5 Stars- Roger DeBlanck rated it it was amazing.
Montgomery delivers another absorbing historical novel that continues the saga of the Savio and Callahan families. The story picks up with its focus on the marriage of Francesca Savio and Fin Callahan. The prejudice that exists between the Irish and Italians has not lessened, even with the merging of the families. But the conflict of cultures is not the only obstacle facing Fin and Francesca. From the beginning, their relationship encounters strife, due in large part to Fin’s excessive drinking. As Montgomery did with superb pacing and insight in her first novel, this sequel makes the rounds within the two families. Strangely enough, Meghan Callahan begins to show a motherly instinct with her need to instill and nurture Kane, the son of Fin and Francesca, under the powers and practices of Druidism. This leads to tension and unrest with Vito Savio, as he intends to steer his grandson Kane into a strong man who honors the bonds of blood ties. Even as the novel addresses events in the lives of many of the Savio children, it begins to hone in most exclusively on Kane’s life. He becomes a memorable and fascinating character. Whether he is standing up to grandpa Vito’s wrath or retaliating with violence against Vito’s assassins, Kane’s life becomes a challenge of choosing honor over infamy. His troubles are well-documented and often result in shocking outcomes. The novel makes headway into the mafia Outfit and cleverly allows for appearances from Sam Giancana into the narrative. One of Montgomery’s talents is her ability to intertwine history through the tragedies and triumphs of the Savio and Cahallan families. The drama of their lives makes for page-turning suspense, and all the tribulations lead to a momentous ending, which leaves much to ponder. One can only hope that Montgomery plans to continue exploring this family saga.
5 stars - Jackie Hamby
Excellent Read-Well written. Guaranteed to keep you from completing any plans you had for the day except reading this book. Can't put it down until the final page. Thank you.
~ Linda Thompson,
Host of www.TheAuthorsShow.com
"When I interviewed Montgomery (the author of Whisper in the Blood) for The Authors Show, I was surprised to learn that she is neither Italian nor Irish; and that while she lived in Chicago for a while, she is not a native. So how did she get it so right? All I know is that this is a wonderful read; not a chic lit romance, and not heavy literature – it’s just the right mix of fact and fiction. Montgomery is a master at research and the historical aspect of the times is spot on. Her characters are believable, they are real in every way and you come to care about them. The way the story weaves between the two families, eventually bringing them together, is fascinating. While the story is set in a turbulent time in US history (the age of Prohibition and gangsters), the warmth of the Italian family and the almost frigid feel of the Irish family, are stories about people. I am recommending this book to all my friends who are looking for something just a bit beyond a light read. This is a wonderful book and I eagerly await the next chapter in these character’s lives."
5 Stars "One of those "can't put down"!!!
By Texan on August 13, 2015
"I thoroughly enjoyed this captivating story. The author obviously researched diligently to ensure the characters, events and settings were as authentic for the time as possible. I learned much about the Italian/Irish conflicts during that period of time; the personal stories were profoundly shocking. I highly recommend the book."
Reviewed By Mamta Madhavan
for Readers’ Favorite - 5 Stars
"Whisper in the Blood by S.H. Montgomery is set between the 1900s and the 1940s in the Chicago area and revolves around two families, Italian and Irish immigrants, the Savios and the Callahans, and their lives. Both these families came to Chicago searching for a better life. The Italians, Vito and Maria, have seven children and readers get to learn more about their youngest daughter Francesca as the story progresses. The twist in the plot, the tension between the Italian and Irish immigrants, and how the choices in our lives can make differences form the highlight of the story as a Savio daughter and a Callahan son decide to get married. It's a story of love, it's a story of struggles, and it's also a story of changes.
The book is a compelling read and, apart from exposing the immigrant life in Chicago, the plot also showcases the clash of cultures and also throws light on ethnic struggles and their evolution. The characters have been developed well and they are memorable. It's evident that the author has done good research into ethnicity during that time and incorporated it into the story very well. The romantic angle in the story tones down the seriousness of the plot created by the immigrant struggles and their difficulties. The story is fast paced and the author masterfully blends romance into the ethnic struggles in the Chicago area. Readers experience myriad emotions as they follow the lives, joys and sorrows of the two families.
A story well told. The author does not lose his grip on the story though it has many layers"
5 Stars Drop what you're reading and don't let this one get away !! by Charles Sharrard on June 26, 2015 - Format: Paperback
"Treat yourself to a page-turning, no-punches-pulled clash of cultures as Whisper in the Blood by s.h. Montgomery takes you back to early 20th Century Chicago when Italian and Irish immigrants poured into the city seeking a better life, often finding conditions as difficult as those they left behind. Whisper... takes you into the streets and homes of both as they strive to preserve love and family while "The Mob" makes the rules.
Montgomery takes a slice of Chicago history and drops it right in your lap !
Sequel please !"
5" Stars Whisper in the Blood"
by a Texas Traveler on June 10, 2015
Format: Kindle Edition
"Whisper in the Blood is the debut novel by a promising new writer. The book was well-researched and well-written.
The descriptive phrases make the characters come alive for the reader. I hope there is a sequel to the book so that I can continue to follow the characters' lives. Whisper in the Blood is a very enjoyable read!"
5 Stars Highly recommended reading.
By STEPHEN MURRAY on June 9, 2015
"This was a truly wonderful and enjoyable read. The author certainly managers to capture the essence life was like for immigrant families coming through Ellis Island in the early part of the 20th century. The intertwining tales and fortunes of both Italian and Irish families was handled masterfully. All characters were well defined and their personalities were constant throughout the book.The reader is taken on an emotional roller-coaster as we follow the joys and sorrows of the members of both families. Highly recommended reading. Once the reader picks up the book, it will be hard to put it down."
5 Stars Enjoyed the book even when I had to stop.
By P. Weinstroer June 3, 2015 - Format: Paperback
"Enjoyed the book even when I had to stop and look up the meaning of some of her words. Looking forward to the next one."
5 Stars on Amazon
A complex and absorbing family drama
By Clahain on June 2, 2015
"Family saga about Italian and Irish immigrants who settle the Chicago area in the early part of the 20th century.
WHISPER IN THE BLOOD covers the time period 1909 to 1947 and centers on two families. The Italian Savio's are headed by Vito and Maria.
They have seven children. The youngest, Francesca, is the one who figures most as times goes on. The Irish Callahans--Meghan, Michael and
their son Finn are the other central family.
There's plenty of tension in the book. Ethnic tension. Generational tension. Neighborhood conflicts.
Eventually Italian Juliet (Francesca) meets her Irish Romeo (Fin) and things get really exciting."
5 Star Review
A glimpse into immigrant life in Chicago By Trudy Gurn on May 22, 2015 - Format: Paperback
"How clearly this novel confirms that the choices we make influence the rest of our lives. A young couple, following their emotions, flee Sicily and family to start a new life in Chicago. The years are 1909-1940s and the struggles of the Savio family had this reader holding her breath as poverty, illness, a clash of cultures, and prejudice confront Vito, Maria, and their children. When a Savio daughter and a Callahan son meet and plan to marry, the suspicions and distrust of the Irish and Italians are skillfully described."
"I did not want the book to end and look forward to the sequel. However, I would like Sue Montgomery to return to the earlier stories of raising children as a poor immigrant family, contrasted with raising a single son in an advantaged Irish family. In her words, that story would be most moving. She makes history come alive."
Amazon 5 Star Review
By Lana Barnett on May 15, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"A promising new writer."
Amazon 4 Star Review
by Christina Kaylor, Readers Unbound
on May 16, 2015 - Format: Paperback
"Whisper in the Blood is a real page turner. Its interesting world of immigrants in early 1900s Chicago, its compelling take on the Romeo and Juliet story, but with Italians vs. Irish, and its vivid characters, especially the larger than life Vito Savio, who can never quite escape his Sicilian heritage and "The Outfit," demonstrate that S. H. Montgomery can tell a big complex story without losing her readers in the details."
5 Star Review on Amazon by anonymous
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Whisper in the Blood is a well researched, well written, and entertaining novel. It gives a vivid history of the emigrants who moved into the south side of Chicago in the early 20th century. And is a very good read."
By Betsy on April 28, 2015 - Format: Paperback
"Great read! Hope the author is working on a sequel."
5 stars on Amazon
5 stars on Amazon
by MacArthur Johnson, author of Going South
April 18, 2015 - Format: Kindle Edition
"s.h. montgomery has successfully portrayed the historical evolution of ethnic struggles in turn of the century Chicago in a way which most, if not all, major cities can identify. She has shown, through masterful character development, how these evolutionary changes occur in the development of a romantic story that will intrigue the most ardent romance reader. She has truly mastered the marriage of character-driven and plot-driven storytelling. A wonderful novel that can be enjoyed and appreciated by fans of most, if not all genres."
Amazon 5 stars - By Karen, April 20, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"A terrific read. Fast paced. Interesting character development. I hope the novelist writes a sequel."
5 stars on Amazon - B. Zimmerman - St. Louis
"This is a well researched and well written story of the problems faced by those who choose to relocate to a place with customs different than those with which they were raised. Set in the South Side of Chicago, it depicts the early problems between the Irish and Sicilians."
5 stars on Amazon - Maria Samaras
"I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I can tell there was a lot of research involved in writing it. It keeps you going and thinking. There are a lot of characters and they do all intertwine somehow which keeps it very interesting. All in all a good book that I would recommend to anyone."
5 stars on Amazon - Nick de Courville
"An exciting mix of characters that form an outstanding story of love, sex and many surprising changes. You will pick a character, or two and follow them in your dreams long after reading this great novel."
Whisper in the Blood is featured on Stephen John Moran's blog, www.stephenjohnmoran.com.
In Issue #36, "Carrie's Notebook," http://www.carrieannlahain.com,
Whisper in the Blood is featured as the book being read.
5 Star Review
Ms. Montgomery's research into the Italian and Irish cultures of the novel's time period provides a vivid historic background for this fast paced story. The Chicago that was is the richly detailed backdrop as the story of the Savios and Callahans unfolds. The two families fight for the molding of their grandson Kane. The story moves quickly and realistically through the lives and travails of the italian and Irish differences, prejudices, manners, food, old "isms" and more. I found it a strong robust read and enjoyed the imaginative truth of the story. i learned a lot about the characters and their cultural heritages while enjoying the romp through the historically accurate time period. The story propels you to guess what surprises come next. Highly recommended.
Karen S., Chicago
Reviewed by Neil A White for Readers' Favorite
Honor in the Blood, by S. H. Montgomery, is the second installment featuring the Savio and Callahan families of Chicago. The two families, united through the marriage of Francesca and Fin, further continue their petty squabbles based on generations of pent-up fear and hatred for the other’s nationality. In this installment, Kane, the first-born of Francesca and Fin, becomes the center of attention of the two warring factions. Ms. Montgomery’s novel follows Kane from birth to young adulthood, with the competing influences of both families attempting to mold him into the person they wish him to be, and his personal struggles in trying to keep both sides happy while finding his own path to maturity during the turbulent Chicago of the '50s and '60s.
I found Ms. Montgomery’s novel an interesting read. Your heart will break for the travails of Francesca in raising a young family in the midst of an abusive marriage, and the ever-present tension between parents and in-laws. Ms. Montgomery also weaves together some of the more important historical events of the era into an intimate portrayal of Chicago during that time period, expertly tying in the younger members of the Savio family with the fortunes of Sam Giancana and a fledgling Las Vegas. And finally, as Kane’s life devolves into an ever-deepening mire of violence, brought on by an abusive alcoholic father on one side, and a Mafia-riddled family on the other, his future boils down to one final decision. One that sets up perfectly the direction for – I assume – a third installment in the lives of these two families.
Goodreads Review by Roger DeBlanck
"S.H. Montgomery’s mesmerizing historical novel chronicles the lives of two families, the Savios of Italian heritage and the Callahans of Irish descent. Over several generations, she weaves an amazing tapestry of narratives that capture the hardships and triumphs of the families during the first half of the 20th Century.
Whether it is the whimsical romance of Vito and Maria Savio or the tumultuous relationship of Michael and Meghan Callahan, the novel drives at the emotional depths of passion and disappointment. The richness of Montgomery’s details allows you to feel enveloped in the lives of the characters. The many children of the Savio family bring a wide range of personalities that set in motion a fascinating series of plotlines, all of which Montgomery seamlessly holds together.
In addition, she cleverly connects the Savios with Chicago’s 'Outfit' of gangsters, among them the infamous Al Capone, who makes his own cameo appearance in the novel. The Savios and Callahans ultimately must overcome the historical resentment that exists between the Italians and Irish when their families are faced with choices their children make. Montgomery’s prose is splendid and vivid throughout, and her story keeps you locked in. Whisper in the Blood is a memorable literary achievement. I can hardly wait to see what Montgomery explores in her next novel."
LITERARY LAS VEGAS
By Ginger Meurer
Special to View
Thursday, January 28, 2016
Local author s. h. montgomery grew up in Texas and lived in Chicago for 30 years before moving to Las Vegas in 2003. The Texas Tech journalism major also took creative writing at Northwestern and Columbia College and has written freelance travel features for newspapers. The author is slated to speak and sign copies of her book“Whisper in the Blood" at 6:30 p.m. March 16 at Atria Seville, 2000 N. Rampart Blvd.
Culminating in 1940s Chicago, montgomery’s novel follows two families divided by class and background. After his abduction as a young boy, Fin Callahan had every reason to join his mother in her hatred of Italians. But Fin first found friendship with halforphan Dino Moretti and then love in Francesca Savio, a girl whose family was just as wary of Fin’s Irish roots.
ByMichael Rathsackon July 31, 2017
After reading Whisper in the Blood, I had to follow the families’ further history by reading Honor in the Blood and was not disappointed. I would recommend beginning with the first book because it provides character background which gives more body to the continuing saga, but that is not critical. Each book stands alone. But I will bet if you read one, you will read the other, driven by a need to see what happens to these people next or what past motivations drove them now.
As with the first book, the characters remained in my mind even after I turned the last page, and that is always a sign for me that I became immersed in the author’s tale. You do not have to be from Chicago to enjoy this – the ethnic and cultural backgrounds that drive these characters are found everywhere.