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April 9, 2024

The Flower Sisters by Michelle Collins Anderson ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

This well-written, character-driven novel has dual timelines that take place in 1928 and 1978 in a small Missouri town.  The storyline is based on the Flowers sisters - identical twins Violet and Rose.  In the 1978 timeline, we also meet Lettie -Rose's daughter and Daisy - Rose's granddaughter.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

book cover of historical fiction novel The Flower Sisters by Michelle Collins Anderson
April 2024; A John Scognamiglio Book; 978-1496748287
audio, ebook, print (368 pages); historical fiction

1928 - Rose and Violet were twins in looks but had totally different personalities.  Violet was always looking for a good time and loved to spend time dancing at the local dance hall.  Rose was quiet and enjoyed being home.  Despite their differences, the twins were very close and shared all of their secrets with each other. One night in August 1928, their lives changed dramatically.  Violet went to the local dance hall with her boyfriend.  During that evening, a huge explosion at the dance hall claimed the lives of dozens of young people including Violet.  Rose struggled with the loss of her sister and ended up marrying the son of the owners of the local funeral home.

1978 - Possum Hills was still a small town where everyone knew what was going on with all of the people in town.  Rose still owned the funeral home and was estranged from her only child Letty, who had left town as soon as she could and never looked back.  One day, Lettie arrived with a boyfriend and her 15-year-old daughter.  Lettie's stop in town was short -- she dumped her daughter with her grandmother whom she never knew and then Lettie left town to start a new life in California with her boyfriend.  Daisy wasn't happy with being in small town Missouri.  She and her grandmother lived upstairs and the funeral home was below them.  She didn't really know or understand her grandmother and didn't know anyone in town.  She managed to get an internship at the local newspaper and learned about the dance hall fire fifty years earlier.  She wanted to do a story about the fire to commemorate the 50th anniversary but when she tries to talk to the survivors, most of them don't want to talk about it.  This small town holds some big secrets, and the more Daisy looks into the history of the town, the more secrets that come to light. Will the secrets that she uncovers bring the people in town closer to each other or will they continue to ignore the truth of the fire?

This book had some fantastic characters - Daisy was an inquisitive young girl who had a hard life moving around with her mother.  At the beginning, she hated the small town and wasn't too impressed with her grandmother Rose.  Even though Rose could be difficult and outspoken, she still wished for a relationship with her granddaughter.  Rose was appalled when Daisy wanted to learn more about the fire fifty years earlier and wanted the town's secrets to remain secret.  But are the prices that we pay for secrets worth avoiding the truth?  The story is about grief and loss but also about love and forgiveness.  This is a family of strong women that I won't forget. This is a debut novel for this author and I look forward to her future books.

Buy The Flower Sisters at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.   

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