearted and shimmering with hope’ – Belinda Castles, Vogel winning author of The River Baptists and Stella longlisted Bluebottle
‘Consummate storytelling. A deeply satisfying page-turner that is sharp, funny and full of knowing detail, all delivered with lashings of love.’ – Tracy Sorensen, critically acclaimed author of Miles Franklin longlisted The Lucky Galah
‘I love this woman’s writing. She has all the words and she weaves them together with love and imagination in a way that just makes my soul sing’ – Theresa Smith Writes
‘marvellous depth and authenticity based on some impressive research, and her characters, plot and fluid prose draw the reader into this world’ – Daily Telegraph
‘colourful, evocative and energetic’ – Sydney Morning Herald, Spectrum
‘told with wit, warmth and courage’ – Kylie Mason, The Newtown Review of Books
‘Kim writes like no one else, with a depth of skill few authors achieve’ – Kelly Rimmer, internationally bestselling author of Truths I Never Told You
Praise for The Rat Catcher: A Love Story

‘[O’Reilly’s] voice is remarkable and engaging: one of the best-written voices I’ve encountered in a while… A delightful read.’  Elizabeth Caulfield Felt, Historical Novel Society.

‘Patrick is a fine Irish storyteller… [Kelly] has created a very enjoyable salad.’ – Ann Skea, The Newtown Review of Books

The Rat Catcher is a luminous novel that you will devour in one sitting… If you have never yet read a novel by Kim Kelly, please immediately rush out and do so. Her words will leave an    imprint upon your heart and change the way you think about Australian  history.’ – Theresa Smith

‘Every page of Kim’s writing makes me take a breath and whisper wow.’ – Robbi Neal, author of The Secret World of Connie Starr

‘The Rat Catcher: A Love Story is a glittering gem in the shining body of Kim Kelly’s works.It’s also a sobering and enlightening social history…’ Desney King, author of Transit of Angels

‘This treasure of a read is cinematic, romantic, and extraordinarily good fun.’ Frances Macken, author of You Have to Make Your Own Fun Around Here

‘a wonder of a tale — masterfully compressed but endlessly capacious…. Kelly’s elegant storytelling is full of wit and wisdom.’ Wendy James, author of A Little Bird

‘told with sparkling humour reminiscent of Peter Carey’ – Alison Booth, author of The Painting

‘It will charm you, intrigue you and make you smile.’ – Mary-Lou Stephens, author of The Last of the Apple Blossom

‘…a gorge-in-one-sitting book, full of humour and pluck, compassion, beautiful writing, wry wisdom, and such charm. Brilliantly researched, this historic fiction plonks you right in the centre of Sydney, in the grip of bubonic plague — I loved it!’ – Averil Kenny, author of Those Hamilton Sisters

Praise for The Truth & Addy Loest

‘The Truth & Addy Loest is a tale of a beautiful love, of the grandest kind, just waiting to unfurl …There are plenty of social and political issues tightly woven into this novel, but with the precision of a master storyteller, Kim packages it all up and delivers it with aplomb.’ – Theresa Smith Writes

‘As always Kim Kelly brings to the fore important issues, not just of then, but of now … I loved this novel and I will read it again and possibly again after that. The writing and language is exquisite and perfect and such a pleasure to read.’ – Claire’s Reads and Reviews

‘Wow. Kim Kelly has done it again. This story will pull you in from beginning to end … I’m so very glad I have found this wonderful author and the books she writes. Can’t wait for the next one.’ – Jodie Maree, Goodreads

Praise for Her Last Words

Her Last Words final front cover

‘Consummate storytelling. A deeply satisfying page-turner that is sharp, funny and full of knowing detail, all delivered with lashings of love.’ – Tracy Sorensen, critically acclaimed author of The Lucky Galah

Her Last Words‘ is a deeply personal book , one that bravely resists all pigeonholes and beautifully traverses them all. It is that rare beast – a literary page-turner, filled with big-hearted empathy, sharply observed humour and delicately wrought insight into the complexities of love and grief. Kim Kelly is a talented and courageous story-teller.’ – Cassie Hamer, bestselling author of After the Party and The End of Cuthbert Close

‘I love this woman’s writing. She has all the words and she weaves them together with love and imagination in a way that just makes my soul sing.’ – Theresa Smith Writes

‘With exceptional characterisation, eloquent prose, and raw emotion, Her Last Words is a compelling read’ – Shelleyrae Cusbert, Book’d Out

Praise for Walking

Walking front cover

‘Kim Kelly is adept at turning a slice of little-known history into a vivid and enthralling tale. Walking … is a romping, riveting, historical feast, full of drama and passion. I loved it.’ – Lisa Walker, The Girl With the Gold Bikini

‘I do believe that Kim Kelly must have a secret time machine, some way of stepping back into the past; a magic mirror, maybe? The type of atmosphere she achieves within any story is just so immersive, so authentic, it almost seems impossible that a writer could achieve this from research alone.’ – Theresa Smith Writes

‘interesting and convincingly written detail… brings to life the Sydney of the past’ – Daily Telegraph

‘Kim has a gift of exploring issues with sensitive insight…’ Monique Mulligan, author

‘a gripping story about justice told in a setting you’d least expect to find it’ – Michael Burge, author

‘Kelly’s writing is always fluent; sometimes it is so lovely, one can almost see the words slipping off the page, remoulding as pictures in our heads’ – Jessica Stewart, The Newtown Review of Books

‘Historical novels with a conscience, that explore and challenge the accepted norms of the time, form the basis of all Kim’s novels and Walking is no exception to this.’ Sharon Lewis, librarian

Praise for Sunshine

front cover

‘Once again Kim Kelly takes a slice of Australian history and shines her compassionate light into all of its forgotten cracks with the poetic skill of a master storyteller.’ – Donna Cameron, acclaimed author of Beneath the Mother Tree

‘Shining from this deeply moving story of battle-scarred lives is the beauty of the land and the courage, resilience and generosity of ordinary people. Sunshine is a wonderful story: alive, full-hearted and shimmering with hope.’  –  Belinda Castles, award-winning author of Bluebottle

‘Aussie author Kim Kelly has written another heartfelt and poignant story inSunshine. Set in the harsh Australian outback with the horrors of war rippling around the edges, it tells of courage, resilience and caring; of hope and love; of compassion and coping. The author writes an evocative tale, her characters coming to life with ease.’ – Brenda Telford, Goodreads

‘It’s a rare gift to discover an author who writes with such a striking sense of atmosphere and sublime instinct. Such is the storytelling of Kim Kelly, who just never misses a beat ever…Sunshine is the sort of historical fiction that I want everyone to read.’ – Theresa Smith Writes

‘I have just finished reading Sunshine for the second time in a month, as I felt I needed to absorb the writing and the story again, I know it will be one of those rare books I come back to over and over…I loved this novel, I highly recommend it and wish I could do it justice in my review. These four characters and Sunshine will stay with me for a long time.’ – Claire’s Reads & Reviews

Praise for Lady Bird & The Fox

F&L hi-res 

Lady Bird & The Fox is a marvel of a novel. It’s got it all: tragedy, comedy, adventure, romance – and history that makes you think as well as feel. It’s a story that will stay with me forever. ‘  –  Wendy James, bestselling author of The Golden Child

‘Kelly has written an exciting, fast-paced novel. Her research into the time and locations is meticulous. However, it’s in the multi-dimensional characterization of Annie and Jem that Lady Bird and the Fox excels.’ – Historical Novel Society

With her keen ear for a poetic and authentic Australian vernacular, Kelly is a masterful creator of character and voice. From the opening pages, we feel a great empathy for the two outcasts, Jeremy, the Jewish prodigal son and Annie, the dispossessed orphan. Reminiscent of Mark Twain’s dry humour, this rollicking ride through the 1860s’ goldfields of NSW – part romance, part colonial picaresque – reveals a landscape of hatred and brutality but also unexpected acts of kindness.’ – Julian Leatherdale, bestselling author of The Opal Dragonfly

‘What a rollicking tale! And wonderfully told.’ – Welton B Marsland, author of the bestselling By The Currawong’s Call

‘We need more writers like Kim Kelly. She puts flesh and bone and blood and tears into the stories that we MUST hear about our early days: teasing out the human stories between the documents in our State libraries and church archives to weave a tale of unthinkable injustice, the violence of a faltering colonial structure and the redemptive power of love.’ – Matt Drewett, Goodreads

Lady Bird & The Fox is brilliant. Thought provoking, funny – as in, actually laugh out loud funny – historically accurate, meticulously researched, and crafted with impeccable inference.’ – Theresa Smith Writes

‘A moving and beautiful portrait of seeking home, of finding your place and the importance of love and belonging.’ – Jenny Barry, bookseller, BooksPlus Bathurst.

Lady Bird & The Fox is a completely unique tale. It’s a fast-paced, deeply evocative story of life, love and adventure in early Australia. I read it in one sitting, loved every single word.’ – Kelly Rimmer, internationally bestselling author of Before I Let You Go

Praise for Jewel Sea

Jewel Sea Preliminary for Kim_Page_2

‘[Kelly] conveys the rich history of the colourful pearling trade in north-western Australia with gusto and charm….The myth of the cursed jewel has recurred for centuries in storytelling, but Kelly may be the first to have this beautiful and powerful object speak for itself.’ – Kerryn Goldsworthy, Sydney Morning Herald

Jewel Sea is inspired storytelling that breaks the rules so beautifully.’ – Jenn J McLeod, author of House for All Seasons

‘Kelly casts her story like a spell, drawing the reader headlong into other worlds with her vividly drawn characters and extraordinary writing.’ – Laura Bloom, author of The Cleanskin

‘The narrative is breathtaking and the characters are well drawn. I read this book in just two sittings, which is testament to my unwillingness to put the book down.’ – Amanda Barratt, Mrs B’s Book Reviews

‘hugely entertaining’ – Liz Deacon, Goodreads reviewer

‘enchanting, intense and dazzling!’ – Brenda Telford, Goodreads librarian

‘Jewel Sea is a well written, many layered, little gem of Australian historical fiction. I could feel, hear and smell the isolated, underpopulated coastal towns of the early 1900’s and the cruise liner Koombana in which it is set.’ – DM Cameron, author and award-winning playwright.

‘Jewel Sea is a great story. A Five Star book.- – Elise McCune, author of Castle of Dreams

Praise for Wild Chicory

WC cover

 ‘It is uplifting to know that there are people who can write like this with clarity, a bit of devilment and a hint of a smile. The story is a simple one, but told in a way that keeps you reading as much for the elegance of the telling as for the action it describes. Here is prose with a light, sunny breeze blowing through it… Why can’t more people write like this? A little gem.’ – Frank O’Shea, The Age, Sydney Morning Herald and Canberra Times

‘colourful, evocative and energetic’ – Kerryn Goldsworthy, Sydney Morning Herald

‘There are many surprises, you will laugh, you will shed tears – in reality Wild Chicory could be any immigrant’s story. And yes, the wild chicory is pivotal to this enchanting tale.’ – Clare Calvet, ‘Clare’s Book of the Week’, ABC Radio, Tony Delroy’s Nightlife

‘Kim Kelly’s Wild Chicory is told with wit, warmth and courage. It’s an ode to the splendour to be found in a simple life and the hope for something better, even if you must risk everything to achieve it.’ – Kylie Mason, Newtown Review of Books

‘Story-telling is clearly encoded in [Kim Kelly’s] DNA. Her ability to craft an exceptional story is plain to see through her narrative technique. Each story which unfolds is written in a lyrical almost poetical language and laden with meaning and metaphor. Given Wild Chicory is a short novella, the author writes with an economy of words not dissimilar to great short-story writers such as Frank O’Connor and Seán Ó Faoláin whose stories filled my childhood imagination with rich imagery and unforgettable idiomatic expressions.’ – Writerful Books

‘Delicately written, yet clear-eyed and unsentimental, ‘Wild Chicory’ lovingly brings back to life the stories and struggles of generations of a particular Irish immigrant family in Australia. You’ll enjoy it, but it might just make you cry.’ – Brook Emery, award-winning poet

‘Wild Chicory is a celebration of triumph over adversity, a social history of early 20th century Australia, who we are as a nation as much as who we are as individuals. I highly recommend it to every reader, both young and old. There’s something in it for everyone.’ – Theresa Smith, author, blogger and Australian Women Writers’ historical fiction editor

‘It’s short, shapely and transporting. In fact, read it twice to make sure you unearth its many gems.’ – A Bigger Brighter World

‘It’s a well told series of connected tales that vividly recreates a slice of Australian-Irish history.’ – Lizzie Chandler, author and blogger

‘Aussie author Kim Kelly has written a moving and poignant novella with Wild Chicory… a beautiful story, deeply emotional.’ – Brenda, Goodreads librarian

‘This novella is the author’s tour de force. With a sublime narrative voice Wild Chicory is the kind of story that lingers long after the last page.’ – Jenn J McLeod, author of House For All Seasons

‘Kim Kelly’s writing is magnificent… Wild Chicory managed to move me from the first page.’ Suze Lavender, Suze Likes, Loves, Finds and Dreams

‘An uplifting, absorbing, surprising read with sly wit and a lightness of spirit… I loved it.’ Anna Broinowski, award-winning filmmaker and author of The Director is the Commander

Praise for Paper Daisies

paper daisies

‘one of the most powerful books I’ve read in years’ – Virginia Haussegger, AM, ABC journalist.

‘…this book kept me on a knife’s edge as I journeyed with these two beautiful sisters…and reduced me to tears. Totally absorbing.’ – DM Cameron, author and award-winning playwright

‘Paper Daisies is one of those novels that quietly stuns you with the importance of its story.’ – Theresa Smith, author, blogger and Australian Women Writers’ historical fiction editor

‘a thoroughly engaging novel that had me caught up in its web of wonderful characters, beautifully-rendered history and often nail-biting tension’ Shannon. Giraffe Days

‘Once I started reading I couldn’t stop and it’s opened me up to Australia. [Kim Kelly] is absolutely fantastic – I have gone and bought more of her work and can’t wait to see what else she brings out.’ – Sarah Campbell, Goodreads reviewer

‘Australia’s answer to Sara Gruen.’ Deborah, Goodreads reviewer

‘the characters that Kim has created are ones that you fall in love with’ – Paul Phillips, bookseller, A Reader’s Heaven.

‘Kim Kelly’s story telling abilities are astounding – this historical fiction novel set in the early 1900s is her best yet in my opinion, and I’ve loved them all.’ Brenda, Goodreads librarian

Praise for The Blue Mile

KK back list BM revised

 ‘Kelly’s evocation of 1930s Sydney has a marvellous depth and authenticity based on some impressive research, and her characters, plot and fluid prose draw the reader into this world.’ Daily Telegraph. Troy Lennon, history editor.

‘The latest novel from Kim Kelly is an engaging, entertaining read set in 1930s Sydney against the backdrop of the building of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It casts an informative light on the hardships endured by the bridge workers, the struggle of the Great Depression, and the politics and economics of the time…Ferry-strewn harbourside Sydney is evocatively drawn, and one of this book’s strengths is the sheer likeability of its protagonists. Like all good books of its ilk, it’s a compelling journey to unweave the fates of its lovestruck characters…’ – Joanne Shiells, Books+Publishing

‘There is a grittiness in this story that avoids a sepia-toned nostalgia … and portrays the hard grind of Depression-era Sydney with an unblinking clarity worthy of Ruth Park.’ Julian Leatherdale, author of Palace of Tears

‘The third novel from Australian writer Kelly (aka book editor Kim Swivel), set in Depression-era Sydney, excels at depicting the era’s social conditions and the swoony exuberance and thorny complications of cross-class romance.’ – Sarah Johnson, Historical Novel Society.

‘I absolutely loved The Blue Mile. The descriptions of Sydney, the harbour, the construction of the Harbour Bridge and the tragic deaths during construction, the politics of the time – everything was so authentic. Also the mention of the blue mile – the water separating the two sides of the harbour – was beautiful and felt right. The book was full of delightful characters, and some not so delightful…I highly recommend this novel by Aussie author Kim Kelly – an absolute masterpiece!’ Brenda Telford, Goodreads reviewer

‘A cliffhanger with lots of charm.’ Country Style

‘I loved this book. It kept me up at night, turning the pages… In many ways this novel is what you’d expect of the elements it has brought together — the turbulent between-wars Lang years, the last years of the Bridge being built, class-challenged love story — but it’s told with nuances that are unexpected and insightful, and the voices and world feels real and familiar.’ Selina Hanet-Hutchins, Goodreads reviewer

‘A fascinating novel that will attract readers with an interest in 20th-century history and social issues that still exist today.’ Illawarra Mercury

‘I’m not normally a fan of historic fiction but I really enjoyed this story of two lives that become intertwined during the harsh reality of the 1930’s in Sydney, Australia….I will definitely be reading Kim Kelly’s other two novels Black Diamonds This Red Earth.’ Sally HallNeed to Read This

‘This hard-to-put-down page-turner is the kind of book you want to hold off reading, just so the story doesn’t end.’ Newcastle Herald

The Blue Mile is quite simply an extraordinary book….The way Kelly understands and uses history, not in a boring didactic way but to make the story sing is marvellous. She makes the shape of a hat, a brooch, or the collar of a shirt signify an era and those who not only lived but worked through it in ways that are at once clever and lyrical.’ Dr Karen Brooks, author, journalist & academic

‘A skillfully evocative historical novel.’ Karen O’Brien-Hall, Starts At Sixty!

‘…engaging and heart-wrenching…’ Adelaide Matters

Praise for This Red Earth 

this red earth

‘Trapped in New Guinea in January 1942 with a volcano, smoking ominously, and a Japanese invasion imminent, Gordon, a geologist on the brink of exposing British skullduggery, has to choose between two hazardous courses of action. His fiance, Bernie, is battling drought in NSW. Postal services falter. The [Japanese] invasion is a period that needs illumination and Kelly’s novel brilliantly reconstructs the assault and its impact. Meanwhile, the story of love’s ironies is splendidly executed.’ Country Style

‘Thoroughly researched, with a likable leading lady, This Red Earth is a very enjoyable read.’ Woman’s Day

‘Kim Kelly seems to understand the sounds and scents of the country … The strength of This Red Earth is that it reads as authentic in terms of the times in which it is set. Yet it does not succumb to saccharine nostalgia and feels like you are looking through a wide and clear window back to the 40s.’ Helen Crompton, West Australian

‘If you want to be transported into another place and time, then pick up this book.’ Jay Hicks, Goodreads reviewer

‘Highly entertaining…’ Pittwater Life

 ‘If you like a bit of Australiana in your fiction, settle in with Kim Kelly’s novel inspired by her fascination with the experiences of ordinary Australians during the Second World War.’ Gladstone Observer

‘With its secrets, love and heartbreak, harshness of the countryside and devastation of war, I have no hesitation in recommending this fantastic book to everyone.’ Brenda Telford, Goodreads librarian

‘Meticulously researched, very Australian, likeable characters and a really good yarn.’ Louise Briffa, Goodreads reviewer

Praise for Black Diamonds

black diamonds

‘This is the story of a love greatly tested and of the resilience of ordinary Australians sucked into a pointless war by propaganda. It’s enough to turn you into a war protester.’ – Australian Women’s Weekly

‘Black Diamonds is an Australian masterpiece!’ Sue Gerhardt-Griffiths, Goodreads reviewer

‘Kim Kelly’s debut novel is a cracker…’ – Good Reading

‘…this is a delightfully authentic story of two characters from different backgrounds who marry and together face the challenges that life during war-time bring to them. The coal mining town of Lithgow, New South Wales, provides a strong Australian back-drop for this very appealing novel’ –  Isabellacreations, A Library Thing

‘This is an impressive debut’ –  Jen Wren, A Library Thing

‘This book was a sheer delight for me’ – Makita, Bookcrossing

‘Historical romance fans will enjoy the humour, the fast pace and appealing characters of Kim Kelly’s first novel.’ – Courier Mail

‘a promising first novel from a young Australian writer’ – Illawarra Mercury

‘an enthralling saga filled with energy, humour and romance’ – Woman’s Day

‘Popular fiction aficionados are enthusiastic about Kim Kelly’s Black Diamonds. Lithgow’s mining industry in 1914, thwarted love across class, race and religious barriers, war, resilience and much more.’ – Weekend Australian

‘A rewarding story of love and war…’ – Weekend Gold Coast Bulletin

‘Capturing the beauty of the bush, true love and the impact of World War I, [Black Diamonds is] fast-paced, interesting and spattered with the right amount of humour, sadness and triumph to make it a thrilling read.’ – Y Weekly, Melbourne

2 thoughts on “Reviews

  1. just reading my first Kim Kelly book, Black Diamonds. Have family history in many of the places in the story. Love historical fiction. But in particular love the language you have chosen to write in. I am besotted with this story even though it is a sad part of our peoples history. I too believe in showing the Australians of all ages about how we come to be where we are as a people.
    You have done a beautiful work in this one. Looking forward to the next one.
    Thanks for making my reading time so enjoyable. Cheers Julie

    1. Thank you for your beautiful message, Julie. It’s wonderful to know you’re enjoying Black Diamonds, and that the setting has personal significance for you. I hope you enjoy the rest of the tale – and many more! All the best, Kim x

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