Review: Sunflowers Beneath the Snow by Teri M. Brown

Hey, I’m coming out with a book on Friday and I’d love for you to check it out! One of my favourite things about being an indie author is that I see every single preorder, and it feels like a warm hug or a thumbs-up saying, “Hey, I see you!” I put so much time and love into my stories, and my hope is that they’ll add a bit of excitement and encouragement to your day. If you’ve got a few extra bucks and love fantasy stories with dragons (or have Kindle Unlimited, which means my book is FREE for you to purchase), I’d so appreciate the support. If not, please contact me directly! I’d love to get my book to you anyway. 

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In light of the recent Ukrainian crisis, Sunflowers Beneath the Snow by Teri M. Brown is a historical fiction novel that feels very relevant. Set in both Ukraine and the United States, the story tells of three generations of Ukrainian women who live through Ukraine being occupied by the Soviet Union and later experience their country gain independence. As they struggle to survive and depend on one another, Ivanna, Yevt, and Ionna all learn important lessons about life, their country, and themselves. The varying perspectives of these three women weave a seamless tale of recent Ukrainian history from the eyes of those who lived through it up to the present day. 

It’s impossible for me to rate this book anything less than four out of four stars. Right from the very first sentence, I was captivated all the way through to the end of the book. I’ve come across very few historical fiction novels that have engaged me so thoroughly. Though the book does contain a small handful of errors, all but one were cases of individual words being written incorrectly, mistakes that could easily be remedied and did not diminish my enjoyment of the book. Therefore, the few mistakes I found did not affect my rating for a nearly flawless book. 

There are many reasons to applaud the book and its author. First of all, the perspectives of the different characters were all so unique. Every character, major and minor alike, was developed well and had a distinct voice. They conveyed such raw emotions that I couldn’t help but be drawn into their harrowing circumstances. The descriptions were vivid and allowed me to be fully transported into the story. After reading this book, I feel like I have a much deeper appreciation for Ukraine and its history. The only thing that could have been better was some of the dialogue. On occasion, it sounded a bit stilted, but there was lots of energetic and realistic dialogue as well. 

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves historical fiction with a focus on characters, or really anyone who enjoys character-centered fiction. I’d also recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about Ukraine and its recent history, especially as it gives some context to the current conflict with Russia. Overall, I think that Sunflowers Beneath the Snow is a fantastic book that most people will thoroughly enjoy, as it is an easy read and a riveting story. 

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