Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Sunflowers Beneath the Snow - A Book Review

Sunflowers Beneath the Snow, by Teri M. Brown, is a wonderful novel that will keep the reader interested and involved with the characters.  All the characters in this novel have strong opinions and follow their dreams and yearnings, often causing some danger, grief and sadness in their lives.  But great joy when all is revealed.



Does this pique your interest?  It should.  Teri M. Brown has written a book that truly is a page turner.  As with many novels some of the places and happenings sound like they could have happened in real life.  The author makes it clear that this is a work of fiction.

This story surrounds some very strong willed, strong bodied, and strong minded women.  Ivanna and the love of her life, Lyaksandro!  Their daughter, Yevtsye and her daughter Ionna are all part of the focus of this novel.

The country of their birth, the Ukraine has been under Soviet occupation for many years.  Always the government is promising that things will get better.  Lyaksandro Hadeon Rosomakha is a university employee and husband of Ivanna.  He, by wanting better for his family, has started a downward turn in the family's fortunes.  By becoming an informant (after witnessing the stranglehold the government had on free thinkers) he unwittingly puts his family in danger.  Early in the story he is whisked out of the country under cover of night, after having done the work of passing information to interested parties.  It was one of two choices he had.  Leave or die,  lest the  government of the day would get him and "dispose" of this troublemaker in one way or another.  

His wife of the last dozen years, whom he loved with all that he was, is informed that her husband has been killed when he tried to undermine the current government of the day.  

His daughter and wife were left behind even though he tried to get them out while he was being hurriedly removed from the country.  Had he known that they would not be coming with him, I'm not sure what would have happened.

Life is hard and takes many twists and turns.  Suffice it to say that not a day goes by that Ivanna doesn't miss her husband and his daughter, Yevtsye, misses her father too.  There is no time to waste energy on what could have been, too much energy was needed just to survive!



Yevtsye becomes a university worker and meets and marries a like minded man named Danya.  Together they worked hard and were able to give their daughter (Ionna) enough that she was thriving.  But both Danya and Yevtsye were very unhappy with the political climate in their country and wished for a better life.

Life is never straight forward and there are many twists and turns in this  novel.  I don't want to give away too much more of  the story, it really is a book that you should pick up yourself and read.  You will be taken on a rollercoaster ride that is quite amazing.  Emotionally you will be able to connect with the characters, which for me made the story that much more captivating.

What is the most interesting thing about this book is the fact that it has it's basis in a true story.  So while fictional, it has elements that are true.  You will be amazed and taken on a journey through three families lives!

Teri M. Brown has done an amazing job writing this book as her debut novel and I'm sure looking forward to more of her writing.  It is truly an wonderful, harrowing, uplifting, and fulfilling story.



**I was given a copy of this book by the author in return for a review on ReviewThisReviews.com.








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24 comments:

  1. Very compelling book review, Olivia. Especially interesting that the story takes place in Ukraine, a country which is currently in the news nightly.

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    1. @Wednesday Elf- The story really is timely while being historical fiction! If you'd like to read the first chapter, you can do so by signing up for my newsletter at https://deft-pioneer-4478.ck.page/c6edd375dd

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    2. It is a timely read and very current given what is happening in that country right now. You would enjoy this book, I'm sure of that!

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  2. I love a story where I can really connect with the characters and care about them and this book sounds perfect for that. This sounds like a very interesting story and a captivating, emotional and compelling read, especially as, although fictional, it has its basis in a true story. Thank you so much for your review and recommendation.

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    1. @Raintree Annie - My intent is to create characters that my readers' would like to take to lunch! I think you'd enjoy it. If you'd like to read the first chapter, you can do so by signing up for my newsletter at https://deft-pioneer-4478.ck.page/c6edd375dd

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    2. It certainly is all of those adjectives. I loved the characters and being able to get "into" them completely!

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  3. Wow! What a timely novel given the current climate in the Ukraine. Thanks for a compelling review.

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    1. @Mary Beth Granger - I hate that this is happening to them yet again! If you'd like to read the first chapter, you can do so by signing up for my newsletter at https://deft-pioneer-4478.ck.page/c6edd375dd

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    2. Timely indeed and hopefully what is going on in the Ukraine right now will be settled before hardships return to their land and people.

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  4. This definitely sounds like it is a gripping novel and one I would enjoy reading. I do love books based on true stories. Thanks for the excellent review and recommendation.

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    1. Thank you, @Sylvestermouse for recommending Olivia to the book! Please feel free to use the code I sent for yourself.

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    2. Miss Mouse, you won't regret opening this book. I want to go back and re-read it that's how much I enjoyed it. Let me know what you think!

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    3. How very thoughtful of you Teri! Thank you so much. I look forward to reading the book and I knew Olivia would give us an excellent review. She is always very thoughtful & kind, but she is also honest. Therefore, I know this is a wonderful book!





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  5. Sunflowers Beneath the Snow sounds like a page turner - I was taken with your review from beginning to end. Although, it's fiction as you mentioned, the fact that it's based in truth is something I can't imagine going through. Given what's going on globally, this book sounds like a must read.

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    1. @Barbara - I am friends with the granddaughter character. Although most of her story is a figment of my imagination, the ending of the book (not the epilogue) is true! If you'd like to read the first chapter, you can do so by signing up for my newsletter at https://deft-pioneer-4478.ck.page/c6edd375dd

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    2. Barbara, this really is a good book. You know how it is when you read a book and think that it was really a good use of your time? Well that's how I feel about this book. Some books leave me feeling that I should have done almost anything else than read, but not in this case at all.....

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  6. Olivia, what a beautiful, evocative review of a novel that sounds as though it captures the heartbreak and grit of so many Ukrainians who suffered during the Soviet occupation, an occupation that, tragically, threatens to return imminently. The author of this "page-turner" debut novel sounds very talented and I look forward to reading this and her future work. Thank you for helping to introduce us to Teri M. Brown and her literary gift!

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    1. @Margaret Schindel - it is nice to connect with you on Facebook! And I'm flattered that you said I have a literary gift. My husband says he is going to have to widen the hallway for my head to get through! LOL If you'd like to read the first chapter, you can do so by signing up for my newsletter at https://deft-pioneer-4478.ck.page/c6edd375dd

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    2. Thank you Margaret for your kind words. Given today's news it really is a timely novel and hopefully the restraints and constrictions of their earlier occupation do not return. Prayers for the Ukraine and their people.

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  7. Great review. It makes me want to read this when I have time. I like compelling characters and historical fiction.

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    1. I'm not sure if unknown will see this or not, but I'm sure you'll love the book. Compelling characters are my "thing." If you'd like to read the first chapter, you can do so by signing up for my newsletter at https://deft-pioneer-4478.ck.page/c6edd375dd

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  8. If you liie great characters and historical fiction, this book will be right up your alley. I suggest you take Teri up on her offer and see for yourself, but I'm sure you will enjoy it!

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  9. Wow, this sounds like a wonderful read and so timely based on current events. For sure this would be something I would really enjoy reading, as I just love historical fiction. Thanks Olivia for this compelling review and recommendation.

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    1. @Sam Monaco - Without a doubt, this is a timely topic. It's pretty interesting that it is both historical fiction AND current! If you'd like to read the first chapter, you can do so by signing up for my newsletter at https://deft-pioneer-4478.ck.page/c6edd375dd

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