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Sunflower Sisters

4.48  ·  Rating details ·  71 ratings  ·  51 reviews
Lilac Girls, the 1.7-million-copy bestselling novel by Martha Hall Kelly, introduced readers to Caroline Ferriday, an American philanthropist who helped young girls released from Ravensbruck concentration camp. Now, in Sunflower Sisters, Kelly tells the story of her ancestor Georgeanna Woolsey, a Union nurse who joins the war effort during the Civil War, and how her callin ...more
Hardcover, 528 pages
Expected publication: March 30th 2021 by Ballantine Books
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Martha Kelly Hi Linda, Not doesn't come out until March 30 2021 so they haven't recorded it yet!

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Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
I really enjoyed “The Lilac Girls” by this author so I was anxious to read this new novel. First off I want to state that a 3* from me means it’s a good book, just not a great one for me.

The story is told from three points of view. First we have plantation owner Anne-May Watson. She is as cruel as could possibly be depicted. She whips her slaves, feeds them poorly and trades them without a second thought. She is probably a compilation of many such owners in the south at the time. She has an even
Kerrin Parris
Oct 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sunflower Sisters is Martha Hall Kelly’s third book about the real-life women of the Woolsey/Ferriday family who were philanthropists. According to the author, “when the members of the Woolsey family gave up toys, they took up politics.” Sunflower Sisters is about Caroline Ferriday’s great aunt, Georgeanna Woolsey, who worked as a nurse during the Civil War. It is my favorite of the three novels. The other two novels are Lilac Girls (Caroline Ferriday, World War II) and Lost Roses (Eliza Mitchel ...more
Nov 21, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
4 Civil War stars

I have read author Martha Hall Kelly’s two previous books – “Lilac Girls” and “Lost Roses” so I jumped at the chance to read her newest book, set just before and through the Civil War. This one is based on the same Ferriday family that we meet in the other two books.

One set of characters features the unique Woolsey/Ferriday family, staunch abolitionists, many of them work as nurses. It was fascinating to read about women breaking into the nursing world as I didn’t realize that a
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley, edelweiss
Martha Hall Kelly captured my heart with Lilac Girls and Lost Roses, so I was thrilled to have received this ARC. Sunflower Sisters takes place during the Civil War and is told from the viewpoints of a MD slave, Jemma, her owner, Anne-May, and a NY nurse, Georgy. The stories of how the slaves are treated are poignant and difficult to read, especially when they are being punished. Jemma’s plight, strength and tenacity captured my heart and I experienced a roller coaster of emotions with each of h ...more
Oct 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing

In Martha Hall Kelly's gorgeous epic multilayered story called, "Sunflower Sisters," its scope takes on the Civil War era in which we are introduced not only to the philanthropic Woolsey family in New York City, but also a slave girl named Jemma and her impoverished family living on Peeler Plantation in Maryland. Anne-May is the mistress and owner of Peeler Plantation and is very cruel to her slaves who work the tobacco fields. Jemma is the house slave who is
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
So excited for this book!
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Is being a helpful person hereditary? In the third installment of the Caroline Ferriday story we are introduced to the seven Woolsey sisters and their mother who devoted their lives to ending slavery and America. With poise and precision Martha Hall Kelly tells this story and gives a voice to these wonderful ladies. Breathtakingly beautiful

The flower series as I’ve come to cAll it has ended but my admiration for these ladies has not!
Janet Fiorentino
Oct 15, 2020 marked it as to-read
If you loved “Lilac Girls” and “Lost Roses,” you won’t be disappointed in the final installment of Ferriday/Woolsley trilogy, the “Sunflower Sisters.”

Martha Hall Kelly is a master at dropping her reader into noteworthy historical events while making the reader fall in love with timeless characters who will resonate with you long after the story ends.

Here, we meet slave, Jemma, her master, Anne-May, and a New York nurse, Georgy, in a tale of the Civil War, the end of slavery and a way of life in
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I thought this book had everything a great historical fiction novel should. The author brought the time period, America's Civil War, to vibrant, visceral life. The characters were real, flaws and all, dealing with impossible hardship and tragedy, many based on actual people. I love that the author included photos and information on their lives at the end of the book. There was war, tragedy, romance, betrayal, heartbreak, and perseverance. This was a great read!

Thank you to NetGalley and Ballanti
Christy  Martin
Oct 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sunflower Sisters is an amazing book about true friendship, war, culture change, politics, and money. Set in the years that surround the Civil War it is about a real family and is based on letters that actually exist about an amazing family of women who are heroes in their own right. The main character is a young woman that is a personal slave on a tobacco plantation in Maryland. Her owner is a cruel and sadistic woman. This slave is surrounded by family and bears many physical and emotional sca ...more
Nov 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sunflower Sisters by Martha Hall Kelly is an excellent historical fiction masterpiece that goes alongside her other two books: Lilac Girls and Lost Roses. This book continues on giving us the wonderful and unforgettable stories of the strong and fierce women that were a part of the Woolsey/Ferriday family. I truly loved Ms. Hall’s other two books that covered WWI and WWII eras, so of course I had to read the third book covering the monumental and fascinating lives of the family and friends that ...more
Tammy O
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: netgalley
Martha Hall Kelly has become one of my favorite authors. Her characters are wonderful and she brings history to life with each turn of the page. Her writing is so rich, descriptive and captivating that I want to read her stories slowly and savor every detail.

The Sunflower Sisters introduces us to the Woolsey women of New York during the civil war. I loved them all. Martha Hall Kelly used family letters and historical documents to tell this story of real women who were strong, good and determine
Stacie Day
Oct 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The final installment of the Ferriday/Woolsey trilogy. This book follows George Woolsey, an abolitionist, Jemma, an enslaved girl, and Anne May, Jemma’s owner. The book is set throughout the years of the Civil War. Their stories intertwine with one another throughout the book. The characters are all very realistic and you feel like you really are a part of their lives.

I was so thrilled when I got an ARC of this book. I have read her other two books in this series and was so excited to learn the
Doris Vandruff
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is a historical fiction book written about three woman, Anne Mae, Georgy, Jemma.
One was mistress of a plantation. Including all the indoor and outdoor slaves. She inherited the plantation from her aunt. The aunt had promised to set some of the slaves free and had left papers stating that. However, anne Mar destroyed the papers and kept the slaves.
Jemma was one of the slaves that worked in the plantation house. She helped with helping her mistress dress, combing her hair, reading and writing
Emmy L.
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book moved me in so many ways. I love MHK's writing and adored her first two books but Sunflower Sisters has now moved to the top of my list. Not only are the three narrators so beautifully different and detailed, the secondary and even tertiary characters were also so full of life and well-rounded. I found myself getting so invested in the story and feeling so close to all of the characters, crying along with them as they went through the unthinkable and beaming with pride when they succee ...more
Oct 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What an amazing finale to the Ferriday/Woolsley chronicles. MHK does not disappoint. The book shelves are full of Civil War books that use the lens of generals or battles to tell stories that all seem so similar. We have far too few novels (any?) that portray the history of that time with unvarnished human truth and emotion-from a woman's point of view. These are real people during a real conflict at a time when our entire country stood divided and in peril. As usual, the hidden history is tease ...more
Beth R.
Oct 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Incredibly moving book, couldn’t put it down.
Oct 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
It is with joy and sadness that I review Kelly's newest book in her tale of Caroline Ferriday. Sadness because this is to be her last in the series, and joy because it is such a pleasure to enter the world and live a part of the story of Ferriday's ancestor Georgy Woolsey. Set during the Civil War, Kelly weaves her careful research on Woolsey and other pivotal characters into a compelling story. While fiction, the history provides a fascinating depth to the novel and spurs admiration of the impa ...more
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Sunflower Sisters is written by Martha Hall Kelly who also wrote Lilac Girls and The Lost Roses. Lilac Girls and The Lost Roses were set during WWI and WWII respectively, while this story is set during the Civil War. The lead characters in Sunflower Sisters are Mary Woolsey and her daughters, a slave named Jemma and her master/owner Anne-May and the standout of the Woolsey sisters (and Caroline Ferriday’s ancestor) Georgeanna (Georgy) Woolsey who lives in New York and works for the Sanitation Co ...more
Oct 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have waited for the third and final novel in the Ferriday/Woolsey trilogy. This did not disappoint! In true Martha Hall Kelly fashion all of the characters are wonderful (and despicable) , the writing wonderfully rich, descriptive and captivating.

This novel is narrated by three one. One of which is Georgeanne “Georgey” Woolsey in the battlefront as a nurse and crusader with her sister Eliza. They venture from NY to DC and witness horrors in Gettysburg.

The second is Jemma, a slave on a tobacc
Gail Nelson
Nov 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. Wonderful author. Excellent storytelling. Great character portrayals.
Cory Beyer
Oct 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to NetGalley for this ARC. This story is written from 3 personal accounts - Georgey Woosley - one of seven girls in the Woosley family and who seeks out working for the Sanitation Commission during the Civil War as a nursemaid, Jemma - a slave in Virginia on a tobacco plantation and Anna-Maye - the owner of the plantation. This story tugged at ALL of my emotions - from outright rage, love, sympathy and joy. Though I don't seek out books about slavery, this one was so worth the story. M ...more
Amy Bez
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The final book in the series does not disappoint! Set in the Civil War, Martha hall Kelly again writes in three narration points - a slave, Jemma, her plantation mistress Anne-May, and a Northern abolotionist turned nurse Georgy. A strikingly deep, real look at the time period, SUNFLOWER SISTERS was hard to put down. I realized I read way more WWII books than Civil War fiction, and that perhaps that should change. A stark reminder of how far we’ve come in America, and yet haven’t at the same tim ...more
Nov 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book should become a must read for book clubs. Takes you to the 1860's when Lincoln was President, and war was being fought to abolish slavery. It also tells the story of the Woolsey sisters. I'd never heard of the Woolsey's till this book, but now am so intrigued by them, I'll be reading more on them. The author was kind to put reference materials at the end of the book regarding the Woolsey's. I could not put this book down, I wanted to read non stop till finish. It's highly important to ...more
Oct 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
An amazing well laid out story. There is so much in the book about slavery, women's trials in nursing and the civil war, sisters love and young romantic love. To find out this is based on some real people and then many actual events was inspiring. The family of the Woosley sisters and the contribution they made to history as well as with each other.

There is so much in the book to enjoy and contemplate it really does round out the series written by Martha Hall Kelly with some amazing women repre
Nov 12, 2020 is currently reading it
Another one from MHK! I'm so excited. I always worry that a new beloved author will write one and then they will abandon me for a decade or longer, but here we are! Book 3! I'm excited and I actually received an ARC on NetGalley and cannot wait to dive into one of my newest favorite authors.

Oct 28, 2020 added it
I was so very excited to receive an ARC of this book through Net Galley. Lost Roses, the previous book in this series, was absolutely amazing and I have recommended it to everyone I know who loves to read. Sunflower Sisters, like Lost Roses and Lilac Girls, deals with very difficult topics and offers up scenes and dialogue that are sometimes hard to get through.

Sunflower Sisters is set during the Civil War and focuses on three women, Georgeanna Woolsey (a heroine who accomplished so much) Anne-
Rhonda Hendrick
Nov 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you NetGalley and Random House for an ARC of this book for my opinion. This is the third installment of Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls and Lost Roses trilogy. Each books focuses on a member of the Ferriday family as we go further back in time. This book is set in Civil War America and introduces us to Georgie Wolsey who becomes a nurse helping with injured soldiers. Jemma is a slave owned by Anne-May who is the villain of the story. The story is told by each of these narrators. The book i ...more
Nov 11, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thank you to NetGalley and The Random House Publishing Group~Ballantine for granting my wish. Another great read from Martha Hall Kelly! My favorite time in history is all about the Civil War. Great character structure. Liked every character introduced in the story. Great historical fiction!
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Martha grew up in Massachusetts and now splits her time between Connecticut and New York City. She worked as an advertising copywriter for many years and raised three splendid children, while researching and writing Lilac Girls, her first novel. She has loved writing the other two books about Caroline's family, Lost Roses, which features Caroline's mother during WWI and Sunflower Sisters, a Civil ...more

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