Martha Hall Kelly with Pam Jenoff

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In a virtual event, bestselling author of LILAC GIRLS and LOST ROSES, Martha Hall Kelly, shares her stunning new historical fiction novel, SUNFLOWER SISTERS, about a Union nurse during the Civil War who crosses paths with an enslaved girl, and a Southern plantation mistress. Inspired by true accounts, SUNFLOWER SISTERS is a tale of women caught in a country on the brink of collapse, in a society grappling with nationalism and unthinkable racial cruelty. During the event, Martha will be in conversation with Pam Jenoff, bestselling author of THE LOST GIRLS OF PARIS.  

Martha has signed bookplates for everyone who purchases SUNFLOWER SISTERS from An Unlikely Story, while supplies last. 

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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.

Martha Hall Kelly is the New York Times bestselling author of Lilac Girls and Lost Roses. She lives in Connecticut, where she spends her days filling legal pads with stories and reading World War II books.


Event date: 
Thursday, April 1, 2021 - 7:00pm
Event address: 
Sunflower Sisters: A Novel (Woolsey-Ferriday) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524796402
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - March 30th, 2021

Lost Roses: A Novel (Woolsey-Ferriday) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781524796396
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - March 3rd, 2020

Lilac Girls: A Novel (Woolsey-Ferriday) Cover Image
ISBN: 9781101883082
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Ballantine Books - February 28th, 2017

The Woman with the Blue Star Cover Image
ISBN: 9780778389385
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: Park Row - May 4th, 2021

The Lost Girls of Paris Cover Image
ISBN: 9780778330271
Availability: Available to Order
Published: Park Row - January 29th, 2019

Signed Copies

Due to the nature of virtual events, signed copies may not always be available. Information about signed copies will be included in the event description.

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