Author: Marita Conlon-McKenna
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publisher: Transworld Digital
Release Date: February 1, 2016
Source: This book was given to me by TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review.
Synopsis: Published for the 100th anniversary of the Easter Rising, Rebel Sisters is the Number One Irish bestseller from award-winning novelist Marita Conlon-McKenna, who writes with all the emotional depth and warmth of Maeve Binchy.
With the threat of the First World War looming, tension simmers under the surface of Ireland.
Growing up in the privileged confines of Dublin’s leafy Rathmines, the bright, beautiful Gifford sisters Grace, Muriel and Nellie kick against the conventions of their wealthy Anglo-Irish background and their mother Isabella’s expectations. Soon, as war erupts across Europe, the spirited sisters find themselves caught up in their country’s struggle for freedom.
Muriel falls deeply in love with writer Thomas MacDonagh, artist Grace meets the enigmatic Joe Plunkett – both leaders of 'The Rising' – while Nellie joins the Citizen Army and bravely takes up arms, fighting alongside Countess Constance Markievicz in the rebellion.
On Easter Monday, 1916, the biggest uprising in Ireland for two centuries begins. The world of the Gifford sisters and everyone they hold dear will be torn apart in a fight that is destined for tragedy.
My Review: Rebel Sisters is about the Easter Rising told from the three Gifford sisters; Grace, Muriel, and Nellie. These sisters are determined to fulfill their dreams. Grace yearns to be an artist, Muriel wants to be a nurse, and Nellie wants to be a cook. However, while they are pursuing their dreams, they meet certain people that would draw them into the Irish rebellion. Little do they know that the Irish cause would make these girls sacrifice everything that they held dear.
I really liked how this story focuses on the personal accounts of these three sisters. The reader first sees them when they are very young, and we get a sense of what they were like and how they changed over time. These women were once a close-knit and peaceful family. However, the death of their brother changes them. They soon want to be independent. These sisters are also passionate and want to fulfill their dreams. Over time, these women become stronger. Not only are they passionate, but they are also loyal and patriotic. Each of them wants freedom and equality. These women are very bold and courageous. This made me feel sorry for them as they go through the personal tragedies in their own lives.
Overall, this book was about friendship, family, love, loss, loyalty, and sacrifice. The writing is very beautiful and it grips you from the very beginning. These sisters were both admirable because they made a lot of risks and had to deal with the results. Therefore, this story was a very emotional read. I also loved the vivid descriptions of Ireland. My only complaint about this book is that I would have liked more focus on the Easter Rising. Nevertheless, this is a great portrait of these three courageous women, and this tale will linger with you long after you have read the last page. I recommend this story for those who would like a personal account of historical events, stories set in Ireland, and heroines who have to stand fast in the face of danger and heartache.
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
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About The Author:
Marita Conlon-McKenna is a hugely successful Irish children’s writer. Her first novel, UNDER THE HAWTHORN TREE, sold 250,000 copies in the Irish market alone. Her debut adult novel, THE MAGDALEN, was a number one bestseller in Ireland, followed by PROMISED LAND, MIRACLE WOMAN, THE STONE HOUSE and THE HAT SHOP ON THE CORNER. She lives in Dublin with her husband and four children. Visit her website.