Praise for The Fallen Snow

“In a gripping tale of self-exploration and atonement, Kelley’s debut skillfully evokes the unpredictability of life in 1918 through mesmerizing descriptions and fully realized characters. Joshua Hunter volunteers to fight in the Great War to escape his rural Virginia home, becoming a respected sniper in wartime France. Unfettered from his close-knit Appalachian community’s expectations, he develops a growing quietness and strength despite the ugliness of war. Returning home a crippled war hero, Joshua feels the old familiar expectations becoming more onerous. And even an engagement and job offer cannot erase the past, the echoes of war, and a well-guarded secret. Kelley’s novel is emotionally complex and brimming with grit. Told in a plainspoken manner through parallel story lines—the present in Appalachia and the past in France—this story will appeal to readers of coming-of-age stories with a historical bent.”
Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Kelley’s characters are . . . believable . . . human . . . introspective, and when they speak it is from the heart, honestly and without frills.”
Clarion Reviews (★★★★★)

“A timeless and timely novel of the physical and emotional cost of war.”
San Francisco / Sacramento Book Review (★★★★★)

“How many of us can genially pretend to be something we’re not? This novel offers up that lesson perhaps better than anything I’ve ever read.”
Historical Novel Society

“Quiet is an accurate description of how the story unfolds, but the impact of Joshua Hunter’s journey is huge. He is a character you will carry in your heart.”
Jocosa Wade, Jocosa’s Bookshelf

“A universal story that delivers its message that love can never take root inside the head, but in the heart.”
Jill Wisoff, Unabridged, Blog of Jill Wisoff

“Neither a war novel nor a coming-of-age novel nor a romance novel – it is simply a novel worth reading”
Lisa Jones, 300 Word Book Reviews

A finalist in two genres, The Fallen Snow received a ForeWord Reviews Book of the Year Award (Honorable Mention) during the 2012 American Library Association Convention in Chicago.

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Early readers have had this to say . . .

“John Kelley has given us a masterful coming of age tale”  5-stars, Rick Fisher

One of the best books I’ve read dealing with love and war” 5-stars,  Quinn Sellars

brings to life the forests and highlands of western Virginia . . . there are histories within histories in this novel” 4-stars, Tony Lawrence

“A wonderful first novel . . . definitely a writer to watch” 5-stars, Les McC

“Kelley’s prose is evocative, creating a sense of place” 5-stars, Harry Lane

The character development had me hooked” 4-stars, Robyn

“The writing is poignant and lyrical” 5-stars, Trinket

gripping, entertaining and moving 5-stars, Rod Goins

“A journey into relationships – with family, friends, lovers and most of all, with self” 5-stars, Meg Thale

“Having just finished the last page, I want to stop strangers on the street and tell them they need to read this book.” 5-stars, Avid Reader