Martha Hall Kelly with Meg Donohue - Sunflower Sisters (Online Event)

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 - 5:00pm


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Book Passage Presents

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021

Live • Online • 5:00pm PT/8:00pm ET

In conversation with Meg Donohue • Signed copies available!

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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.

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.

Meg Donohue is the USA Today bestselling author of You, Me, and the Sea, How to Eat a Cupcake, All the Summer Girls, and Dog Crazy. She has an MFA in creative writing from Columbia University and a BA in comparative literature from Dartmouth College. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she now lives in San Francisco with her husband, three children, and dog.


Martha Hall Kelly photo by Jeff Mosier; Meg Donohue photo by Sarah Deragon

 

Location: 

Sunflower Sisters: A Novel (Woolsey-Ferriday) Cover Image
$28.00
ISBN: 9781524796402
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Ballantine Books - March 30th, 2021

You, Me, and the Sea: A Novel Cover Image
$15.99
ISBN: 9780062429858
Availability: Usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - May 7th, 2019