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Review: Sunflower Sisters

Hello friends and happy Wednesday! I hope you’re all having a good week so far. Today I’m going to be posting my review of the third novel in the Lilac Girls trilogy, Sunflower Sisters by: Martha Hall Kelly.

You can read my review of book one: Lilac Girls
You can read my review of book two: Lost Roses

Sunflower Sisters

Sunflower Sisters by: Martha Hall Kelly: Inspired by the true stories of the Woolsey family, Georgeanna “Georgy” Woolsey is ready to put her nursing skills to use when the Civil War breaks out; determined to help out she finds herself in Gettysburg. In the south, Jemma is a slave on a plantation owned by Anne-May; when she’s sold, the Union army come through and Jemma sees her escape by joining the army. Anne-May left to her own devices, finds herself in hot water as she becomes a spy. All three women must fight their way in a country that is collapsing. This novel surprised the reader in how much they enjoyed it. At first, going in, the reader thought this was going to be another historical fiction novel that touched on the Civil War but this actually turned out to be a pretty accurate, yet slightly exaggerated, account of the Woolsey family, their story and their role in the war. For such heavy topics, the writing was really well handled and really lush that kept the reader engaged. The plot, at first, was slow as we got to know who the characters were and the reader was curious how all of these characters came together; but slowly over time Kelly masterfully weaved a beautiful story. Told in three points of view, we got to see the different perspectives of the war and how it affected each of the characters differently. From the brutality people went through being kept as slaves, to women fighting for their right to change and be helpful as nurses and American men fighting each other, this novel touched on so many harrowing topics that are important parts of American history. Kelly’s characters, based on real women in history, were strong-willed and forces to be reckoned with that the reader really enjoyed reading about. Getting to know each of them was really slow going, but the added information that Kelly kept including helped to develop and understand each of them. This was a good read for people who are interested in historical fiction and maybe aren’t familiar with the American Civil War as it covers a lot of ground in a captivating way. 

5 thoughts on “Review: Sunflower Sisters

    1. It is really fascinating, and I don’t know too much about it so it was a good way to learn more. There are three points of views, so essentially there are three main characters and one of them is black, the other two are white. One is trying to help Jemma, while other hates her; it was definitely an impactful story.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. This sounds interesting, Meghan: thank you for the review. Adding it to my list!

    I’m curious as to which points felt like, or maybe why, it seemed that getting to know the characters was slow going, if you have a bit of time to elaborate?

    I’m a hist. fic. writer currently publishing a serial every Sunday which seems to be well-liked, but I’m being asked for more backstory, and worry about losing the intrigue. My novel in progress will require much more backstory, and keeping it fast paced will be my primary concern. Both of these works are antebellum, the currently published series being pretty close to the Civil War, in 1855.

    Best regards,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!

      I think when I was reading it, it took more time than I would have liked to get to know the characters. I mean, it doesn’t have to happen all at once in the beginning, but a few things here and there sprinkled into the main story (or possibly side story arcs) to let the reader know them better, maybe even having some of your backstory relate to your overall arc to see the progression of the character growth.

      I hope this was helpful, and good luck with writing your novel! 😊


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