Published by Random House Large Print PublishingDate Published: 20 April, 2021
Genres: Historical Fiction
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NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - Martha Hall Kelly's million-copy bestseller Lilac Girls introduced readers to Caroline Ferriday. Now, in Sunflower Sisters, Kelly tells the story of Ferriday's ancestor Georgeanna Woolsey, a Union nurse during the Civil War whose calling leads her to cross paths with Jemma, a young enslaved girl who is sold off and conscripted into the army, and Anne-May Wilson, a Southern plantation mistress whose husband enlists.
"An exquisite tapestry of women determined to defy the molds the world has for them."--Lisa Wingate, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Before We Were Yours
Georgeanna "Georgey" Woolsey isn't meant for the world of lavish parties and the demure attitudes of women of her stature. So when war ignites the nation, Georgey follows her passion for nursing during a time when doctors considered women on the battlefront a bother. In proving them wrong, she and her sister Eliza venture from New York to Washington, D.C., to Gettysburg and witness the unparalleled horrors of slavery as they become involved in the war effort.
In the South, Jemma is enslaved on the Peeler Plantation in Maryland, where she lives with her mother and father. Her sister, Patience, is enslaved on the plantation next door, and both live in fear of LeBaron, an abusive overseer who tracks their every move. When Jemma is sold by the cruel plantation mistress Anne-May at the same time the Union army comes through, she sees a chance to finally escape--but only by abandoning the family she loves.
Anne-May is left behind to run Peeler Plantation when her husband joins the Union army and her cherished brother enlists with the Confederates. In charge of the household, she uses the opportunity to follow her own ambitions and is drawn into a secret Southern network of spies, finally exposing herself to the fate she deserves.
Inspired by true accounts, Sunflower Sisters provides a vivid, detailed look at the Civil War experience, from the barbaric and inhumane plantations, to a war-torn New York City, to the horrors of the battlefield. It's a sweeping story of women caught in a country on the brink of collapse, in a society grappling with nationalism and unthinkable racial cruelty, a story still so relevant today.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Author/Publisher and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.
Martha Hall Kelly swept me away and made me a life long fan when I discovered her book, Lilac Girls. I’m a huge fan of historical fiction, and her books are perfect in the genre. I was super excited to learn she was releasing a third book in this collection. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it and let me tell you what. She did not disappoint in anyway!
Sunflower Sisters is an emotionally gripping, beautifully penned novel centered around the Civil War, one of my favorite time periods to read about. This book has characters that become your family. They are beautifully created and so perfect for their roles. The historical details are vividly portrayed and transported me to the center of a wonderfully intriguing, soul capturing story.
This book is not a small book. It is a lot of pages but those pages will keep you turning them long into the night. They are pages that will have you thinking long after you close them. This 4 star story is completely unforgettable, and I am so glad I had the chance to read this one. It will be on my shelf for a long time to come! Well done, Kelly, on another amazing, magnificently chiseled novel that swept me away!